This morning I opened a new pack of undershorts that Joanne picked up for me. Wow – seven pairs of new Fruit of the Loom shorts. Out of curiosity I asked her what she paid for these. She said it was $5.99 for the pack of seven. Okay that’s $.85 each – and these babies have double stitching, the extra overlap for the trap door that we guys need – all in all just a real classy piece of workmanship.
Then I asked her what she pays for her panties. She said normally $8-10.00 each. Of course those are much simpler in design – no trapdoor needed. Just a bag with a couple of holes in it. Now I may be oversimplifying the issue here, but why are they ten times as much money?
It’s because for guys we’re talking about a necessary and functional item. For women it’s a matter of style and grace and beauty. I’ve always told people you can make a living selling things that people need; e.g. washing machines, transmissions and light bulbs. But you can get rich selling things that people want – chewing gum, vacation trips, motorcycles and ladies panties.
People don’t “need” my books. But I sell hope, inspiration and imagination that just happened to be packaged between two book covers. People “want” that. It sounds like an elementary business concept – but what about you — are you selling what people need or what they want?