Nobody gets in business to lose money, but sometimes taking a small loss on certain items can pay big dividends, especially if that initial sale leads to additional revenue. A men’s clothing retailer who offers a dramatic discount on a traditional navy blazer has the opportunity to sell that customer slacks, shirts, ties, belts, socks, and shoes to go with that blazer.
What the retailer “loses” on the “primary” item, he/she makes up with the margin on the other items. Discounting a primary item that triggers an additional sale is sometimes called using a “loss leader” because it “leads” to other purchases. Suggesting sales of additional items that complement the primary item is called “cross-selling”. And moving the buyer from his/her first merchandise choice to a better quality or larger sized (and usually higher priced) item is called “upselling.” “Would you like fries with that?” is cross-selling. “Would you like to Super-Size your meal?” is upselling.
As long as your sales practices are fair, non-predatory, and favorable to both parties, your customers will likely appreciate, if not welcome, these efforts. The key is communicating all of the “gotchas” so that customers completely understand the fine print. Simple, tasteful, well-placed signage in your store, your fitting rooms, your customer service center, and other common areas can go a long way to preventing misunderstandings about the details or your special offers. eSigns.com has tens of thousands of pre-designed templates to help you design signage that communicates, advises, and protects everyone involved in the sale process. When the Romans said caveat emptor they intended for both the buyer, and the seller, to “Beware!” And that’s what signs are for.