Extorting Your Customers – Stop the Madness!
This has happened to me, as well. At Walmart, no less.
The first outfit that offers professional portraits where a family can come in, have a 30 minute session with a photographer, then receive the digital pic files that were just taken, royalty free, will become a millionaire in short order.
Think of the money you’d make. Charge a sitting fee of $100 for 30 minutes of your photographer’s time in the little room with the multi backdrops. When they’re done, they pick up a DVD 5 minutes later containing high res digital images of ALL the pictures that were just taken. They own them from that point on. Heck, you could sign an agreement with one of the digital photo processors online like ofoto.com (kodak now, I guess) and have all pictures automatically uploaded and ready to order for the family…. etc.
The days of extorting your customers are coming to an end. The same with printers and their ink. Lexmark has just lost their court battle to stop a company from making ink cartridges that circumvent Lexmark’s chip technology that attempts to keep other company’s cartridges out of their printers.
I’ve said this before, as well. But it’s high time an electronic company comes out with a printer product that is profitable based solely on the sales of the printer. Then sell the cartridges directly to the consumer via the internet for dirt cheap, without the typical retail markup. This would do two things… it would differentiate yourself from the other slimeball printer companies that fleece their customers at the “gas” (ink) pump. It would prevent other companies from knocking off your ink cartridges because there would be no profit on them if you’re selling them direct for cheap. In one fell swoop, you’d radically change the landscape of the printer market and force others to re-think their business practices. Yes, there are always going to be those that would rather pay $50 for their printer and then pay high prices for the ink because they hardly ever use their printer. But there’s a HUGE market that would gladly pay $500 for a printer if the ink costs were chicken scratch.
Remember when you HAD to buy your phone from AT&T when your phone service was through them? When we look back on that now, it’s hardly believeable that we were forced to do that. But it’s true.
If your business model relies on holding your customers hostage to an inflated (exclusive) pricing structure for your revenue stream, you better start rethinking that business model.
You’re toast if you don’t.
You might also burn in hell for it. At least I hope so if you’re a certain printer company that starts with a “H” and ends with a “P.”
Bastards could drive Ferraris with all the money I’ve spent on ink. Grrrrrrrr!