Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path t your door.” This may be true. But I believe that the world must first know that you have a better mousetrap and then know where to find your door. Giving away free items is one way to get people to your door. And once they are in your store, you can show them your better mousetrap.
I thought that we could charge a “flat rate” for shipping and handling. So, we would sometimes make a small profit, and other times, we would take a small loss. When all was said and done, we would probably break even while building a reliable customer base. That is how I began my proposal to Billie Jean. That conversation went something like this:
Me (Roy): I think we should give away free items every month to attract more people to our website.
Billie Jean: What!? We can’t make money giving things away.
Me (Roy): According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, if you build a better mousetrap…
Billie Jean: We are not building or selling mousetraps, Roy. That is a cruel way to get rid of rodents, and we won’t sell those in our store.
Me (Roy): I didn’t mean that we would sell mousetraps. It’s just a saying that…
Billie Jean: We are talking about The Go to Chocolate Store, Roy. Try to keep focused. OK?
Me (Roy): I am focused. The mousetrap was just an example. I’m trying to say that giving away…
Billie Jean: Roy, will you forget about making and selling mousetraps. What we need to do is offer a variety of FREE unique items for a flat rate to cover shipping and handling. On some items we’ll take a small loss, but on others we’ll make a small profit. Either way, our customers will always get the best prices, we’ll build a consistent customer base, and hopefully we will break even. Once we build a consistent customer base, we may begin to see some profit from the other items on our site. And we will never have to build or sell anything as cruel as a mousetrap. Are you keeping up, Roy?
Me (Roy): Uh, yes. I think so. I guess your right again. That’s why you’re the brains of this outfit, Billie J. I’m just the good looks.
Billie Jean: Whatever, Roy. Anyway, let’s start offering those unique products right away.
Me (Roy): Right away.
THE FINAL STRATEGY
So, we are taking a risk. We are offering FREE unique items to attract visitors to our site. Some of these items will change from month to month. So, it is important that our customers check back often. We only charge for shipping and handling. Hopefully, visitors to our site will return often to claim more free items and to occasionally purchase some of the other items we offer.
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All the chocolates and coffees we offer at The Go to Chocolate Store are made with organically grown and ethically sourced ingredients