Selling At A Loss (On Purpose)

Say what? Selling your used panties online for a loss…..on purpose!?!? Have I officially lost the plot?

No, hear me out.

Y’all know that I’m all about sales psychology. I could probably write a tome (how good a word is tome?) on the intricacies of online sales in this panty selling industry. Perhaps I will one day. 

So what am I talking about?

This cropped up in my selling group (Sellers Before Fellas) the other day. Here’s how the conversation went down:

“Okay what service are y’all using to send shoes??? I see shoes for sale at $20 on (site) and the shipping usually costs almost that much for me to ship through USPS!!”

“If those $20 shoes include shipping then that seller is making 0 profit*.” (*Dalma says this is true)

And it got me thinking (whilst typing away a la Sarah Jessica Parker)

Selling at 0 profit or EVEN A LOSS is a legitimate sales strategy.

It’s called a LOSS LEADER. I know, sounds dull as fuck but let’s dive in.

According to wiki:

A loss leader is a pricing strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services. 

One use of a loss leader is to draw customers into a store where they are likely to buy other goods. The vendor expects that the typical customer will purchase other items at the same time as the loss leader and that the profit made on these items will be such that an overall profit is generated for the vendor.

“Loss lead” is an item offered for sale at a reduced price that is intended to “lead” to the subsequent sale of other services or items. The loss leader is offered at a price below its minimum profit margin—not necessarily below cost. The firm tries to maintain a current analysis of its accounts for both the loss lead and the associated items, so it can monitor how well the scheme is doing to avoid an overall net loss.”

Still with me?

So in panty sellers terms, a loss leader is when you deliberately sell something at cost or below cost to lead the customer to buy more items that will generate a profit enough to cover the loss you made or at least break even on it.

How does this relate to you?

Well, it means being creative about SOME of your selling items. I’ve certainly spoken about this before but I referred to it as a sacrificial offering – which sounds way cooler than a loss leader but operates on the same principles.

It’s about recognising that a lot of customers will buy from you a second time once they’ve built the know, like, trust factor. A good way to quicken that process is to make certain things a no-brainer. You create a deliciously irresistible offer and make the price ridiculous enough (not so ridiculous that they think you’re a scammer and of course this might not work so well if you’ve zero sales or reviews under your belt) that it leads them straight to the rest of your inventory and to more sales. 

Now, let me be clear. A used panty guy is a used panty guy. He might jump at the chance of panties that mean zero profit for you and 100% enjoyment for him without the intention of buying anything else in that order, or in future orders. So that’s a chance you have to take. I’d take it primarily with well-respected buyers on platforms and not necessarily newer buyers. You have to gauge exactly what your loss leader is going to be. Maybe it’s not going to be used panties at all, maybe it’s going to be around digital content only.

I knew a seller once who sold a free video. YES, SOLD A FREE VIDEO! Even though she made no money on that product, she did.

No, I’m not on crack.

She sold her other items THROUGH the free video.

Guys ‘bought’ it/her and then bought more from her so that short video was free but it actually made her money.

Is this making sense?

Now, what’s the downside – there’s always a downside.

If we go and do some research on the critics of using loss leading as a sales strategy, you’ll find this:

“Large companies can afford to price a product with no margin because they have other products they can sell profitably to make up for the loss. Loss leading strategies can hurt small businesses as well as suppliers, who might be forced to keep their own prices low so that a business can continue with its loss leading strategy.”

Let’s break that down for used panty sellers.

Successful sellers with good reviews can afford to sell products with no margin or less margin because they have a lot of other products they can sell plus the social proof of a high number of reviews. This strategy might not suit sellers who only sell panties and not digital content, and it might force them to lower their prices to compete, which will eventually put them out of business.

I just LOVE translating ‘normal’ sales speak to panty sales 🙂 

The seller I mentioned above got a lot of flack for offering this freebie on the site. Of course she was doing it on purpose as part of a larger sales plan and many sellers wouldn’t know that. But still, it’s something you’re going to have to think through seriously and expect that your community might not take to kindly at your bizarre zero profit or even loss offerings! 

Give some thought to how you can use this strategy.

I’m not suggesting everyone do this btw. I’m simply sharing the sales lingo so that you can think about how you can LURE (yes, LURE LEADER) customers your way to get them past the first hurdle. And yes, there are customers who won’t ‘buy’ from you even if you’re free because they’re just not attracted to you so there’s that.

This work has a lot of different factors to it. Sales strategies may or may not work simply because you’re appealing to specific interests IFKWIM 😉 


P.S. Ready to start selling your panties online today?

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