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Q: “How do you set your prices, and what’s the best way to justify your prices to horse owners?”
A: I set my prices to stay competitive with other farriers in the area. But if I’m working with 4-H Club horses, I’ll set my prices at what they can afford, because sometimes they can’t afford a lot.
If my expenses go up, I’ll change my prices. I have to charge more to recoup my expenses and keep my profit margin.
I know what other farriers are charging because customers, especially new customers, tell me what they’ve been paying. I also talk to farriers at the International Hoof-Care Summit from other areas and compare notes with them.
I tell my customers about price increases face to face. I think they accept it a little better that way; it’s more personal than just getting a letter telling them the price is going up. I tell them why I’ve had to go up, and I’ve had two or three customers tell me, “I thought you’d have gone up before now.” Face to face, they can ask questions and I can explain why I’ve had to raise my prices.
I don’t increase my prices every year. A lot of times, your expenses don’t really change much from year to year. I can’t see increasing my prices unless I have a legitimate reason. As long as I’m still making a decent profit margin, there’s no sense in raising my prices. My customers understand that.