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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old March 5th, 2005, 05:40 AM   #16
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These are all good points, I'm most interested in the situation where a buyer has already bought the VHS version and then realizes the DVD would come in handy also.

Perhaps they swap out the VHS's for the DVD and pay a small premium?
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Old March 5th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #17
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Customers tolerate 'VHS only' simply in the case of specialist content they fear may be hard to find otherwise, Alessandro.

But if you think it's legitimate to sell 'VHS only' well... surely you should charge him all over again for the DVDs?!

My own opinion: realise the DVDs for free, apologise for the inconvinience and tell him that soon it will be an option upfront when purchasing!

You have to treat customers right.


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Old March 5th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #18
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But what if both the VHS and DVD's are available at the time of purchase. It is only afterwards that the client realizes they potentially would have been better off with a DVD either exclusively or in tandem with the VHS.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 01:50 PM   #19
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One assumes the original high price is to liberate the specialist content. Therefore one could argue that subsequent orders of the very same content - already paid for remember - should be closer to normal prices of videos that length, irrespective of video format..

..also, if they're willing to simply swap unopened product, then surely that's absolutely fine and, eh, doesn't require a charge?!

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Old March 5th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alessandro Machi : These are all good points, I'm most interested in the situation where a buyer has already bought the VHS version and then realizes the DVD would come in handy also. -->>>

This is what I was trying to cover, although in a very groggy fashion. If you think the demand for DVD is greater than just the one customer mentioned in your original post, then you may want to consider adding DVDs to your product line. Once you do that, you can offer existing customers a special "we've put everything on DVD" discount on DVD versions of VHS tapes they have already purchased from you -- an "upgrade special" you might call it. I'd say they could keep their current VHS copies and simply buy the DVDs at a discount -- perhaps you would ask them to include some proof of purchase of the VHS version. If the DVDs will normally be priced at, say $500, then selling them at even $100 to existing customers (for a *limited* time) is still a profit for you. Once the limited time sale is up, all customers old and new will have to pay the $500.

(Since they customer can simply format-shift to DVD with relative ease, as mentioned in my previous post, I see no benefit in asking for the VHS tape back.)

Such a plan not only encourages your current customers to buy the DVD from you rather than format-shift to DVD on their own (which is why I mentioned it previously), but also has two other effects:

1) People who may have not on their own considered needing a DVD copy will be encouraged to buy one based on your smart salesmanship and low introductory prices (which still net you a reasonable profit). Include language in your mailer such as, "Experts say DVDs will last up to 100 years, far longer than VHS" etc etc... that will encourage this untapped sector of your customer base to upgrade.

2) It reminds your current customers that you are there and have a new product that might interest them. Perhaps they never considered buying Volume 2 of their specialty video while it was on VHS, but now that it's available on DVD, maybe it is worth that extra $500. Perhaps you can offer existing customers a 10% or 20% discount on any other DVDs they buy when ordered at the same time as their DVD upgrade.

This "upgrade discount" for current customers should be available only for a limited time.

As for you question of "what if both the VHS and DVD's are available at the time of purchase" -- in that case I would have a steadfast rule of "DVD is full price." Or perhaps allow for exchanges *only* within the first 2 weeks or maybe 30 days. And/or allow an exchange of any *unopened* product, as mentioned by Graham. Otherwise customers will simply take advantage of you -- if it's obvious that you sell *both* DVD and VHS, the customer has a certain amount of personal responsibilty to buy what they need and not be a complete idiot. DVDs are certainly prevalent enough that the average customer should be expected to know which format they need.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 02:35 AM   #21
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To clarify on format-shifting, please see Paul Tauger's comments here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=40532

Unfortunately, as I had considered, it only applies to audio recordings. Which means that if your customers are transferring VHS to DVD, then technically they are breaking the law...
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