Should Event Rental Companies List Prices?

There’s a long-standing divide in the event rental industry over whether event rental companies should list prices. Is it smarter for event pros to list prices or require customers to call in? Some folks think event rental companies listing prices is the easier way to go, while others think it detracts from their opportunity to sell a customer on the phone. We’ve listened to the debate for years, and are here to explain why event rental companies should list prices. It’s without a doubt the best way to run your party rental business.

1) Event Pros Receive Prequalified Customers

There’s nothing more obnoxious than the cheapskates who call you up and when you say your price they gasp, “WHAT?! That’s RIDICULOUS.”

Not only is this insulting to you as a dignified business owner, but you’ve just been trapped into the worst possible type of negotiation. This client now has the upperhand because they can claim literally any price you state next is… “ridiculous”. What are the odds that this person is now ever going to meet you at an appropriate price? Chances are, even if they weren’t coming into this looking to be slimy, they are never going to get back that initial sticker shock. It may not even be their fault. If they’ve never rented items like yours before, they might’ve had no frame of reference and legitimately may be turned off by your pricing.

Publishing your prices may scare off people without the money, but that’s a good thing! Don’t waste your time trying to sell someone who isn’t prepared to spend an appropriate amount of money. According to a study conducted by Hubspot, companies responded that 39% of clients have a budget that is significantly lower than their company offers. As they say in sales, the best answer is yes, but the second best is “no” since everything else is simply a waste of your valuable time.

2) Less Wasted Time Answering Basic Questions

One of the main components necessary for a person to make a purchase is knowing the cost of said purchase. Therefore, the first question out of most consumers’ mouth is “how much does it cost?”

Naturally, if that information isn’t available, they’re going to do one of two things:

a. Look elsewhere or

b. Call you to ask.

Neither of these options is good.

Research has shown that roughly 80% of potential wedding clients find it very important to see pricing prior to contacting a vendor.

If you are answering your phone multiple times a day to answer a basic pricing question, that’s less time you are spending pitching an event vision for a high-end client, solving a dispute for a disgruntled customer in such a nice way that they turn around and use you again, or brainstorming a clever marketing plan to grow your business. Doesn’t this sound like a better use of your time than spitting out/defending prices?

Even if you aren’t the one answering the phones, your employees have a million more valuable things they could be doing than the job that a simple listing could do. About 52% of vendor frustration comes from spending time answering pricing emails and getting no response! By giving your staff more time, you could even offload more responsibilities onto them, freeing up your time to strategize meaningful growth.

The number one reason people haven’t grown their business more is “not enough time”. So why would you add a very time consuming task to your team’s day?

3) Showing Your Business/Pricing is Legitimate

If you pass someone selling watches on the corner in New York City and ask “How much?” they will almost always respond with, “How much you got?” If you enter a high end jeweler and ask them the same question they will never respond in this manner.

There is a level of “shadiness” that is associated with being coy about your prices. The perception to the customer is that you’re trying to hike up your prices and that makes them angry, no matter what great price you might be giving.

Honesty is the best way to establish trust with a client, so starting the conversation with a lack of transparency sets you off on the wrong foot. Plus, since pricing is out of the way, you can spend more time focused on pitching all the benefits of your products. That’s why talented sales folks sell watches in high end shops, not out of trench coats.

4) Pricing is Out There Anyway

At the end of the day, your competitors are already listing your prices. No matter what your pricing is, clients will always find someone cheaper and more expensive. The folks who are looking for the very cheapest can always go ahead and do so. Your time and energy are much better focused on the other aspects that inform a client’s decision: Your reputation, marketing, customer service, and more.

Have you ever purposely skipped past an item on or at the grocery store because it’s suspiciously lower priced? Trust your customers are as smart as you are and they won’t always book the guy across town who is undercutting your prices. Particularly for large orders, smart shoppers tend to research reviews, judge where all your business is listed, and get to know you. If it were as simple as picking the cheapest price, there would be far fewer event rental businesses!

5) Book While You Sleep

They say you can never add more time in the day, but you can. By booking events while you’re asleep, you’re adding income you never would’ve seen if your process required a personal touch.

You may have a form on your site for interested parties but, if people aren’t putting down a credit card, there’s a chance they’ll have gone elsewhere before you drink your coffee the next morning. By having a full e-commerce experience, such as, the client has submitted their order and their credit card and all you have to do is hit “approve” while you sip your hot cup of joe!

A few final notes:

  • If your prices range based on holidays, seasons, etc. you can always put a footnote
    Prices may increase due to demand/seasonality. Please call for exact pricing.
  • Consider using packages for bundled pricing. You probably don’t charge the same amount for a group of items as you do for adding in event planning, setup, or extra personal decor touches. But, rather than having to list a set price on some of those intangibles, you can always list “The Bridal Shower Silver Package” and give a set price, but perhaps imply that extras could be thrown in.
  • People love discounts. However, it doesn’t feel like a discount if there’s no listed price to discount from.
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Author: Carmen Bodziak

Carmen Bodziak has been on the marketing team at Goodshuffle since 2019 and got into the business because of her passion for empowering business owners through technology. She loves connecting with the events industry both virtually and in-person, so say hi if you see her at a trade show! Outside of Goodshuffle, she loves to travel and spend time outdoors.