Originally Posted by Coach Wargo
I've been going to the same gas station for years, so much so that the girls know my name, and I don't have to prepay anymore, but the price of my gas has never gone down. I go to the same grocery store every week but I still pay full price for my steaks and beer.
But hereís where the analogy falls apart:
If you want full service at the gas station, you pay more per gallon. Not an extra flat-rate for the service AND more per gallon.
If you go to a restaurant, you pay more for the cooked steak. You donít get charged for entry, charged to have it cooked, AND more for the steak itself.
If you go to a bar, you pay more for your beer, but the only bars that charge cover/entry are when you pay for a coat check or thereís live entertainment. Or, theyíre the best place (or only place) in town and can afford to turn people away.
So, the perception of fair pricing is the same for fields. A customer will happily pay more for a package (the church and friendly groups), pay for the field, pay for the air, or pay extra for the paint. PERHAPS two out of those three (air and paint, field and paint, field and air) but for all three seems abusive.
And as a member I expect to get the paint at the same price as at the proshop. After all, I paid a membership fee to cover all the average costs.
I know that locally, it is VERY difficult to organise paintball outings with friends and acquaintences because of price. You get sucked dry on the package AND the paint. Granted, when thereís no other choice, thereís no other choice. I guess that charging 200$Can for a case works to keep the fields in business, but it sure doesnít sit well as a customer. Which is why Iíve only played select games and have refused to play with a group who were allowed BYOP once a month because it was still 30$ field fees even if all we used was the air.
Should regulars expect something for nothing? No. But the regulars are providing something invaluable to fields. They provide a risk free guarenteed income that can be compensated on times when the field would be slow anyways. So a regualr game of 15-20 guys paying low field fees may pay just a little more than the cost of staff and not reap in the profit. But when the alternative is not being open that night or having staff sit around with no customers... Nothing turns off a walk-on more than walking into a deserted store or field.
But my in-laws who were heavily involved in tournaments locally gave up because the industry is so insular here. Costs a fortune to outsiders while a select few are either sponsored to the hilt or the field owners are just shuffling cash between each other.
Hence my participation in these forums. Could a field that breaks the local oligarchy become successful? Iím not so sure as the two largest fields seem to be run by the local distributors. So it appears doubtful.
Donít get me wrong, Iím in complete agreement with raising the price of a service and/or consumable as high as the market will bear and as long as you maintain adequate sales. But doing so without providing sufficient added value opens the door to the competition. Also, succumbing to monopolistic pricing means your only picking the low hanging fruit and possibly missing out on larger revenues (although lower percentage returns).
Itís all a complex balancing act...