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CAAOS Computers: The RPC – Finished but Not Over

Posted On - 19/06/2015 11:05:51

Gary Newbrook of CAAOS Computers, Thame: being price conscious is a way of lifeThe Retail Price Comparison (RPC) is over. And you don't want to hear any more about it - especially if you didn't take part. Well, we're not about to drone on about it - that helps no-one.

But there are a couple of things that might interest you.

With or without the RPC everyone needs good instincts on pricing. Everyone needs to feel more confident the number they ‘stick on the box' is the best one. The question is how can you become like that? Gary Newbrook of CAAOS Computers has been doing it for years. To find out how and why he'll be tuning into our upcoming webinars on the RPC, read the blog.

No-one sold cables on Saturdays

Daft reason or not it's what started Gary in business. "There was no-one doing it in Thame" he says, "And there also wasn't a computer shop."

He continues "I used to work on the online side of WH Smith as Technical Architect, but when I was made redundant I decided I wasn't going to work for anyone else again. Computers and the Web were hobbies to say the least. So it all made sense to start up." Ten years on Gary is glad he made the decision.

What does price mean to you?

"It's about telling the customer about what they're getting" Gary starts, "If they pay a little they're going to get something cheap. If they pay more they'll get higher quality."

Then he gives a real insight into his approach to pricing, "People don't know the value of anything anymore – they look up prices on the internet and assume that's what it should cost in a shop." He continues, "But that doesn't reflect YOU, your skills, expertise and years of experience."

He concludes, "It's why you must understand the area you're in, the like-for-like competition around you and use price to position yourself."

CAAOS Computers, Thame: not your usual shopfrontWhat caused you to take part in the RPC?

"Inks sell really well for me" Gary starts, "I've always been really conscious on them – on all everyday items in fact. So I keep an eye on local competitors. And the RPC helps me do that much more widely."

Gary goes on to describe how as well as knowing what his local PCW and department store are charging, he checks-in with his local stationery and electricals shops. "If I see an ad on TV for a computer I'll go check it out. I look at competitors websites – though I always keep in mind what I do, my added value. I keep aware of others build prices. And I never try and compete on laptops."

He continues, "Customers buy from me and my price is my price."

How do you use the RPC?

"Pricing is a balancing act" says Gary, "On the one hand you're trying to make good margin, on the other not take the Micky out of the customer. I know my locality and my limitations."

He continues, "Over the years being price aware has given me a good gut-feel for pricing. But it's in isolation – I have no idea on pricing elsewhere. The Price Comparison gives me a good sense of what's working in other places."

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