Are "value" and "price" related?

eBooks and training courses: is the price you pay related to the value you think you’ll get?

This is something of a theoretical question, although I have a few ideas germinating that might make it less academic at some point! Those of you who have published ebooks, written training courses, and those of you who have bought such things please answer me this: are value and price related?
Let me explain myself a bit. Say you see a few people offering website basics ebooks/training courses. The sort of thing that takes you from “I have no idea how to set up a site” to knowing what is required from a technical point of view, what tools are available to help actually write the site, and tips on how to make that site accessible to as many people as possible. Those people are offering their courses at different price points ranging from £1 to £50. Does the price affect your perception of the material’s value?
In my own mind I think there must be some sort of sweet spot. £1 seems to say to me, “I want to make money from this, but I don’t really think it’s that good”. £50 displays immense confidence that the material is good enough to command that price (and I’m aware that some ebooks/courses cost a LOT more). My dad once told me, “if you pay dirt cheap prices, you get dirt”. Does that apply here? I wonder if people look at an ebook and say, “if it only costs £1 it must be rubbish”, or am I way off track?
I’d love to know what you think. I’m really aware that my thoughts are sort of half formed, so please feel free to contribute in the comments and help shape the discussion!

9 thoughts on “Are "value" and "price" related?

  1. I came here via Mike's RT of this and I'm glad I did, this is something I look at constantly I'm about to launch another product and I'm starting to think about price, a big factor for me is to make enough whilst thinking about the affiliate scheme too.

    Price is such a tricky thing, I asked my readers a while ago a similar question based on a course, but the overwhelming response was price does indicate to them that the quality is there, they associate it.

    Top quote by your dad too, where I'm from it used to be 'Buy Cheap, Buy Twice' where abouts you from anyway? I'm up in the Peak district

  2. Hey Mike,

    That's how I felt about it but then started to think is the forum full of people thinking like that rather than 100 people who would be willing to pay $70-100 a month who are absolutely serious about it, what do you think?

  3. Yeah that's the what I was thinking, tend to find the more things cost the more it weeds at the ones wanting to be successfull out of association and the ones who are serious about being successfull.

    Thanks Mike

  4. This is something I've asked myself many times. For me, I do get a negative impression if I see something that's too cheap – it suggests to me that the owner is either lacking in confidence about the product, they haven't put any real time or effort into it, or it is actually rubbish!

    I think it also affects they way people use the product. For example, I'm a member of the Problogger forum and I joined when it was just $1.95 a month to do so. If I'm honest, I don't visit very often – I always seem to find something better to do. And I console myself with the knowledge that it's “not costing me anything anyway.”

  5. I'm also a $1.95 member of and, like Mike, I haven't been in there for a long time. The last time I was in was when I wanted a template for a commenting policy… and that was a while back! did feature in my thinking for the post, though: if Darren has just over 1,900 members, and even assuming all of them are paying $1.95 per month, he's pulling in $3,705 pcm. In that case, low cost and high volume is a good income.

    In terms of value to me as a consumer, though, I do admit that I don't place too much in it because it's not really costing me anything.

    High cost does weed out the wasters – I guess the trick is to try and pitch it so that you don't also weed out the genuine ones who can't afford too high a price.

  6. I think that's the issue with the PB forum, especially when I compare it to the quantity and quality of the work coming out from the people in the Beyond Blogging Project. Maybe that is a reflection of the fact that A: We chose them carefully and B: They are paying close to $100 a month.

  7. Thanks James – good to have you here!

    I know I look at cheap products and wonder if there's a reason why! When I'm browsing in a bookshop and see two similar books – one cheap and one a bit more pricey – I'll usually pick the more expensive. Assuming it's not extortionate, that is 🙂

    Good point on the affiliate scheme too, if you want to make use of that then I guess the price has to be high enough to make it worth splitting.

    I've moved house a lot, so not entirely sure where I'm from! I currently live in Fife, though, just North of Edinburgh.

  8. this is a live issue for me as I try to pitch a correct price for a consultancy service and also a training course. Its not that I dont believe in what I'm offering, but do have a niggle about charging too high a price for me! But while I'm trying to offer a service that can help people and I want to be of help as much as I can, I take the point that pitching the price too low could put punters off. Its a difficult one to get right as an unknown. I guess if I head further into this field of work and get more known then the price becomes less of an issue as people pay for who/what they know or have heard of

  9. Tough one, isn't it Dan? I get what you're saying about trying to pitch it right as a complete unknown – but you've also got the advantage of having won several awards for the work you're now offering advice on… they can almost be used as testimonials until you get direct feedback from clients.

Comments are closed.