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The Signal of Integrity

Let’s talk about a supposed great time to raise prices.

As of 1st of January 2023, Croatia is adopting the Euro as its national currency. If the trend started by others holds, many prices will soon rise. Some people say it’s all because of price gouging, some will talk about moral relativism of who started it, and others still will mention the increase in investment and trade heating up the economy.

The truth is probably a complicated mix of many things, but to address the more general point: if there is a mass opportunity for raising your price simply because everyone else is doing it, and you doing so will not stand out much – should you join in?

I think you shouldn’t raise prices, especially for old clients.

It’s true that your doing so would not particularly surprise anybody, but your act of abstention will stand out all the more. Just like you don’t get thanked for whispering in a library, it’s expected. If however you find a dropped wallet and have the opportunity to empty it but return it full, this is a signal of both strength and integrity.

You can be more flexible with new clients that could see your old prices as cheaper than intended when contrasted to the “new normal”. And of course, if you always wanted to even score with a bad-faith client that has engaged in some “gouging” action of their own in your past moment of weakness, the opportune moment is here.

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