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The Myth of Fair, Universal Pricing

What do you charge a client from halfway across the globe?

If you said, as I did years ago: “The only fair policy is to charge everybody the same amount of dollars”, I’ve got some bad news.

$2600 in Delhi, India is also called “a decent three-month salary”, while in New York it’s more of an “almost enough money for this month’s rent.” kind of money. So McDonald’s charges $3,61 in Delhi and $12 in New York for the same combo meal, and that’s normal. What else could they do?

So, to call a spade a spade – copy-pasting the same price is the international pricing equivalent of sticking the head in the sand, like an ostrich in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

And people

It can be called “fair” with a straight face, but most people will find it immoral, and that’s the bad news. The good news is, even if your policy was “I charge everybody the same percentage of average income”, like Scandinavian traffic fines, many people will call that immoral too!

I think that this is actually good news: if the public will condemn us for both possible choices, there’s no reason not to go with the one that seems the least wrong to you.**

I suggest you make a simple pricing matrix for your top 3 services – outline your rates tailored to domestic and 2-3 likely foreign markets. It’s better to figure things out now before the opportunity knocks on your door only to find you tangled in an unwinnable moralistic debate.**

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