The personal website of Chris Coyier

The Two Dollar Price Hike

I have a storage unit. Three times in 18 months has the price gone up. Seems fast. This last time, it went from $156 to $158.

I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes there, but this is what it feels like. The storage unit is pretty centrally located. It seems to be somewhat busy. I bet they are sold out. I bet they have a waiting list. If you’re a business owner, doesn’t it seem like you should be charging more? Your supply is gone, but new people are knocking on your door trying to give you money. You like money. You want to say yes, but that supply, it’s gone. So you crank up the rate. Someone mad? Who cares, leave then. People are begging to get in. You’ll fill it the next day.

You keep on cranking that price dial until your waiting list dies down a little. Some part of me feels like this is smart. Kinda economics 101. The spirit of capitalism. Doesn’t work out? You can always turn the dial back down. That’s the part that worries me though, have you soiled the pot? Is there such ill-will the people won’t come back? In a commodity market like storage units, it’s likely nobody cares or even remembers. But if you were making like speciality pancakes and did this in response to a line out your door, it would probably be a bad idea.