The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

Value skew: What discernible difference ultimately turned you into a buyer or x-buyer?

Learn how to build wealth and win financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
I think it would be great to have a discussion on value skew as it works in the real world. Mainly, post your experience with a product or service you recently bought, and the core buying reason WHY you bought it.

Or, post negative skew items, a core reason WHY you STOPPED buying from a particular company.

I'll copy an example of "negative skew" from @biophase who posted this recently in the Random Chat thread.

This will give us a great digest of value attributes that compel purchases in business, or compel x-buyers. The more discernible skew you present in your offer, the more sales you will attract. The less negative skew in your offer, the fewer buyers you will lose.

Simple examples of skew:
  • They answered my email in 1 hour!
  • They had this great feature that no one else had!
  • They were $12 cheaper per month
  • They had an ingredient I was looking for
  • Just liked the packaging
  • They had a great cause that spoke to my identity
Note: Your skew could also be an experience relating to customer loyalty: Wow, Widget Company did X for me and that really makes me loyal to them!

Simple examples of negative skew:
  • Too many upsells in the cart process!
  • Confusing checkout process
  • Shipping prices were insane
  • Contained an ingredient I don't want (Aspartame, Red-40)
  • The company turned into a political activist or became "woke" or "anti-woke"
  • Failed to answer my support question timely
Ill start.

I recently joined a fitness program and after I subscribed, the company offered me a "free fitness accessory". Naturally, I expected the item to be FREE, but have a $12 shipping cost -- so it still was a profit center. To my surprise, the item WAS free, and so was shipping! This totally increased my loyalty to this company.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

biophase

Legendary Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 25, 2007
8,242
38,459
Scottsdale, AZ
The website smartfares lost me as a customer today.

I want to purchase a plane ticket and it was $100 cheaper on smartfares. While going through the checkout process I was hit with so many upsells that I eventually exited and bought the plane ticket for $100 more on another site.

What got me was the part where I was supposed to select my seat. Look at the shady text above it. By choosing items 1-3 you get charged $20 and you don't even get the seat guaranteed. And then you have to pay for customer support?

2.png

These are the other upsells that I declined.


3.png
At this point it just felt like a shakedown and I just exited and went straight to the airline site where I paid $100 more, but I also got to pick my seat and had better peace of mind.

1.png
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #3

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
Bump, pulled out of the Random Chat thread.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #4

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
F*ck MailCheat(Chimp), now owned by Intuit. As expected, let the towel squeezing begin to appease the shareholders.

They are forcing me to UPGRADE my account because I have exceeded my audience list. And then, when I try to delete the audiences, they tell me I'm not allowed. In other words, I'm basically being extorted to use my email list, as I cannot delete audiences and I cannot send email without upgraded.

F*ck MailCheat(Chimp).

Mind you, I send out about 20 emails per month via this account and now they have arbitrarily changed the rules. So they want me to pay 100s per month so I can send 20 emails.

F*ck MailCheat(Chimp). And F*ck Intuit, another shitty public company that I refuse to do business with.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

thechosen1

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
2,749
5,812
USA
I wanted to give a young guy about my age a shot as a new contractor to repair the siding on my garage - but he showed up to my house stoned out of his mind and smelling like weed. Negative skew! Sorry bro!

I went with the older, slower, more expensive guy.
 

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
14,024
53,286
Ireland
I’ve been using MS-Excel since 1992. I’ve been paying the monthly MS-Office fee for years, switched laptop, and couldn’t figure out how to move the license over. It was just too complicated for something that should have been seamless.

So I cancelled and switched to Google Sheets, which is free anyway.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #7

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
Just spent an hour on a chat line with those assholes over at MailCheat(Chimp)/Intuit ... naturally, I wasted one hour with some idiot who had no authority to do anything. So right now my account is being held hostage, and useless, unless I "UPGRADE NOW!" Legal extortion.

Intuit has officially joined the ranks of dogshit companies like Facebook and PayPal.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
14,024
53,286
Ireland
Just spent an hour on a chat line with those assholes over at MailCheat(Chimp)/Intuit ... naturally, I wasted one hour with some idiot who had no authority to do anything. So right now my account is being held hostage, and useless, unless I "UPGRADE NOW!" Legal extortion.

Intuit has officially joined the ranks of dogshit companies like Facebook.
Can you export your email list and import into some other platform MJ?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #9

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
Can you export your email list and import into some other platform MJ?

Yes, I will try to cancel by month end. Problem is, I have links everywhere which is a pain to switch.

This situation is just like SONOS when they violate some of the most basic principles -- I refuse to give that company another dime of my money, even if it inconveniences me or costs me more $$.

Add Intuit/MailCheats to this list.
 

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
MAlLChimp is now a censored word, replaced with MailCheat.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

BD64

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2017
381
827
25
Boulder, CO
My gym: Offered a new, lower pricing tier which has successfully brought a ton of new customers in. At the same time, they expanded the restricted personal training areas footprint.

Now we have 2x as many people in less space. I haven't been to the gym and enjoyed a workout once in the past month as every single time I want to move to a piece of equipment or set of weights I need to wait 10 mins or beg to work in. Where my workouts normally took ~45mins I'm now spending closer to an hour & 15 mins while constantly substituting exercises so as not to have 2-hour workouts.

Almost everyone I know at the gym feels the same. I'm about to join a new one that is 10 mins further away and more expensive.
 

Guyfieri5

Money is made possible only by those who produce.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2019
212
271
26
New York
My gym: Offered a new, lower pricing tier which has successfully brought a ton of new customers in. At the same time, they expanded the restricted personal training areas footprint.

Now we have 2x as many people in less space. I haven't been to the gym and enjoyed a workout once in the past month as every single time I want to move to a piece of equipment or set of weights I need to wait 10 mins or beg to work in. Where my workouts normally took ~45mins I'm now spending closer to an hour & 15 mins while constantly substituting exercises so as not to have 2-hour workouts.

Almost everyone I know at the gym feels the same. I'm about to join a new one that is 10 mins further away and more expensive.
The same thing happened to me. The gym I go to took out some of their equipment and incentivized a ton of new members to join. I've tried going in at all hours of the day to get equipment and it's always crowded now. Moving to a new city anyways soon so won't have to deal with the problem for long but it sucks having to wait thirty minutes for some teenager to get done scrolling through Instagram so I can use the leg press machine.
 

Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,746
8,437
25
Washington State
I wanted to give a young guy about my age a shot as a new contractor to repair the siding on my garage - but he showed up to my house stoned out of his mind and smelling like weed. Negative skew! Sorry bro!

I went with the older, slower, more expensive guy.
he actually showed up?? looks like the home services industry is getting more competitive.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
34,217
133,484
Utah
Wow, amazing that most of the replies (thus far) are about NEGATIVE skew.
 

mdot

Always Improve.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Dec 24, 2020
242
429
Ontario, Canada
Wow, amazing that most of the replies (thus far) are about NEGATIVE skew.
I think that even if there are 100 reasons to buy a product, a single reason not to buy that hits the wrong nerve could be the deciding factor.
 

Private Witt

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Feb 20, 2018
633
1,122
Oklahoma
I wanted to give a young guy about my age a shot as a new contractor to repair the siding on my garage - but he showed up to my house stoned out of his mind and smelling like weed. Negative skew! Sorry bro!

I went with the older, slower, more expensive guy.

I agree with your move going with the non stoned guy. Is funny in my niche of cannabis events if you show up not smelling like weed or stoned and pass when someone offers a joint you look suspicious and passed off as a corporate strip miner.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Edgar King

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2021
290
397
I think that even if there are 100 reasons to buy a product, a single reason not to buy that hits the wrong nerve could be the deciding factor.
I've had occasions sharing the same experience.

To add to that, I think every product we buy solves a problem, but there's one special benefit/skew we are looking for in the product that makes all the difference (like our buying decision comes down to 80% the product hitting this special benefit/skew and 20% for other benefits/skew). And it's those companies that solely target this skew to be the best at that their ideal customers fall in love with.

For example, let's say you want leads for your business. There's product A, B, and C offering that which all cost the same. They all solve this problem.

But, you specify you want hot leads for your business. If only product A offered that, I'd say that's the one you'd go with. But if product B offered even more of that skew, you'd go with that simply because it had the largest scale X magnitude/cost of tangible attributes causing this "hot" skew that you really wanted.
 

thechosen1

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
2,749
5,812
USA
Wow, amazing that most of the replies (thus far) are about NEGATIVE skew.
I'll be honest, it is a lot easier to complain than it is to think and find examples of positive skew. Really requires some thinking-the negative examples are easy.

Positive skew: Needed termite treatment. Got 2 quotes, similar prices, one offered 5 months of payments interest free and was local, plus it was a guy I knew personally versus a big company out of a larger city. I went with the local guy. ALSO gave me free rat treatment cuz that was another problem I was having, no charge, totally solved that issue.
 

Antifragile

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
1,992
6,256
Wow, amazing that most of the replies (thus far) are about NEGATIVE skew.

This is typical. And why "news" is all depressing. We are wired to notice negatives more and rant about them. Ironically, it's where the positives are hidden.

I'll give a few examples of positive value skews:

1. Garmin released a watch called Enduro. It's for ultra marathoners. It addresses one big thing - battery life. Most gps watches need daily charging or at least once every few days. This one can be used as a watch for a month! Run it with GPS and it'll run enough for any ultra marathon. Here is the thing - I am not an ultra runner. But I bought it and love it because I hate having to charge my sports watches every damn day after my workouts.
2. Because of the pandemic, many retail bike stores were shut down and move to online sales. That's great, it's the future. I was in the market for a new gravel bike. The ability to walk into a store and have a look, touch, feel of the bike you want has become a value skew! Instead of the shop I used to buy from (that re-invented itself as an internet business now), I went to a new store, closer to home that had doubled down on the old way of retail! I talked to a guy who helped me choose the right bike and I ordered it.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

BizyDad

My 1st biz sold paper planes. It folded...
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 7, 2019
1,498
4,825
Phoenix AZ
In the market for a new car. Going to go with a hybrid suv. I've wanted an SUV for a while, but I drive so much for work that the gas costs make them unwise for me. Now some of these SUVs get better gas mileage than sedans. So the gas mileage benefits are obvious, but not the sole decision maker.

I like how the electric motors put out more hp and torque. If you like driveability, I don't know why you'd buy a gas SUV. And now I'll have the ability to do some light off road for camping trips with my kids and I don't have to feel like I am driving a skimpy Prius. Plus they have less recommended maintenance vs their gas models, which means (hopefully) less trips/time to the shop.

It comes down to how I want to spend my time. For a little more, I get to spend the quality time with my kids that I want, and less time pumping gas or sitting in a service area.
 

Antifragile

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
1,992
6,256
In the market for a new car. Going to go with a hybrid suv. I've wanted an SUV for a while, but I drive so much for work that the gas costs make them unwise for me. Now some of these SUVs get better gas mileage than sedans. So the gas mileage benefits are obvious, but not the sole decision maker.

I like how the electric motors put out more hp and torque. If you like driveability, I don't know why you'd buy a gas SUV. And now I'll have the ability to do some light off road for camping trips with my kids and I don't have to feel like I am driving a skimpy Prius. Plus they have less recommended maintenance vs their gas models, which means (hopefully) less trips/time to the shop.

It comes down to how I want to spend my time. For a little more, I get to spend the quality time with my kids that I want, and less time pumping gas or sitting in a service area.
Did you buy/decide which one? And why?
 

BizyDad

My 1st biz sold paper planes. It folded...
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 7, 2019
1,498
4,825
Phoenix AZ
Did you buy/decide which one? And why?
I've decided on a RAV4. Haven't bought one yet. Not sure on the trim level. I think the SE will give me the best value, so probably go with that. I plan on beating it up a bit, so not sure I want to splurge on a nicer interior while my kids are still little. Going this Friday, it'll be a birthday present to myself.

I considered the Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Lexus comparables. I even considered the Ford Lightning and MachE, but don't want to pull the trigger on all electric. They all check a lot of what I'm looking for in a car. Ultimately, of the hybrid SUVs I like the look of the RAV4 the most. And next year they're doing a refresh of the look, which I like less. So now's the time to buy.

At least from the copious YouTube videos I've watched, it seems to do the best of that bunch on trails, though none are to be confused with a Wrangler. Gets the best gas mileage too.

And my neighbor who runs a repair shop in his driveway owns one, so I know I have a cheap place to fix it up if I do anything stupid...
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Kak

Legendary Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 23, 2011
8,321
36,990
Texas
MileIQ…

They used to be a part of Microsoft’s 365 package, and now they are spun off on their own.

I bought MS365 specifically for this, as I already had a lifetime license for the office programs I needed.

Now I use OneDrive extensively, (because why not use it if you have to buy it), and I have to buy a subscription to MileIQ to keep that going as well.

ClubCorp…

I am a member of a ClubCorp country club that is associated with my neighborhood. They force you to join when you move here.

So unlike many of the ClubCorp clubs across the country, this one is neglected. They don’t have to earn your business, so they don’t bother trying. The pool, the tennis courts, the driving range, they’re all better than a public arrangement, but they’re certainly not “up to par.”

The saving grace of this thing was that I had what was called a Young Executive Plan so I could play all the ClubCorp clubs. I had reciprocity everywhere. So I had a lot of places to play golf in the area. Of course, they did away with that and started to charge me more.
 
Last edited:

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
14,024
53,286
Ireland
Wow, amazing that most of the replies (thus far) are about NEGATIVE skew.
Ha. It’s like a positive skew nowadays is to not be a-holes.

I’ve stayed signed up to loads of SaaS products simply because they actually do the one thing I want them to do. Being usable is enough for me to recommend them to other people.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

BizyDad

My 1st biz sold paper planes. It folded...
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 7, 2019
1,498
4,825
Phoenix AZ
I’ve stayed signed up to loads of SaaS products simply because they actually do the one thing I want them to do. Being usable is enough for me to recommend them to other people.
Agreed.

Too many SaaS companies try to become an all in one solution and water down their core offering. Looking at you Callrail.
 

Guyfieri5

Money is made possible only by those who produce.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2019
212
271
26
New York
I've decided on a RAV4. Haven't bought one yet. Not sure on the trim level. I think the SE will give me the best value, so probably go with that. I plan on beating it up a bit, so not sure I want to splurge on a nicer interior while my kids are still little. Going this Friday, it'll be a birthday present to myself.

I considered the Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Lexus comparables. I even considered the Ford Lightning and MachE, but don't want to pull the trigger on all electric. They all check a lot of what I'm looking for in a car. Ultimately, of the hybrid SUVs I like the look of the RAV4 the most. And next year they're doing a refresh of the look, which I like less. So now's the time to buy.

At least from the copious YouTube videos I've watched, it seems to do the best of that bunch on trails, though none are to be confused with a Wrangler. Gets the best gas mileage too.

And my neighbor who runs a repair shop in his driveway owns one, so I know I have a cheap place to fix it up if I do anything stupid...
A friend of mine just bought the Rav4 and loves it. Great car and Toyota is generally pretty reliable. Can't go wrong with that choice. When my wife's Nissan Rogue goes were looking at replacing it with the Rav4 Hybrid.
 

Guyfieri5

Money is made possible only by those who produce.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2019
212
271
26
New York
Wow, amazing that most of the replies (thus far) are about NEGATIVE skew.
I remember when I sold cable I could do everything right for a customer. Give them a sweet discount, personally show up during the installation and make sure it went perfectly, and pick up the phone every time they called with a question or complaint. But if the service did one thing wrong, like the remote didn't work properly, or a channel didn't show up in HD right away, they'd blow up my phone and request to cancel.

I feel like a company could do a million things right but screw up once and we get the pitchforks out lol.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Private Witt

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Feb 20, 2018
633
1,122
Oklahoma
My SUV is a Hyundai Tucson which has been amazing. 140k miles and have only had to do the basics like tires, brakes, and a few headlight bulbs. I did need a completely new engine that they replaced for free as was just inside the 100k warranty (blew at 96, was sweating that decision, but they came through). They also gave me a two month dealer loaner while was waiting for the new engine.
 

Jadus

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 21, 2020
50
57
Thailand
Here in Thailand, fish sauce is big business. I was at the store the other day with my girlfriend and we noticed a new brand that had a lot of value skews:
  • 30% less sodium
  • 0% sugar
  • No 3-MCPD (whatever that is)
  • No potassium added (not sure why you wouldn't want potassium)
  • Vitamin B12 added
None of these value skews interested me, except for the 0% sugar. What caught my girlfriend's attention was the WHITE label. The bottle stood out from all the others. We decided to give it a try, even if it was a little more expensive than the rest. In the end, she didn't care for the taste.

Lesson learned; you never know what value skew will catch the attention of a customer. It could be just color and graphics. But, the product still has to be good to get repeat purchases.
 

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Must Read Books...

Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore
Top