WHAT IS PRICE SKIMMING: Examples, Advantages & Disadvantages.

Price skimming

Have you ever been in a situation whereby you were one of the first to get a new product like an iPhone not even minding the price, but later find that the price was skimmed and you felt cheated?. You might be thinking why or regret buying so soon.  Join me in this article to understand what really happened by knowing what price skimming is, the examples, advantages, and disadvantages. 

Price Skimming


Price skimming is a product pricing strategy in which a company charges the maximum initial cost that customers are willing to pay and then gradually lowers it. As the firm’s first customers demand is met and competition enters the market, the price is reduced in order to attract a new, more price-sensitive segment of the population. The skimming strategy derives its name from the process of “skimming” successive layers of cream, or customer segments, as prices are reduced over time.

How Does Price Skimming Work?

Whenever a new type of product enters the market, price skimming is frequently useable. However, the goal is to generate as much revenue as possible while customer demand is high and competition is not present.

Once those objectives are met, the product originator can lower prices to appeal to more price-conscious buyers. while remaining competitive with any lower-cost cheap imitation items that enter the market. This stage typically occurs when the seller’s sales volume begins to decline at the highest price the seller is able to charge. forcing them to lower the price to meet market demand.


This approach differs from the penetration pricing model. Which focuses on releasing a low-cost product in order to capture as much market share as possible. In general, this technique is better for lower-cost items, such as basic household supplies, where price may be a driving factor in the majority of customers’ production choices. Moreover, Skimming is frequently used by businesses to recover the cost of development.

Skimming is an effective strategy in the following situations:

  • When there are enough potential customers willing to pay a high price for the product.
  • The high price discourages competitors.
  • Lowering the price would only have a minor impact on increasing sales volume and lowering unit costs.
  • The high cost is interpreted as a sign of superior quality.

Limits on Price Skimming

In general, the price skimming strategy works best for a limited time. Allowing the early adopter market to become saturated still not removing price-conscious purchasers in the long run. Furthermore, if a price decrease occurs too late. Purchasers may switch to cheaper competitors, resulting in lost sales and, most likely, lost revenue.


Price-cutting may also be ineffective for any competitor follow-up products. Because the initial market of early adopters has drain it. Other consumers may be hesitant to acquire a competitive product at a higher price unless the product significantly improves over the original.

Advantages Of Price Skimming 

#1. Increased Return on Investment

Charging the maximum initial price at the introduction of a new product, particularly in high-tech industries. might assist your company in recouping R&D and advertising costs. Companies such as Apple gain from large short-term earnings during a product’s introduction. And the initial higher prices are justified by technological achievements.

The bottom line of the advantages of price skimming is that if you put all of your cash flow and resources into developing a gadget. Or a service that no competition can equal, you should be able to charge higher pricing during the launch to recoup the majority of your investment. And, hopefully, fund future developments.


#2. It aids in the creation and maintenance of your brand’s image.

Price skimming can also give the impression that a product is a high-quality. “must-have” for buyers who can’t live without the latest technology. Higher costs at the start of a product’s life cycle allow you to develop a prestigious brand image that really attracts status-aware consumers. while also giving you the breathing room you need, to drop prices as competitors enter the market. In some circumstances, a lower starting price at the outset can create customer price sensitivity, making subsequent rate increases unfeasible without losing sales.

#3. It divides the market into segments: Advantages Of Price Skimming 


The advantages of Price skimming, as previously noted, is an excellent strategy to segment your consumer base. potentially allowing you to collect the most possible profits from different categories of customers, as you lower the price. Starting with a higher price will not repel early adopters, and as you drop the price over time, you will attract more price-conscious customers. You may capture some of that consumer surplus and increase your revenue by changing your prices. Depending on the product demand curve and the maximum price your consumers are ready to pay.

#4. Early Adopters Help in the Testing of New Products

One advantage of early adopter customers is that they serve as test subjects for new items. Those status-conscious customers who buy your new product first can provide vital feedback. And assist you in ironing out the wrinkles before the next update, and, hopefully, a larger user base. Early adopters who enjoy your product can act as brand ambassadors, creating a sense of quality through word of mouth in addition to being valuable testers. Finally, one of the advantages of price skimming is that the free offer will entice new clients to purchase the goods when the price reduces.

Disadvantages Of Price Skimming

#1. It’s a poor strategy In a crowded market.

Prior to determining prices in any business. It is critical to measure client valuations and analyze the competition (and their market share). If you already have a lot of competitors, chances are your demand curve is fairly elastic, and excessive prices during your product launch will drive buyers away. one of the disadvantages of Price skimming is that it’s not a realistic approach in an industry that has so much crowd. So, unless your product has incredible new features that no one can match, it may be best to avoid skimming if you want to preserve a competitive advantage.

#2. It is only effective if your demand curve is Inelastic

Another price skimming disadvantages is that it’s only effective if your demand curve is inelastic.

Price skimming may be a realistic strategy for Apple. But only when the amount requested does not fluctuate drastically when prices change. If your product’s demand curve is usually elastic, which means that price adjustment has a stronger effect on product demand. Then, starting with high prices could substantially hinder your sales. Any company’s goal is to make a product as inelastic as possible, but not everyone sells tech products or services that are innovative enough to appear vital to consumers.

#3. It Attracts Competitors: Disadvantages Of Price Skimming

Perhaps your product is unique enough to generate a new market, but as demonstrated by the launches of the iPhone and iPad. So, competitors such as Samsung and Microsoft are waiting around the corner. The success of high prices at the start of a new product’s life cycle will entice competitors to enter the market. And, the inelasticity of a demand curve is usually always down over time by introducing viable substitutes. Skimming pricing might also delay the rate of adoption by your potential clients, allowing your competitors more time to mimic and improve on your product before you capitalize on the demand for the innovation.

#4. It may Anger Your Early Adopters

the final disadvantages of price skimming is that It may anger your early adopters.


Remember those brand advocates who were the first to buy your product? They might just as well be the source of your worst PR catastrophe. If costs drop too drastically or too soon after the first product introduction, your early users will feel cheated. This type of pushback was encountered by Apple in 2007. When the company reduced the price of the iPhone by $200 dollars barely two months after its release. The phone’s fast 33 percent price decrease from $599 to $399 may have helped stimulate demand. But some early adopters were understandably disappointed.

Examples Of Price Skimming 

Price skimming examples is a frequent strategy in the technology business. Almost every tech powerhouse employs this strategy, at least for pricing some, if not all, of its products. Apple and Samsung are great examples of the IT business; First of all, they have used price skimming very well to grow sales and attract customers.

Secondly, this price tactic is also in use by several industry giants. One of the examples of price skimming is Nike, which is known for charging a premium price for new products and then decreasing it at the end of the season.

Examples of Samsung’s price Skimming strategy

Another examples of price skimming is Samsung, which is famous for two pricing schemes. The first would be competitive pricing, however, it is closely follow by its price skimming approach.

Consider Samsung’s 2020 flagship phone, the Galaxy S20. This smartphone cost $999 on the day it was release. However, following the debut of its new flagship smartphone this year, the Galaxy S21. the price of the previous year’s phone decrease substantially, and it can now be found for roughly $600 depending on the store you buy it from.

Limits on Price Skimming


In general, the price skimming strategy works best for a limited time. Enabling the early adopter market to become saturated but not alienating price-conscious purchasers in the long run. Furthermore, if a price decrease occurs too late, purchasers may switch to cheaper competitors, resulting in lost sales and, most likely, lost revenue.

Price-cutting may also be ineffective for any competitor follow-up products. Because the initial market of early adopters has been drained, other consumers may be hesitant to acquire a competitive product at a higher price unless the product significantly improves over the original.

Conclusion

Price skimming, as we’ve seen, can be a very helpful approach in principle. However, numerous things should be considered before choosing in favor of this technique. Your pricing approach should be consistent with your marketing strategy. Furthermore, your product should be good and unique enough to warrant the high price. Most essential, you must keep a watch on your competition to avoid problems such as setting pricing that is too high or dropping the price too late.

Price Skimming FAQ’s

What is price skimming strategy with examples?

Electronic products – take the Apple iPhone, for example – often utilize a price skimming strategy during the initial launch period. Then, after competitors launch rival products, i.e., the Samsung Galaxy, the price of the product drops so that the product retains competitive advantage.

Why is price skimming used?

Price skimming is often used when a new type of product enters the market. The goal is to gather as much revenue as possible while consumer demand is high and competition has not entered the market. … The high price does not attract competitors

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