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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Luxory & Service

Originally written on 05/21/10

Client - "Why are your prices as low as they are?"
Me - "Why would they be higher?"
Client - "If you charge too little, people are going to think you're cheap for a reason."
I had that conversation last week while watching the Cavs get destroyed by the Celtics. 
Prices of certain things have always bothered me and I don't understand how someone can charge "X" amount just because they can.  I don't understand hidden "start-up" fees, when you think you're paying a certain price then someone says "oh yeah, plus a $159.99 transaction fee," and we're supposed to accept that. 
In my opinion, personal training is not a luxury, it shouldn't be, it's a service.  It shouldn't priced to a point where only certain people can afford it.  It should be at a point where nearly everyone can find a way to make it work within their budget.  Families should have an option to take a class and not be stuck in some monthly contract.  (If someone calls me today, and says "I'd like you to start a Family Fitness class," and if I think they'll show up, that class is happening.) 
I love yoga and I'll probably never stop taking classes as long as I'm healthy, but it really upsets me that the price is so high.  It's somewhere around $13-$15 per class depending where you look and the price could drop if you buy a large package... but does it have to be that high?  How many more people could have their lives improved and be open to a new experience in life if it was affordable?  It's hard for me to talk young athletes into going to these studios when I tell them the cost... $15 is 3 Subway subs to a 16 year old!    One class per week would cost $60 per month plus renting a yoga mat or purchasing one, in my opinion that's a little high.  Why not get more people involved?  Why not drop that rate and open up to those who were on the fence or couldn't quite afford it?  (I'm not beating up yoga studios. I think they all do an absolutely amazing job, but if it was more affordable I'd take class 4x per week.... and running at the park is free.) 
I heard someone say something like "it's expensive to be in good shape and to eat right."  Unfortunately, theres some truth to that.  But it doesn't have to be that way.    There's an enormous difference between cheap and affordable.
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Update: 
As written above, I wrote that in 2010 and very little has changed.  The pt prices have not increased, if anything, they're cheaper and you should investigate.... In no way whatsoever do the prices represent the quality. Just the opposite.  Who you can afford, is the best.
My reference point about yoga costs was interesting to reread.  Not only has my stance not changed, I found a way to create a room where for $60, you can take 16+ fitness classes per month, 75% of them yoga... Far from just 4 classes for $60.  
Gyms, fitness centers and studios are in business to make money.  We're all in business and work to make money.  But it should be more affordable and a higher quality.  
People keep telling me "stop giving things away," and "charge more," and I smile and end the conversation.  They'll get it one day.
I've also heard "get off your high horse," lately and that's even funnier.  So sad that someone thinks doing the right thing is the "high horse."  

"I knew the rules, but the rules did not know me... Guaranteed."   Eddie Vedder; Into The Wild Soundtrack; Guaranteed