Why not post prices online?

A question from misc.business.marketing.moderated:

I’ve always heard it said that you should never post your prices on your website because if you give away every piece of information you have about your product, then potential customers are not inclined to contact your for more information – if you strategically withhold specific information, then potential customers will have to contact you and then you will have their contact information to follow up and “work” the order.

Do you agree or disagree with this philosophy with regards to capital equipment ($50K and up)?

Sometimes, equipment simply can’t be priced until you know the exact specifications the customer wants and the number of units they wish to purchase. In the extreme case (passenger airplanes), customers may even be willing to purchase options on delivery of equipment (which, needless to say, are not quoted publicly).

Any other thoughts?

In many cases, list price is of secondary importance compared to lease terms (implied interest rate, cancellation clause, etc.) Sir David Tweedy, the Chairman of International Accounting Standards Board, likes to joke that his lifetime ambition is to fly as a passenger in an airplane that is actually owned by a major airline (the joke being that all major airlines lease their fleets). And lease terms depend on lessee’s creditworthiness…

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