Beyond Cost Plus

Pricing plays a huge role in our lives. Beyond Cost Plus helps consumers understand it and vendors profit from it.

 We're all consumers of a multitude of products and services, some essential and some discretionary, and we have to make purchasing decisions almost every day. Those of us that sell also have to make pricing decisions.

Most consumers believe that prices reflect the cost of providing the product or service plus a small profit, and many small retailers do indeed price their offerings that way. But how does that explain...


  • why the exact same DVD sells for two different prices ($4.99 and $9.99) just a few feet away in the same store on the same day?
  • why the first seven cups of popcorn (the small size) cost almost a dollar each, while the next fourteen cups (added to the large size) cost less then a dime each?
  • why retailers discount on Black Friday and theaters discount on same day performances?
  • why does it seem like every person on a flight paid a different price for their ticket?


All are very sophisticated strategies for maximizing sales and profits, but they are hard for consumers to understand and even harder for small retailers to implement. The biggest and most successful companies have access to behavioural economists, psychologists and marketing experts when they create their pricing strategies. The average small business owner does not.

That is the one part of what Beyond Cost Plus is about – deconstructing the advanced pricing strategies employed by the big guys so that the little guys (especially florists) can pick and choose what will work for them. The other part is helping consumers understand some of the strange pricing they see everyday and make better purchasing decisions.

Beyond Cost Plus grew out of Mark's obsession with pricing and subsequent research. The website provides resources to help consumers and vendors understand and benefit from advanced pricing strategies. Mark also speaks at floral industry events, helping retail florists take advantage of new approaches to pricing.