Duck decoys

Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 13th, 2019

A friend of mine mentioned the other day that she has a relative who carves wooden duck decoys that sell for $20,000 each.

Because I’m a pricing nerd, this got me excited. I went online and searched for most expensive duck decoy ever sold. 

Care to guess? 

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The record is $875,000 sold at auction to a collector in 2007.

How’s this possible? You can buy a 12-pack of duck decoys on Amazon for about $40 bucks. 

Why would anyone spend the better part of a million dollars on a chunk of wood carved to look like a mallard?

The answer is that very high-priced duck decoys are different from normal decoys in ways that matter to people who are into duck decoys

According to one article I read, duck decoy collectors care about seven different factors:

  1. Maker
  2. Region
  3. Decoy species
  4. Condition
  5. Scarcity
  6. Strength of maker attribution
  7. Size

Okay but.. what do duck decoys have to do with pricing professional services?

Here’s the thing...

Whether you sell services to businesses or duck decoys to collectors, you can’t command a high price if your potential customers can’t tell you apart from the rest of the people who do what you do. 

You need to stand out from the crowd in ways that are meaningful to your ideal buyer. 

Do you know what your ideal buyers care about? If not, you better find out. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a race to zero. 

Yours,

—J