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Old 07-04-2017, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Field Discounts?

Hi folks,
Here's a couple of quick question. Everyone loves a discount. But which will do the field more good. If you give 10% off for a group of 10. Or if you give a discount for regular usage like every 10th visit free, (limited to average spending) Or 50% off every 5th visit for a player? I've even looked at giving each player a $10 gift certificate for coming to play to help bring them back again.

I always get asked for group discounts even when there's only 4-5 in the group. Or military discount, police discount, big shooter discount, an I'm breathing discount. Well maybe not the last one yet but I'm expecting it any day.

Are people so easily fooled that if I mark my prices up 20% so I can give everyone a discount of 20% What's the sense, why not just give people the best deal you can everyday?

What do other fields do?

As a player, what would you like to see for a discount. (remember, any discount will require someone to pay for it. Either a hidden price increase, or a drop in services at the facility or even the owner by not investing in improvements or upkeep.) That may sound terrible, but many fields have been pushed to the very edge and there is no more to give. To be honest I don't know any field owners getting rich. Most are going out of business or have already gone.

As a field owner, this is important to me, this is what I do for a living, not a part time hobby I have while I'm not working my regular job. That's why we've always tried as hard as possible. We have it all on the line. Failure for us would be terrible. If it were a hobby field, I'd keep my regular job and take up Kayaking or something!

I'd like to have your thoughts. They may help me find something to improve the situation. Been doing this for 31 years to stubborn to quit.

Thanks
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Speaking from an industry outside of paintball (photography), discounts don't seem to be as effective of a motivation as earning "free" stuff as a reward for spending more. Buy X, get a free upgrade/item/etc. Buy more, get more. This seems to foster good will, and hopefully more good feelings about spending, rather than setting the customer up to think about how they can save a buck.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My field sells paint in the pro shop at a normal msrp for people with their own equipment, compared to a higher Mark up for the rental packages. If you buy a gun there its free service on it.

If you give them an email you get 50 balls free.

Woo.

The biggest incentives are free passes to waive field fee. Still have to buy paint.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We offer stepped group discounts at our field that start with relatively small groups as over the years, group sizes have become smaller. People no longer seem to want to go to the trouble of organizing larger groups as I did before opening a paintball field many years ago.

5-9 players get $14 off each
10-19 players get $18 off each
Over 20 players get $20 off each

These need to be prepaid in advance to get the discount and are off our “at the gate” price. We also offer a $10 discount for 1-4 players just for prepaying, rather than paying at the gate as it makes our life a whole lot easier if we know approximately how many people are coming (saves on having extra staff at the field just in case you have a busy day). We have very few renters that do not prepay now with this pricing structure.

Gear owner prices are considerably less to start with and the discount is only $5 for prepaying because as I’m sure it’s the same at your field, most gear owners very rarely plan far enough in advance and can’t be bothered to prepay.

One thing that one of our competitors does is offer a relatively cheap lifetime membership which get members cheaper field fees (not free) and a discount on paintballs. Personally, I philosophically disagree with offering gear owners discounts on paint if they are playing in open groups against renters, which is basically necessary in today’s market of declining gear owners if you want them to have someone to play with. But that’s just me. Once that relatively small fee has been paid for the lifetime membership, it tends to make the “members” more inclined to come to your field rather than go to a competitor’s field.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
Once that relatively small fee has been paid for the lifetime membership, it tends to make the “members” more inclined to come to your field rather than go to a competitor’s field.
I have to agree with this. I go to a field that offers memberships paid per month. $40 for up to 5 visits, or $45 for unlimited visits per month. The membership is roughly equal to 2 visits at regular cost. The benefits include: not having to pay the regular entry fee, 40% discounts on all field paint varieties, option to bring your own paint, "free" entry into any of the fields special events/tournaments. When signing up, the fee is a prorated first month + full last month. In return, the field owner gets to secure a predictable fee from a known number of regulars, as well as enticing players to continue to come to that field instead of wandering from field to field, looking for the best option for any given day of play.

As a member, I and others tend to take on an attitude of "ownership" in how the field is managed. That is to say, we want it to survive and thrive, so we encourage fair play, camaraderie, inclusiveness toward new players and even tidying up after ourselves.

It helps that this particular field is already run very well (and differently from others in the area).
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Our local field, Area 51 in Mancelona, has a cool deal. You register and get a wristband with the date on it. Collect three with different dates and you get a free field fee. Simple, effective, so long as you don't lose them, and helps out on that day when you're a little thin.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Top secret there boss

And the big brands killed local shops

Last edited by Ashton S; 07-04-2017 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Can't speak from the paintball side but from the retail industry a little insight. JC Penny's tried to do away with sales and discounts a few years back. They just changed their prices to reflect what would of been a sale price. The whole no gimmick what you see is what you pay. It bit them I the butt.

Customers went elsewhere and they lost 20% revenue the 1st year and almost 40 the next. Customers want a "sale" or discount. Don't ask me why. Hell I work for a big box store and it's funny. We comp shop or competitors. 9 times out of 10 their "sale" price in the flyers is the same as our every day price or even more, but on average we sell less of those products during their "sale" even when we are a few cents to dollars cheaper.

So even if it's bs a "sale" does increase traffic.
Just food for thought.
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Again taking from retail rewards programs are really sticky.

Since you might already be storing waiver information on the computer you can tie it in with that. If not you should be doing waiver information on the computer with the option to either opt in or out of promotions (that's how most fields around here do it).

Every 1000 paintballs and you get a bag of 100 on your next visit. The 5th rental is free, etc. Expires in 1 year and they get an email reminder.

Also flat out earning rewards dollars for every dollar spent at the field (entry, paint, other pro shop purchases) could help your pro shop compete with online retailers if you have an extensive pro shop.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Back in the day.... I always considered the group organizer to be the key. I offered a free pass for every 15 players (#16,#32,#48, etc ) and the group organizer could convert it into free paint or cash. It worked out to $3 per player (about 10%) the organizer could pocket or use to lower everyone's entry fee. The group organizer would collect the deposit I asked for and collect the remainder on game day making my job that much easier.

For gear owners a reward system seemed to work much better than a membership. Paying up front for a discount to be received later seemed a little much to me so I gave them a reward for loyalty. Every 5th day free, bring a buddy once free, entry into events discounted, etc. Loyalty soon became a non-issue. Gear owners came for the experience, not the price, but I'm sure it helped keep them.

One thing I never gave discounts on was paint. One low price fits all, gear owners could bring their own paint but mine was priced low enough and was always fresh so they didn't.
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