4 things HP can do to keep Touchpad sales fair

Posted in Businesson Aug 24, 2011

HP is promising to sell more of their discontinued Touchpads at $100 and $150, depending on the model.  Since demand for these discounted devices is high, HP is likely to sell out no matter how many they make available.  So this is no longer about trying to make as much money as possible by selling as many devices as possible–it is now about generating a good relationship with their customers and potential customers.

There is one underlying principle which HP needs to remember: keep it fair.  To that end, here are four things HP can do to keep it fair:

  1. Limit the number of devices sold per customer.  Someone who just wanted one to use at home will feel cheated if someone else bought many just to sell on eBay for a profit.
  2. Explain the rules.  Let people know before hand what is going to happen.  If there is a limit per customer, say that before hand.  If you are going to wait until Touchpads are actually on sale again before sending out notification emails, say that before hand. If you aren’t going to allow coupons to be used, say that before hand.  If you expect your servers to get hammered to death such that only a few frequent refreshers will get through, say that before hand.
  3. Knowing something isn’t going to happen is almost as important as knowing something will happen.  Knowing that Touchpads aren’t going to be sold, or knowing that Touchpads aren’t going to be shipped to any stores is better information than nothing.
  4. Share information with everyone.  If you are shipping Touchpads to Best Buy, tell the whole world, so that more people than just the Best Buy employees will have a chance to get one.  If you know a general number of Touchpads that will be sold, post it on the main Touchpad FAQ, so that more people than just Twitter users get the full picture.  (Or at least tell everyone who to follow on Twitter).

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