The only established distillery manufacturer that is completely open about its pricing is iStill. Other still manufacturers hide their prices and charge you according to what they think you can pay. This iStill Blog post dives into the reasons why we choose to be completely open about pricing, and the benefits this brings you.
Reasons to be open about pricing
I think openness is in our DNA. When we came to the market place, we did so with completely new and potentially disruptive distilling technology. Nobody knew us, nobody understood what the iStills did. Sharing information, experiences, innovations: it became second nature to help educate craft distillers while bringing our messages across.
The reason other still manufacturers were not open about pricing, probably had to do with the status-quo that existed up until around five, six years ago. The major manufacturers had the market divided between them. And since it was a growing market, where demand outperformed supply, this turned into a really nice business model for those still suppliers: a growing market and very high margins per unit of sales.
Upon entering the market, with our revolutionary iStill equipment, the industry standard of hidden pricing models felt outdated. Outdated and wrong. Outdated, because we live in a world that is connected, where people have access to information, to others instantly. Hiding prices in an era that’s all about transparency didn’t seem like a logical choice. And – apart from the rationale – it felt plainly wrong, because …
We strive to build partnerships, or at least relationships with our customers, and support the establishment of craft distilling network. Trust is essential for partnership, for relationship, and for networking. Imagine what a hidden price policy does to that? It destroys it. You don’t believe me? Just imagine you bought a 110k Mueller, and you now talk to a colleague … who informs you he paid only 95k for the same unit. You’d feel screwed. Trust comes on foot and leaves on horseback. Mistrust prevents the establishment of partnership and relationship and networking.
Consequences for craft distillers
The consequences of our open price policy are tremendous. It simply puts us (iStill) in a position of always having to try harder. We have to try harder to improve upon our technologies. We have to try harder on maintaining the lowest price points possible.
Why? Well, just look at it from our perspective. We bring stills to the market and we are the only one that is open about pricing. Now, imagine a competing still manufacturer, that is trying to reel in a customer, and he learns the customer also considers iStill. The competitor can now simply go to our website, design an iStill, and adjust his price to be lower than ours. That is: if he can get to our price level at all!
In plain English? Us being completely open about pricing, means our pricing has to be low. As low as possible, not to play into the cards of potential competitors.
Now, I can almost hear you think: “Buying an iStill is about so much more than price, isn’t it? It’s also about the advanced technology they offer and the great build quality …” And it is, but – when we started out – nobody knew about us, let alone about what we had to offer. But you are right: our open price policy does not just push us to sell iStills at the lowest possible price points, it also pushes us to keep on innovating. I guess that’s what simply happens when you have an open vs. a closed mindset: you create a culture of challenging everything, where innovation is a logical outcome.
And there is even more happening as a result of our open price policies! What? Well, the traditional suppliers have been forced to lower their prices significantly. iStill being more affordable and delivering top-notch technology has made us the thorn in the side of traditional manufacturers. And in order to try and deal with the kind of competition we now deliver, they have been forced to lower their prices to try and keep up.
A 20-plate, 600 liter (gross) Holstein sold for 180k like six years ago. Last I heard is that they now sell for closer to 110k. The summary? Even if you do not want to purchase iStill equipment, we helped make setting up your craft distillery a whole lot cheaper.
This is an invite to all still manufacturers: stop misbehaving and start complying! If people want to go out and buy a car, they can research pricing online. When you check out housing, purchase prices or monthly rents are available. When a craft distiller purchases an iStill, there is a design center with open pricing to help you out. So what’s holding other still manufacturers back? Please come out into the light, and leave the dark ages. As the craft distilling industry is maturing, it deserves an adult treatment.
iStill: at your service …