Best Practices for Optimal Car Wash Pricing

Jul 14, 2017 at 3:13 PM

AdobeStock_28401492[4]-649106-edited.jpegThink about it – when was the last time you changed your car wash package pricing? If you would like to increase your car wash revenue, one of the easiest ways to do it is by increasing the average amount a customer spends per visit. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, and a great place to start is to evaluate your pricing. By using these car wash pricing best practices, you can make sure that your pricing isn’t holding your customers back from choosing the best wash you offer.

1. Don’t offer too many packages.

A menu with more than four package choices creates decision fatigue for your customers. If you need to eliminate one of your package offerings, you should consider your package take rates. Most often, the lowest take rate will be in the “middle washes” where value can be confusing. When eliminating a middle wash package, most customers will take the “new middle” package, and very few will choose a lower offering. If you can, stick to three package offerings on your menu – the average ticket for three packages will net better results than four packages, typically by 5% or more.

2. Typically, customers prefer even-priced packages.

Consumer psychology studies suggest that buyers prefer even price points. Use this as an opportunity to easily move odd price points to a higher and even price point. Likewise, if you’d like to discourage customers from selecting a certain package (for example, a lower-value basic wash), you might want to keep that wash at an odd price point.

3. Avoid the $13 price point.

This one is pretty self-explanatory – most people have an aversion to the number 13. In fact, a lot of hotels don’t have a 13th floor! It’s best to steer clear of a $13 price point. (Unless, of course, you’re offering a Halloween special!)

4. Keep an eye on benchmark price points.

In today’s economy, $15 and $20 are considered “benchmark” price points on menu packages. This means that pricing $1 below still means your customers will think of your pricing as the “rounded dollar”. For example, a $14 top price point will be mentally similar to the consumer as $15.

5. Properly convey the value of your wash.

When selecting a price point for your wash package, it is crucial that the price point reflects the customer’s perceived value of that package. One way to boost perceived package value is to carefully choose your package names. Try descriptive package names that indicate the benefit of each offering instead of ambiguous terms like “premium” or “deluxe”. So, if you’re offering a package featuring Armor All® Professional Extreme Shine Wax and Rain-X®, try calling it the “Shine and Protect” package. Also, it’s best to avoid non-consumer industry terms like “presoak” and “rocket blaster”.


For more information on car wash pricing, marketing, and more, download Boost Your Revenue Today: The Essential Guide to Making More Money at Your Wash:

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