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 Post subject: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1459
Well here we go, a little early for the summer tourist season. Some folks will be staying closer to home for vacation, that may not have too much effect on tourist railroad attendance, but there is likely to be an impact on volunteers who have to travel longer distances. This report is kind of amusing, the reporter gets carried away with the ten cent increase that happens while she is talking:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/20 ... broadcast/

PC

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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1881
Previous gas crises and price hikes have not impacted our attendance. What has happened since 2008 is a big drop in museum shop sales. Where we used to average $1-$2 shop sales per paid fare we are not seeing anywhere near that average now.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1484
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
The increase in gas prices has caused me to cut back my volunteer trips to the Shore Line Trolley museum.


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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
If you visit gasbuddy.com, you may view historical charts on gasoline prices.

Gas prices remain below their peak of the summer of 2008. They also remain below their peak of last spring.

Current price increase is a function of rising foreign demand for gasoline. The United States is currently a net exporter of refined gasoline.

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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 700
Location: Philadelphia Pa
wesp wrote:
Previous gas crises and price hikes have not impacted our attendance. What has happened since 2008 is a big drop in museum shop sales. Where we used to average $1-$2 shop sales per paid fare we are not seeing anywhere near that average now.

Wesley


I think this has been a trend everywhere..and I'd be willing to bet its based on the current trend for online shopping. Why buy that Thomas the Tank Engine book for little Johnny at the ABC Railroad's Gift Shop, for $7, when I know I can buy it online for $3 less?

Pricing, in some of the gift shops I have been in, is beyond ridiculous. Shops are often managed by people only taught numbers (ie; marking up 3x's over your actual cost), not common sense. Today's marketing cannot be based solely on the notion of "what the market will bear"...it's been and continues to be proven, that, you have to rethink costs to you verses the cost to your customers. I've also seen gift shops that sell pure JUNK...quality is key. Cute is nice, but is that cute thing going to last for the amount of money your customer is paying?

For a non profit volunteer organization, you can't mark up as if you are paying your staff and their health benefits. You'll turn a greater profit and turnover in the long run(often, I have seen DUST on products in Gift Shops - NOT A GOOD SELLING POINT) by lowering your consumer costs. If you're not paying your staff and are just looking for additional STEADY income, why charge so much?

As a person who SOLD products (and had a paid staff), I found I'd make greater sales when my prices were lower and more people were buying...more that people see things being sold frequently, the more temptation there is to buy. I could have jacked up my prices to triple my profit per item sold, but by going just %150-175 over costs, I was able to turn a larger profit in the long run, just by the perception of a selling "good thing". Shopping around to various vendors made a huge difference too and bargaining with vendors. Lowering your cost and not being greedy is great if you want to see $$$ come in. I learned to never skimp on the quality of what I sold either. When you skimp, you only burn yourself.

Stay-cations will be the prime family event this year. Mark my words, the ones who manage their costs to themselves and their customers, will do the best in terms of numbers all around this year.


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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:09 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:32 pm
Posts: 114
Online shopping has changed the game for giftshops. People are used to being able to get a deal on almost everything, and programs like Groupon and Living Social have reinforced that. One thing that my railroad plans to do much more this season is have merchandise that you can only get at our railroad. Pins, patches, glassware and other specialized items. Also, our policy is that we should be priced for everyone to be able to get something from the giftshop. Our lowest priced items cost only a quarter, while higher end is in the hundreds of dollars. Families are our bread and butter, so we cater to them and try and stay affordable. The railroad is somewhat out of the way, so it has to be worth the drive.

Taylor Rush, SVRR


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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:20 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1821
"Lowering your cost and not being greedy is great if you want to see $$$ come in."



But if you want to see $$$ come in, aren't you by definition "greedy"?


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 Post subject: Re: OT - Gas Price effect on visitors and volunteers
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 700
Location: Philadelphia Pa
superheater wrote:
"Lowering your cost and not being greedy is great if you want to see $$$ come in."



But if you want to see $$$ come in, aren't you by definition "greedy"?


No, that would have been 5 "$" signs. 3 is moderate income to help keep museum x above water.


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