Over the past 48 hours or so there has been some great and fevered debate about the prices we should be selling our windows and doors at. This is brilliant, as price is one of the main, if not the main debating point for us all.

Mike Bygrave on Glasstalk brought up the idea of a fair price guide. Bodies like the GGF or FENSA could publish guidelines indicating what items should cost. For example a door ranging between £500-£1500. The advantages from a customer point of view is that they get to use the guideline to help plan their budgets, and they get to avoid the silly tactics of the nationals when they start off at astronomical prices only to come back down again. That’s from the customer view point.

There are some problems that installers would have to overcome. One obvious one is differentiation. If a customer sees this guideline, they will be thinking they can get themselves a £1500 quality door for £500, when we know that isn’t the case. This would make it harder for those selling at the higher end of the price range to justify their prices. For this reason implementing this sort of thing would probably be strongly fought against by most small to medium businesses, maybe most of us…but not the nationals, they are a law unto themselves!

In times of hardship prices are scrutinised terribly. I don’t think we would be talking about price if the years were 2003-2006, they seemed to be the best years most recently. Plenty of leads, plenty of people willing to spend money left right and centre, no recession. Pricing debates probably wouldn’t even be thought of, even though there was no Glasstalk back then!

Price guidelines are a good idea, but unimplementable. The best thing for everyone to do is to choose your product, choose your margins, and price based on your costs and quality of product. Simple as that.