You`re right in thinking that a discount could (and likely will) devalue your product. I however, disagree with raising the price for a sale (if that`s what he was trying to convey). You do need to have a price structure such that you can afford to do promotions though (which is probably what he meant).
I have always subscribed to the philosophy that it`s more effective in the long run to give something away for free than to discount your product. For example, you could email your mailing list and tell your customers that you will be giving away a free purse. Tell them to fill out a form on the website to enter, and then add the purses they like to their wishlist. On a certain date, you will draw a name (or 3 names) and the winner will win a purse from their wishlist. This will get people going to the site, browsing your products, adding themselves to your mailing list, and giving you permission to contact them again (with the results). It will also cost much less (for a couple of purses) than to discount all purses purchased.
Also, you could give them another entry if they tell a friend about the contest.
Finally, when you draw the winners, you can email your list again and tell them who won, what they got, and suggest that if they purchase one of the purses on their list now (using a coupon-code), they can get free shipping.
I have been using the above type of marketing in my business and it has worked well to create demand. What do you think?
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