What is your definition of "gouging"?

Similar to the question of what defines a low baller. What is your definition of gouging? What is the difference between someone you can admire for commanding a higher price, and someone who is just being greedy?

I’ll never forget the words of the Luxottica Group’s (Oakley, Prada, Ray Ban, etc) president, when asked if those glasses were worth the high price tags they carry. His response was that “They are worth whatever people are willing to pay.”

one person’s gouging is another person’s money well spent

good marketing, good value, happy customer is never gouging they know exactly what they are paying for

it’s all subjective

find your tribe as Seth Godin says


I don’t think you’re “gouging” if your prices are high as long as you are doing a better job than the cheap guys. And from the little bit of experience I have clean glass isn’t the only service you’re selling. Its also the experience your custome has while you’re there. I don’t think you can really “gouge” a service though. If you do bad work for high prices then your just ripping people off. I always saw gouging as more of a spike in price of a product(not so much services) with little or no reason. Like gas stations near airports.

I just paid $600 more than needed to have my roof repaired but I liked the work the guy did so it was money well spent in my eyes. Just make your customers feel the same way if you want to charge more.

I will be honest with you…

IMO gouging is when you charge at least double your usual rate for a job you really don’t want to do during busy season, or anytime for that matter.

I just did this to a potential residential customer. I have no guilty feelings about it because I know my work is first class. Even if they book me and pay up the extra (whether they know it or not) they will get a guaranteed great job done.

Anyway, I guess gouging to me is charging at least double what you normally charge for whatever reason.

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Charging more than a service or product is worth simply because you can

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This is a good thread.

Right. A gutter cleaning call, the day after a heavy rain in June…
is not the same as a November “no hurry/wait until the leaves fall” inquiry.

  • I’m swamped
  • Your worried
  • I’ll make room
  • You’re relieved
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Gouging to me is adding on unspoken of costs. “The job is finished Mrs Jones and by the way the cost will be 500 instead of the 400 we talked about”. Now if we had talked before hand and she agreed to it, then that’s a different story. I do not think that charging the most I can for a job is gouging. Customers can always call someone else if the price is too high. Gouging to me is also when someone has to have something like health care, food, housing and the prices are jacked up because they know people have to have it. No one needs window cleaning or Prada or Ray Bans.


I’m not talking the same as a gas station overcharging during a power outage…
I’m talking ‘changing my schedule’ to get your mess straightened out.

In that case… .“F- you, pay me”


I’m glad you mentioned this. How exactly DO we determine the worth of a product or service?

For tangible goods, there is the cost of materials and the time it takes to manufacture. A hand carved chess set made from exotic wood is obviously going to cost more than a set made of injection-molded plastic. Paradoxically, the tools for wood carving may be relatively inexpensive when compared with costly plastic molding machinery. Both wood and plastic sets are functionally identical, with neither one actually ‘outperforming’ the other except where aesthetics are concerned. The customer buying a carved wood set is willing to pay a higher price because that set makes him FEEL BETTER, and because he appreciatively values the years of experience showcased in the wood carver’s work.

So then, is the worth of a service defined solely by the time it takes and the overhead involved? Or can the worth involve how your service makes a customer FEEL when they hire you?

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But what is a job worth? This is very subjective, like what is a car worth? Or a burger? Who decides?.

I ask because if WE decide the guy charging 2X what WE charge is “gouging”, isn’t a Bucket Bob who charges half of what we charge free to call US a “gouger” too?

The reality is that the customer decides. If we charge him 2X what someone else thinks is the “right” price but he makes that decision with full information and is thrilled with the service he received, what wrong was done? None at all.


If you need to get rid of a body in the middle of the night, you’ll pay a premium - that’s not gouging. People pay whatever is required to do the job right and on schedule.

Gouging is what a government does.

Steal $100 and you’re a thief. Steal 10,000,000,000,000 and you’re a government.


I got this buddy that resembles that remark.



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Wow, this topic.

If you give someone a price and they hire you to do the job it isn’t price gouging. This is window and gutter cleaning, there is no emergency need to have the work done.

If your basement is flooding from a burst pipe and a plumber says they need $1,000 to shut it off, that is price gouging. If you broke down in the middle of the desert and a tow truck pulls up saying it costs $1,000 when it should be $300, that is price gouging.

If a lady calls you saying she needs windows done for a party tomorrow, that is poor planning and I’m not going to have someone work an extra 3-4 hours at the end of the day for the normal rate. If your gutters are overflowing with 1’ high plants that was your own negligence.

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Gouging is what the petroleum refineries, distributors, and gas stations are about to do because it’s a holiday weekend.

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I’m not going to defend big oil, but how come nobody complains about the % of the price that goes to taxes?

On top of the distribution, marketing, crude cost and refinery cost and profits you’ve also got:

State storage fees
State and local tax
State excise tax
Federal excise tax…

The taxes pretty much equal the amount of the refining cost.

easy definition
Health Insurance

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