Perceived value is one of the most important concepts in selling. To be able to sell anything, you have to be able to convince your customer that the item is worth what you are selling it for. In fact, the best salespeople make their customers believe the product is worth more than what they are paying for it. This is particularly important in online business. It isn’t always easy to add perceived value to your products, but it is key to selling goods for more than you buy them for and especially important in being able to sell information products.

One of the best things you can do to add value to your products is through your product descriptions. Descriptions are your chance to sell the product, they are almost a test of your ability to convince your customer to buy the item. You have to create interest. A good way to get your head around perceived value is to imagine any item in a car-boot sale. Pretty much everything you see, you’d value at only a few pounds. That’s because of our perception of car-boot sales. But if these items were in an online store with a selling description and a few photos, you will see a higher price and think it is fair. Many people actually make a lot of money from literally reselling car-boot goods. We can take advantage of this psychological trick.

For selling descriptions, perfect English is a must. A customer needs to be absolutely convinced. Always spellcheck, and check again. Get family or friends to check your writing if you’re unsure, they will spot your errors far more easily. If English isn’t your first language be particularly careful – time after time I see sales pitches full of grammatical errors – nobody is going to buy from you if you can’t string a sentence together! A lot of foreign suppliers tend to throw everything at the wall until something sticks in this regard, but they get sales due to their cheap pricing.


This title is definitely overkill. But its cheap, so it sells.

This title is definitely overkill. But it’s cheap, so it sells.

In a sense, this is how any E-commerce works. You buy a product cheap and then pimp it out with a good description which allows you to sell for more than you paid.

Let’s look at an example to emphasize my point here. In our example, we will use a doorstop that costs $1.50.


Wooden door stop, holds doors of all shapes and sizes.

Our wooden door stop holds doors of all shapes and sizes. It is durable with a smooth finish.


Our simplistic oak door stopper is a hand-crafted single piece designed to fit almost any door. Our high quality craftmanship ensures a long-lasting smooth finish.

Our simplistic oak door stopper is a hand-crafted single piece designed to fit all doors. The high-quality craftsmanship ensures a long-lasting smooth finish.

Which description sells better? Of course, it’s the second one. This doesn’t mean the first one is unsellable, but it certainly makes our life harder. The 2nd description adds value to the product because it subconsciously changes how the customer sees the product. because the customer perceives that it is worth more. If your descriptions are perfect you’ll manage to sell more and at a higher price.

Let’s break it down. The 2nd description emphasizes the quality of manufacturing. This makes the reader think the doorstop has some kind of special manufacturing technique making it better than others. The use of Simplistic attributes a style to the door stop, we are turning a weakness into a strength. Using these techniques we can sell our product for more. Our $1 doorstop is now worth $4.99. There is such a thing as overkill, your descriptions need to be both concise and information-heavy -this can be a difficult mix but you will improve your descriptions with practice. If you over-write then your customers are going to assume you’re just saying anything to get them to buy it.


“But I don’t sell doorstops”
If you can do this with a blank chunk of wood, you can do it with any manner of consumer goods.

A great place to find products with a high perceived value and low price is Etsy. Etsy is full of handmade items that look to be worth a lot more than they are sold for. The sorts of items on Etsy usually sell for much more on Amazon or eBay. In other words, it is a great example of bad business. Time after time I see items that would sell for more if the shop only wrote a bit more and charged more. It’s a great place to practice adding value through descriptions. This also means Etsy can be used for a small-scale dropshipping business if you’re smart about it. If you want to learn how to set up a successful dropshipping company, check out our guide.


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