Should I give my friends discounts?

I have started my own business selling jewellery. Should I give my friends discounts, or is that just foolish business?
I have a small group of friends who are all keen to buy and I feel guilty if I don’t offer them a discounted price! But they’re also my only customers at the moment so I do need the profit.

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23 Responses to “Should I give my friends discounts?”

  1. retox says:

    I have a handbag and jewellery business and I find the subject of discounts very difficult. My house is full of stock and my friends come around picking out things expecting to get them for cost price – it’s puts me in a very difficult position and I have literally given things away. At the end of the day, you are in business to make money and I have had to toughen up otherwise, what is the point. I would say offer them a small discount say, 10% for close friends only. I have one particular friend who I will let have things for cost price only because she is a brilliant sales woman and has sold so many of my items for me to her friends but will never take anything in return so I say to her, choose something you like and have it for nothing.

  2. Sam says:

    Don’t give them discounts until you’re established. When you start off, many of your first customers will be those friends, and not only should you be concerned only with the business’s survival, they’ll appreciate that you can’t do them favours and will respect you for it. There’s no advantage to giving them a discount at all!

  3. yvette says:

    No. You will end up with more friends than you knew about. It is just good business sense to not do that. If you want to give your friends gifts occasionally, that’s different.

  4. babysitter101 says:

    I think to get your business started you can, but very little like 10% or something. Then after you are selling regulary, you could talk to them about kicking the discount. Good Luck!!

  5. Kelly M says:

    depends how many friends you have and how big of a discount!

    if its 10% and you have two close friends thats ok,

  6. gavmel259 says:

    If they were good friends, they would support your business.

    So no there is no need to give them discounts.

  7. bajachick says:

    just ask yourself would they do that for me then deside

  8. Dan T says:

    yes so they will keep coming back to you and in the long run you will make a lot more money that way

  9. mz.h0llyw00d23 says:


  10. Shambles says:

    Maybe for a short while to get them interested as a sort of promotional offer but then you should charge full price. Even though they are you friends you have to make profit and I’m sure they will understand that.

  11. dangykickr says:

    I would be hesitant in providing discounts to friends. Starting your own business is tough enough and statistics prove that it usually takes new start up businesses 2-3 years before they become profitable…I think at first, you’ll need to get all the income you can to sustain…

  12. chazzyb13 says:

    if you give them discounts
    they’ll want to buy more cos they’ll be thinking theyre getting a good deal.
    plus it’s advertisement too.. like when ur friends are out or at parties and stuff and people ask where they got their jewelry from.

  13. gemba253 says:

    I’d wait until your business is more established first and give them discount when you can afford to do it.

  14. ALFimzadi says:

    well, you can always offer a "first time customer" discount, or give your friends a "repeat customer" discount after they make their first purchase. If you own the business, you are still going to make a profit unless your prices are so ridicoulously low that you are barely breaking even. Plus, the more friends you get to buy from you, the more good word of mouth business you get.

  15. M says:

    That could indeed end up being ‘just foolish business’. Maybe you could make a compromise. Offer discounts when friends want to buy for special occasions…leaving do’s, anniversaries, birthdays, etc!

  16. shivorny says:

    I think its a better idea than anybody even realises, if all your friends buy some because its cheap, they’ll be impressed show their friends and family, and their friends and family will show their friends and family, and their friends and family will show their friends and family, infact when they buy them tell them you’ll only give them discount if they promise to show them around help you promote it, only do that with a few people that your trust though, not with everybody. More money for you in the long run. Whereas if you charge full price………….. they may think you’re snooty and wont recommend you. Its all about gaining contacts in the early stages, not profit

  17. lady luck says:

    erm, not foolish exactly but not sound business sense. before you know it, you will find that friends are buying for their friends and eventually you will have to decide,……business = money or business = friends, becuase as soon as you say no to a friend who is taking the mick, you may loose a few selfish friends. some are bound to take advantage.
    good luck hope it all works out x

    edit: tell them its at a discounted price, but charge what you would to anyone else, then when you are up and running put your prices up slightly!

  18. MsBurgundy says:

    You can give discounts to whoever you want. It’s YOUR business. Just remember that the goal of a business is to make a profit, so decide how much (or how little) profit you want/expect to make. Be sure that you cover your own costs too – you don’t want to LOSE money.

  19. BlondieGirl15 says:

    Its really up to you but its depending on how much of your business is going to be your friends i would say. If its a lot then probably not but if its only a few then id would prob be cool. Or maybe you could just give them a small discount.

  20. Angelica says:

    i don’t think u should at the moment. wait until u’ve established a business and let them know that u cant give them discounts now but later when Ur business is rolling cash then talk discounts. right now u need everything u can get. now if Ur selling to a group say for example, someone u know is getting married offer to make the jewelery and give them a discount. with all that done u can advertise like that.
    Good Luck!

  21. kaja says:

    Yes they are a walking advertisement! I definitely would!!!! I would not sell at cost though so you would still make a small profit while advertising your merchandise

  22. bluebell says:

    I only give a small discount for 2nd and subsequent purchase in the same transaction, or as long as all transactions are on the same day, for the same customer, all to be paid for at the same time.

  23. helloeveryone says:

    hello – heres what i do – i charge my friends (and all clients) full price. However, for every referral they send me who mentions their name (and i am ALWAYS sure to ask if someone referred them) I give the referrer 8% of whatever the new client spent (once they have paid in full). this works well, encourages people to send referalls my way, pays them back, but ensures I still charge one price to all so noone feels "gyped". I have found this to be fair, impartial and for some of my friends very lucrative as they have more than paid for my product in referrals.

    Good luck!

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