What Is Demand-Based Pricing, Why Do Companies Use It, Which Ones And How Does It Benefit Customers?

John M DaThoreau -

Demand-based pricing, also known as surge pricing or dynamic pricing, has become a prevalent strategy utilized by companies across various industries. This pricing approach involves adjusting prices based on the level of demand for products or services. While it may initially appear to benefit only companies seeking to maximize profits, demand-based pricing actually offers advantages for both businesses and consumers. In this article, we will explore what demand-based pricing entails, why companies use it, and how it ultimately benefits consumers.

Consider the demand for a ride share service during New Years Eve (shown below): demand for shipping boxes throughout the year follow a similar curve with demand reaching a peak right before holiday shipping demands. Prices follow demand and prices for cardboard, shipping and services tend to go up during this time as supply is spread thin. Purchasing your shipping boxes ahead of holiday spike ensures the price is the lowest and the lead time is the fastest availble. 

At CustomBoxes.io, our mission is to bring you the perfect packaging trifecta: incredible affordability (50-70% below market rates), top-tier quality products, and unbeatable speed. However, when it comes to maintaining the high quality of our products, there's a little challenge during the holiday rush. If everyone places orders at the same time, it could affect our product quality.

To ensure a smooth holiday season for everyone, we've been encouraging our customers to order in advance. Our goal is to make your experience as hassle-free as possible. But in the event that too many orders flood in simultaneously, we might make slight, temporary price adjustments. This is simply a way to encourage those who don't need their boxes urgently to wait a bit.

Rest assured, these adjustments are minimal and short-lived. By late December, everything will return to normal. Even during peak times, we remain committed to being the most cost-effective option (still guaranteed), delivering exceptional quality, and maintaining our reputation as one of the fastest in the industry. Your satisfaction is our priority, so please read below to get more context.

Part 1: Understanding Demand-Based Pricing

Demand-based pricing is a flexible pricing strategy that allows companies to adapt their prices in response to changing market conditions. Unlike fixed pricing models, which maintain a consistent price regardless of demand fluctuations, demand-based pricing takes into account the principle of supply and demand.

By employing demand-based pricing, companies can dynamically adjust prices to reflect the level of demand for their products or services. When demand is high, prices increase to encourage resource availability and balance supply and demand. Conversely, during periods of low demand, prices may decrease to stimulate consumer interest and boost sales.

Part 2: Benefits for Consumers

1. Availability of Services:
Demand-based pricing ensures that services are available when consumers need them the most. By increasing prices during periods of high demand, companies encourage a greater number of service providers to be available. Consequently, consumers have a higher chance of accessing the services they require, even during peak times or events.

2. Reduced Waiting Times:
Surge pricing incentivizes more service providers, such as drivers or delivery couriers, to be available during peak demand periods. The increased supply of providers results in reduced waiting times for consumers, enhancing convenience and overall satisfaction. Whether it's hailing a ride or receiving a food delivery, shorter wait times enhance the customer experience.

3. Price Transparency:
Demand-based pricing often comes with transparent and upfront pricing mechanisms. Consumers are typically informed about surge multipliers or increased prices before confirming their bookings or requesting services. This transparency empowers consumers to make informed decisions, plan their budgets accordingly, and maintain trust in the pricing practices of the company.

4. Improved Service Quality:
Surge pricing can incentivize service providers to maintain higher standards during periods of peak demand. Providers are motivated to offer better service as they can earn higher income during surge periods. This can result in improved customer service, faster response times, and an overall enhanced experience for consumers.

Part 3: What Type of Companies Use Demand-Based Pricing?

There are various types of companies that you are already familiar with that use demand-based pricing to balance out supply and demand - especially when they involve services:

1. Transportation Network Companies (TNCs): Uber and Lyft are well-known examples of TNCs that implement surge pricing. During times of high demand, such as rush hour or special events, prices can increase to incentivize more drivers to be available.

2. Ride-Sharing and Car Rental Services: Other ride-sharing services and car rental companies may also employ surge pricing during peak times or when demand exceeds supply. This helps to balance supply and demand, ensuring that vehicles are available when needed.

3. Airlines and Travel Websites: Airlines, as well as travel websites and booking platforms, may adopt surge pricing for flights and hotel accommodations. Prices may fluctuate based on factors like the time of year, availability, and demand for particular destinations.

4. Event Ticketing Platforms: Ticketing platforms for concerts, sports events, and other live entertainment often use dynamic pricing. Prices can vary depending on factors like demand, seat location, and the proximity to the event date.

5. Accommodation Booking Platforms: Online platforms like Airbnb and hotel booking websites may utilize surge pricing during popular travel periods or when demand exceeds available accommodations. Prices may increase to encourage hosts or hotels to make their listings available.

6. Food Delivery Services: Some food delivery platforms, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub, implement surge pricing during busy periods or when there are fewer drivers available. This encourages more delivery drivers to join the network and meet the increased demand.

7. Custom Products: companies that customize products for customers like tshirts, memorabilia, home decor, drinkware and of course custom shipping boxes are using value-added services on top of buying their products.

Part 4: Why Companies Use Demand-Based Pricing

1. Supply and Demand Balancing:
One of the primary reasons companies adopt demand-based pricing is to effectively manage the delicate balance between supply and demand. By increasing prices during peak demand periods, companies can incentivize additional supply to meet the heightened consumer demand. This ensures that services remain accessible and minimizes the risk of unavailability or long waiting times, enhancing customer satisfaction.

3. Operational Efficiency:
Demand-based pricing facilitates operational efficiency by aligning available resources with demand patterns. When demand surpasses supply, surge pricing motivates more service providers to enter the market, effectively meeting the increased demand. This ensures that companies operate at an optimal capacity, minimizing inefficiencies and maximizing resource utilization.


Demand-based pricing, although initially perceived as favoring companies, provides numerous benefits for both businesses and consumers. By dynamically adjusting prices to align with demand levels, companies effectively balance supply and demand, optimize revenue, and operate more efficiently. Simultaneously, consumers benefit from increased service availability, reduced waiting times. This is why we at CustomBoxes.io use surge pricing on our services (upgrades) in order to help balance out our operations to give our customers the most affordable and best service regardless of the time of year.