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Pricing Strategies in Advance Selling: Should a Retailer Offer Pre-order Price Guarantee?

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    Abstract

    Advance selling is a marketing strategy by a firm that allows consumers to submit pre-orders for a new to-be-released product. It helps the firm to reduce uncertainty about future demand and consumers to avoid stock-out risks. At the same time, consumers might be reluctant to place advance orders if they are uncertain about their valuations for the product or when they expect future price cuts. To induce early purchases, the firm may offer pre-order price guarantee. This paper examines the firm's profit-maximizing strategy in a two-period setting characterized by market size uncertainty, consumer valuation uncertainty, and consumer experience/inexperience with the product. I show that when consumers are less heterogeneous in their valuations, the firm should implement advance selling and offer pre-order price guarantee. For some parameter configurations pre-order price guarantee acts as a commitment device not to decrease the price in the regular selling season. In other situations, it enables the firm to react to the information obtained from pre-orders by increasing or decreasing the price. When consumers are more heterogeneous in their valuations and the market size uncertainty is small, or the fraction of experienced consumers in the population is high, the firm should not implement advance selling.

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    File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2013/WP1303_loginova.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1303.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 15 Mar 2013
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Economic Modelling (2013)
    Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1303

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    Related research

    Keywords: advance selling; price guarantee; price commitment; the Newsvendor Problem; demand uncertainty; experienced consumers; inexperienced consumers;

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    1. Oksana Loginova & X. Henry Wang & Chenhang Zeng, 2012. "Learning in Advance Selling with Heterogeneous Consumers," Working Papers 12-08, NET Institute, revised Sep 2012.
    2. Nocke, Volker & Peitz, Martin & Rosar, Frank, 2011. "Advance-purchase discounts as a price discrimination device," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 141-162, January.
    3. Chenhang Zeng, 2013. "Optimal Advance Selling Strategy under Price Commitment," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 233-258, 05.
    4. Cuihong Li & Fuqiang Zhang, 2013. "Advance Demand Information, Price Discrimination, and Preorder Strategies," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 15(1), pages 57-71, September.
    5. Jinhong Xie & Steven M. Shugan, 2001. "Electronic Tickets, Smart Cards, and Online Prepayments: When and How to Advance Sell," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 219-243, June.
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