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Do consumers prefer round prices? Evidence from pay-what-you-want decisions and self-pumped gasoline purchases


  • Lynn, Michael
  • Flynn, Sean Masaki
  • Helion, Chelsea


Consumers selected round prices and/or sales-totals at greater than chance levels across two different pay-what-you-want situations and one self-pumped gasoline purchase. The differences among these situations suggest that the tendency to select round prices/sales-totals reflects a subjective preference (or liking) for round prices and not a variety of other potential explanatory processes. Discussion focuses on possible economic consequences of this revealed preference for round prices as well as directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Lynn, Michael & Flynn, Sean Masaki & Helion, Chelsea, 2013. "Do consumers prefer round prices? Evidence from pay-what-you-want decisions and self-pumped gasoline purchases," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 96-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:96-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2013.01.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark Stiving, 2000. "Price-Endings When Prices Signal Quality," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1617-1629, December.
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    8. Lynn, Michael & Jabbour, Patrick & Kim, Woo Gon, 2012. "Who uses tips as a reward for service and when? An examination of potential moderators of the service–tipping relationship," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-103.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kunter Gunasti & Timucin Ozcan, 2019. "The role of scale-induced round numbers and goal specificity on goal accomplishment perceptions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 207-217, June.
    2. Bayer, Ya'akov M. & Ruffle, Bradley J. & Shtudiner, Zeev & Zultan, Ro'i, 2018. "Costly superstitious beliefs: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 30-43.
    3. Jeong, Ji Youn & Crompton, John L., 2017. "The use of odd-ending numbers in the pricing of five tourism services in three different cultures," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 135-146.
    4. Andreas Kramer, 2016. "Using Experimental Survey Designs to Support Pricing Decisions," Business and Management Horizons, Macrothink Institute, vol. 4(1), pages 22-38, June.
    5. Anna Kukla-Gryz & Katarzyna Zagórska, 2017. "The strength of the anchoring effect on Pay What You Want payments: Evidence from a vignette experiment," Working Papers 2017-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    6. ChihChien Chen & YangSu Chen, 2017. "The impacts of different types of cuisines and restaurants on gratuities," Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 16(2), pages 154-173, April.
    7. Hackl, Franz & Kummer, Michael E. & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2014. "99 Cent: Price points in e-commerce," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 12-27.
    8. Nicole Koschate-Fischer & Katharina Wüllner, 2017. "New developments in behavioral pricing research," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 87(6), pages 809-875, August.
    9. Fay, Scott & Lee, Seung Hwan (Shawn), 2015. "The role of customer expectations in name-your-own-price markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 675-683.

    More about this item


    Consumer preference; Pricing; Round numbers;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


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