Promotional Bundles and Consumers' Price Judgments: When the Best Things in Life Are Not Free
A series of experiments examined the amount that consumers were willing to pay for products bundled together in a promotion. Describing one of the disparate products in the bundle as "free" decreased the price consumers were willing to pay for each product when sold individually. However, a "freebie" offer did not influence the overall price for the bundle of disparate products, a finding robust across two different settings and populations. The differential effect of freebies is explained by varying judgment difficulty, with the price being easier to arrive at for just a single product than for the combination. Consistent with this explanation, factors that influence judgment difficulty (the salience of the company's motive for offering the freebie and time pressure to make a judgment) moderated the effects of a free offer on the amount consumers were willing to pay. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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