The Optimal Marketing Mix of Posted Prices, Discounts and Bargaining
In many markets firms set posted prices which are potentially negotiable. We analyze the optimal marketing mix of pricing and bargaining when price takers buy at posted prices but bargainers attempt to negotiate discounts. The optimal bargaining strategy involves the firms offering bargainers randomly-sized discounts. Competing firms keep posted prices high to weaken the bargainers' outside option, thus forgoing the chance to increase profits from price takers by undercutting their rival. A range of posted price equilibria are possible, and the higher price in the range inrceases when the proportion of bargainers goes up or the bargainers become less skilled. We consider how firms and competition authorities might encourage more consumers to bargain and determine the conditions under which each would choose to do so. Finally, we study the firms' strategic decision about how much bargaining discretion sales staff should be allowed. Both firms allowing full bargaining flexibility is always an equilibrium - but not always the most profitable one. If there are enough bargainers, both firms committing to only matching the rival's posted price is also an equilibrium: price matching moderates competition, thus raising profits.
|Date of creation:||01 Feb 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ|
Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Camera, Gabriele & Selcuk, Cemil, 2004.
"Price Dispersion with Directed Search,"
Purdue University Economics Working Papers
1173, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Zhiqi Chen, 1993.
"How Low is a Garanteed-Lowest-Price?,"
Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU)
93-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
- Wang, Ruqu, 1995. "Bargaining versus posted-price selling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1747-1764, December.
- Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
- Gill, David & Thanassoulis, John, 2009. "The impact of bargaining on markets with price takers: Too many bargainers spoil the broth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 658-674, August.
- Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett H., 2003. "Bargaining versus posted price competition in customer markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 223-251, February.
- Arnold, Michael A & Lippman, Steven A, 1998. "Posted Prices versus Bargaining in Markets with Asymmetric Information," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 450-57, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:479. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Birds)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.