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If You Think 9-Ending Prices Are Low, Think Again

Author

Listed:
  • Avichai Snir

    () (Department of Banking and Finance, Netanya Academic College, Israel)

  • Daniel Levy

    () (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Department of Economics, Emory University, USA; Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis)

Abstract

9-ending prices are a dominant feature of many retail settings, which according to the existing literature, is because consumers perceive them as being relatively low. Are 9-ending prices really lower than comparable non 9-ending prices? Surprisingly, the empirical evidence on this question is scarce. We use 8 years of weekly scanner price data with over 98 million price observations to document four findings. First, at the category level, 9-ending prices are usually higher, on average, than non 9-ending prices. Second, at the product level, in most cases, 9-ending prices are, on average, higher than prices with other endings. Third, sale prices are more likely to be non-9 ending than the corresponding regular prices. Fourth, among sale prices, 9-ending prices are often lower, on average, than comparable non 9-ending prices. The first three findings imply that although consumers may associate 9-ending prices with low prices, the data indicates otherwise. The fourth finding offers a possible explanation for this misperception. Retailers may be using 9-ending prices to draw consumers' attention to particularly large price cuts during sales, which perhaps conditions the shoppers to associate 9-ending prices with low prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy, 2019. "If You Think 9-Ending Prices Are Low, Think Again," Working Paper series 19-14, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:19-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral Pricing; Psychological Prices; Price Perception; Image Effect; 9-Ending Prices; Price Points; Regular Prices; Sale Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • M30 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - General
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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