IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ste/nystbu/11-18.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Exploding Offers and Buy-Now Discounts

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Armstrong
  • Jidong Zhou

Abstract

We consider a market with sequential consumer search in which firms can distinguish potential customers visiting for the first time from returning visitors. We show that firms often have an incentive to make it costly for its visitors to return after investigating rivals, either by making an "exploding offer" (which permits no return once the consumer leaves) or by offering a "buy-now discount" (which makes the price paid by first-time visitors lower than that for returning visitors). Prices often increase when return costs are artificially increased in this manner, and this harms consumers and market performance. If firms cannot commit to their buy-later price the outcome depends on whether there is an intrinsic cost of returning to a firm: if the intrinsic return cost is zero, it is often an equilibrium for firms not to offer any buy-now discount; if the return cost is positive, firms are forced to make exploding offers.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Armstrong & Jidong Zhou, 2011. "Exploding Offers and Buy-Now Discounts," Working Papers 11-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:11-18
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://web-docs.stern.nyu.edu/old_web/economics/docs/workingpapers/2011/Zhou-searchistory,%20June2011.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Armstrong, Mark & Zhou, Jidong, 2010. "Conditioning prices on search behaviour," MPRA Paper 19985, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2004. "Market Culture: How Norms Governing Exploding Offers Affect Market Performance," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000018, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
    4. Stanley Reynolds & John Wooders, 2009. "Auctions with a buy price," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 9-39.
    5. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009. "Prominence and consumer search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 209-233.
    6. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 2000. "Customer Poaching and Brand Switching," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 634-657.
    7. Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511.
    8. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1992. "Search Equilibrium with Endogenous Recall," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 184-202, Summer.
    9. Armstrong, Mark & Zhou, Jidong, 2010. "Exploding offers and buy-now discounts," MPRA Paper 22531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, product diversity, and search costs: a Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond model," Virginia Economics Online Papers 335, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    11. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 2010. "Competitive Non-linear Pricing and Bundling," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 30-60.
    12. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-327, May.
    13. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Conditioning Prices on Purchase History," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 367-381, May.
    14. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey: Part I," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(2), pages 155-189, June.
    15. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Market Culture: How Rules Governing Exploding Offers Affect Market Performance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 199-219, August.
    16. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2009. "Comparative advertising: disclosing horizontal match information," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 558-581.
    17. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
    18. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    19. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
    20. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-368, September.
    21. Oliver D. Hart & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 509-540.
    22. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12478 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2010. "Persuasion and empathy in salesperson-customer interactions," NBER Working Papers 15975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Babur De los Santos, 2008. "Consumer Search on the Internet," Working Papers 08-15, NET Institute, revised Sep 2008.
    25. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    26. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "A search cost model of obfuscation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 417-441, September.
    27. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Choné & Romain De Nijs & Lionel Wilner, 2012. "Intertemporal Pricing with Unobserved Consumer Arrival Times," Working Papers 2012-23, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    2. Armstrong, Mark & Zhou, Jidong, 2010. "Exploding offers and buy-now discounts," MPRA Paper 22531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Maarten Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2014. "Consumer search markets with costly revisits," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 481-514, February.
    4. Fernando Branco & Monic Sun & J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2012. "Optimal Search for Product Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(11), pages 2037-2056, November.
    5. Zhou, Jidong, 2011. "Multiproduct search," MPRA Paper 37139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Robert Sugden & Mengjie Wang & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "Take it or leave it: Experimental evidence on the effect of time-limited offers on consumer behaviour," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 15-19, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2012. "Price Negotiation in Differentiated Products Markets: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Market," Staff Working Papers 12-30, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:11-18. 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: (Viveca Licata). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ednyuus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.