The Power Within .99

Have you ever noticed when bargain shopping, a lot of the “great” sales you come across tend to end in “.99?” Think about it – you see a pair of jeans in the store for $60 but if you look over to your right, folded just below the neon “Sale” sign, you see the same pair of jeans but on the sign, it reads “$59.99.” Which pair would you go with? If you answer honestly, a majority of you will go with the $59.99 simply because you can possibly save yourself a penny. In your mind, somewhere in there, it is registering this as possibly the lowest amount available at the time and you must get it before it is over with. Blame this on manipulation, my dear friends.

This is part of marketing strategies companies apply in hopes of getting rid of old products, out-of-season items, and other overstocks.
Have you ever heard of the “Left Digit Effect?” You probably have but were not aware of what it really was.

When shopping, we often find ourselves choosing between lower- and higher-cost items. But most people make a choice based on the first digit they see, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research….

In one experiment, Manning and Sprott asked participants to consider two pens, one priced at $2.00 and the other at $4.00. A penny decrease in the price of either pen lowered the price’s leftmost digit. The researcher manipulated the prices and found that when the pens were priced at $2.00 and $3.99, 44 percent of the participants selected the higher-priced pen. But when the pens were priced at $1.99 and $4.00, only 18 percent of the participants chose the higher-priced pen.

When shopping and you come across what may seem like a good sale but just so happens to end in “.99,” do yourself a favor and round it up to the nearest dollar and base your decision to purchase or not, on the whole number.

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