- by C.C.
They Use the Number 9
While shoppers are accustomed to the majority of retail items going for prices such as $39.99 instead of $40, not many shoppers stop to think about why merchandise is priced this way. Not using round numbers is another trick intended to make you spend more, said William Poundstone, author of “Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value.”
In his book, Poundstone looked at eight different studies on the use of what is called “charm prices.” He found that using this pricing method increased sales on average by 24 percent when compared to the use of rounded, even pricing.
This pricing structure probably won’t change anytime soon, so customers should just remind themselves that while $39.99 looks cheaper than $40, it’s only a 1-cent difference.