15 replies
One of the oldest marketing tricks around are to make product prices end with 99 cents (i.e. $39.99). It's called the power of 9. I was told by a business guy once to make my regular prices 99 cents, and mark them down to 95 cents when they are on sale.

Does this marketing approach still have merit? I've done some reading and it seems like some premium brand use even dollar amounts for regular items and only mark it down to have a 99 cent remainder when the item is on sale.

I'd be curious if anyone has done any recent A/B testing with this.
#power #power of 9
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Copy what everyone else is doing or test for yourself and make a better decision.

    Your pricing also depends on whether you are offering a service, a digital product or a physical product. Your goal is also a factor. Are you wanting to make more money or get more subscribers?

    If you look at the big brands like Wal-mart, Target, etc their prices almost always end in a 7, 8 or 9 but they NEVER always end in the same number all the time for every product. That suggests to me that they also test for each individual product. That also suggests that there is no universal number that is always the best, at least for physical products.

    There are some interesting facts and opinions in these two threads:

    Why 7

    Pricing Psychology
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    the power of AUTHORITY.

    The power of MARKETING.

    Regardless if 9 or 7 or whatever.... these are problems for people who dont make marketing seriously.

    Just build your list, provide value, advertise good products and build your own. Establish you as an expert and dont mind about "magical numbers"
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    • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
      Originally Posted by Connann View Post

      the power of AUTHORITY.

      The power of MARKETING.

      Regardless if 9 or 7 or whatever.... these are problems for people who dont make marketing seriously.

      Just build your list, provide value, advertise good products and build your own. Establish you as an expert and dont mind about "magical numbers"
      I agree that sometimes just taking action is important and better than doing nothing. If you think that doing A/B testing is a "problem for people who don't make marketing seriously" you are very wrong. If I am selling a product, a service or building a list why wouldn't I test for the most effective way to do that? There is no "magic" to it. It is based on facts.

      If I do extensive testing and for my specific situation I get a 10% better result when I use 7 on the end than for any other number shouldn't I use that number? The same is true for colors, wording, position and so on. Serious marketers are constantly testing things like that to get the optimal results. It works and is an easy way to make your efforts and expenses bring greater rewards.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    I have read and heard from Joe Vitale and Jay Abraham that odd numbers work best for pricing. 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15. Joe calls odd numbers, hypnotic numbers.
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    • Profile picture of the author automathings
      Originally Posted by wrcato2 View Post

      I have read and heard from Joe Vitale and Jay Abraham that odd numbers work best for pricing. 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15. Joe calls odd numbers, hypnotic numbers.
      Seriously, they say the same thing about interior design. Something about odd numbers just looks right.
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  • Profile picture of the author davejarvys
    Originally Posted by automathings View Post

    Does this marketing approach still have merit? I've done some reading and it seems like some premium brand use even dollar amounts for regular items
    Indeed some customers aren't price orientated, others actively want to spend 'x' amount they don't want cheap or sale.

    An item bought for 100,000 is a six figure purchase whilst 99,999.99 is a five figure purchase.

    It doesn't provide the ego stroke or social recognition they desire if it is on sale.

    There is a lot in price psychology which involves more than just numbers - positioning for example plays a large part.

    I'd recommend reading Priceless by William Poundstone to get a good overview but ultimately as already stated it's about testing.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    It depends on the market you are after. Go to Olive Garden and get a plate of spaghetti and meatballs for $14.99. Go to a fancy white-linen place and get the same plate for 27 (no dollar sign, decimal or cents). Same basic food, different markets. Now consider that you can make the same dinner at home, for four people, for around $6.

    As for this or that gooroo stating that "all prices should end in X", that's more of a statement for boosting authority of said gooroo than any real scientific finding.

    "The Power of 9" has nothing to do with the digit 9. It has to do with being less than the round number just above it. Price something at $99.99, and the impression is not "hey, look, all 9's, where's my credit card", it's "hey, it's under $100." Otherwise, pricing the same thing at $100.99 should have the same magical effect, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Here's another opinion:

    Ending prices with the number nine is one of the oldest methods in the book, but does it actually work? The answer is a resounding yes, according to research from the journal Quantitative Marketing and Economics. Prices ending in nine were able to outsell even lower prices for the same product.

    The study compared women’s clothing priced at $35 versus $39 and found that the prices ending in nine outperformed the lower prices by an average of 24%.

    Sale prices—“Was $60, now only $45!”—were able to beat out the number nine. But when the number nine was included with a slashed sales price, it again outperformed lower price points.

    For example, consumers were given the following option:

    Was $60, now only $45!
    Was $60, now only $49!
    The sale price ending in nine outsold the one ending in five, even though it was more expensive. Apparently, pricing with nines may be an old trick, but it’s still effective.
    https://www.helpscout.net/blog/pricing-strategies/
    Test for your particular market and products.
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  • Profile picture of the author feedmemoreadscom
    I've read somewhere that it is a psychological thing. $9.99 instead of $10 makes a customer (in general) feel that they are not paying as much because its showing as a single figure instead of a double digit one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Spintent
    Odd numbers like 9.99 and 7 tends to make a buyer feel that they are paying less and/or also that the seller put a lot of thought into its pricing because of how specific it is. These aspects around these pricing strategies have been tried and true for years, but just because it works well for others, doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. It's best to test and confirm which pricing strategy brings about the best response in your niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Maxstyle
    Odd numbers like 9.99 and 7 tends to make a buyer feel that they are paying less and/or also that the seller put a lot of thought into its pricing because of how specific it is. These aspects around these pricing strategies have been tried and true for years, but just because it works well for others, doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. It's best to test and confirm which pricing strategy brings about the best response in your niche.

    that right , i must agree with you
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    $5 is a proven selling point.

    A few US restaurants have used a $5 price.
    • Arby's 5 for $5
    • Subway $5 foot long sandwich
    • Little Caesars Pizza for $5

    These are proven multi million dollar campaigns that ran for years.

    The catch with restaurants is the cost of food will always increase so a $5 price will eventually end up not being profitable, their only hope nowadays would be upsells.
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