Although we see it all year long, the proliferation of “9s” and “99s” and even “999s” in the prices of items and services will increase as we approach the Christmas, excuse me retailers, the “holiday” season.
True, this is not a recent phenomenon. The use of “9s” to imply a lower price has been around probably since humans switched from barter to coin and currency. We can be confident of this because it is unlikely that we would have seen:
“Limited offer. Replace your thatched roof for only 9.99 chickens or 14.99 bushels of apples!”
As a society, we are proud of the intellectual progress we have made. We like to believe that we are not often fooled by intentionally misleading rhetoric or half-truths , the last two presidential “blue states” notwithstanding.
Many of us are smart enough to realize that $79.99 is really $80+ after taxes and $3.299 per gallon is too close to $3.30 to make any difference at all unless one has a 10,000 gallon tank.
So, please retailers, minimize your use of “9s” in pricing. You’d be surprised at how much we will respect the $100 monthly phone/bundled internet provider as well as those pizzerias which already promote $5 personal pizzas instead of pricing them at $4.99.
An enjoyable business transaction includes respect. Pricing methods are a good way to start.