There is evidence that the rightmost digits, or endings, of retail prices can communicate meanings to consumers. To better understand how such meanings are formed, this paper addresses the question of how the 99 price ending can have a low-price meaning even though 99-ending prices tend to be higher rather than lower competitive prices. Analysis of two large samples of newspaper price advertising indicates that there is a strong and robust correlation between the use of the 99 price ending and the presence of a low-price appeal such as a claimed discount. It is suggested that the salience of price advertising leads it to dominate other sources of information in the consumer's learning of price-ending meanings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- 99 price ending
- Consumer perceptions
- Price advertising
- Retail prices