Why Ending Your Prices with "9" Won't Sell More Product


Why Ending Your Prices with "9" Won't Sell More Product

There's one reason why you should sell with the price ending in a 9.
That reason is to increase your profit.
If I sell at at $39, instead of $37, I will make two additional dollars per sale, which means that over time I will earn a lot more, just because of those few dollars.
But does it sell more product?
The question is better answered based on the product itself. For instance, what is the price of that vacation you've been eyeing? The answer may end in a 9, but do you care? No, you don’t, because if you’ve set your mind on buying a product or service, the price becomes totally irrelevant.

The key factor that everyone fails to discuss in the whole pricing game is that when someone is doing all these experiments at big stores like Target, we fail to realise that most of us aren’t a megastore like Target. We’re selling a very individual, very customised product or service.
And in such a case, the core isn’t to think of the pricing as a 9 or a 7, but to make the client drool over your product.

The answer becomes totally irrelevant for most businesses
The only reason why the client buys into your product or service is because they want to buy it.
We are so focused on the pricing that we forget that it’s mostly irrelevant
And we know this to be true because of how we buy houses, or Coke for that matter. A house may cost $499,000. Or $477,000. Or $458,999. So why aren’t we buying the cheapest house? The answer is simple, isn’t it? You don’t buy a product simply because of the price. You look at the value.
The house that cost $40,000 more is in the prestigious school district. It’s on the “right side of the road” and fifteen feet closer to the beach. This means it's not only valuable to you, but in the future the resale value (and speed of resale) is always going to be higher than the house on the "wrong side of the tracks". The value is what clients cluster towards, not the price, and certainly not the 9.

The same applies to Coke (which I don’t drink, by the way)
But look at a can of Coke. Do you know how much it costs? Ha, ha, Coke Inc. fooled you, fooled me and fooled everyone else. They sell the massive bottle (2 litres) for about $2.50.

And the tiny can, that’s priced at $2.99. Ha, ha, indeed. The value of the can is far greater than the value of the massive bottle, isn’t it? So hey, Coke still prices the can at $2.99 (and that’s a 9), but would you care that much if it were priced at $2.77 or $2.35? You want to drink those sugary liquid, so you buy it.

The value is what matters, not the price.
And with most businesses, the reason why they price with the 9 hovering around the end is because they’re convinced that the 9 plays a role. And it probably does with massive chains like Target. But does it really matter with your business?

The answer is categorically, no.

This proves one point, and one point alone
We’re all focused on the price. And the price doesn’t matter, in most situations. We all buy irrationally, and buy because of the perceived value of the product.

Does 9 work?
Yes, it does.

But I’ll tell you what works better: better value. Because you can re-tag all your prices down to 9 and you'll find that you're not really selling any more products or services. And on the other hand, you can create great products and services and put any old number on them, and they'll sell like hotcakes.
Hotcakes, that's what you want.


Sean D'Souza


15+ years ago, fresh out of college with a degree in accounting Sean de Souza joined an advertising agency where he *met* Leo Burnett, a man who had spent his lifetime in the hard trenches of communication and advertising.

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