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Why Odd Pricing Works - The $9.99 Psychological Illusion

Updated on August 29, 2011

Did you know that by using a simple, yet powerful psychological pricing trick called Odd Pricing can miraculously raise orders up to a shocking 9-34%? It's factual, test-proven and it still works as effective today. It will never fail to achieve that natural illusion.

Odd Pricing also has alternative terms such as: Odd-Even Pricing, Fractional Pricing or Charm Prices. So what is it? As you might know, which many of us do, is the smart prices we see in supermarkets, digits similar to: $9.99, $4.95 or $7.97.

This is a simple strategy to encourage customers place orders, raise the chances of people purchase. This has worked for thousands of years.

There are a couple of explanations to why it works, the first factor is the “left-digit effect”, as we tend to look at prices from left to right, in most occasions.

It is also mainly because of the psychology behind it, the number 9 will always, and I mean literally, always appear lower than 10 by a tremendous amount, even though the real difference is only down by one dollar or one penny if in the case of $0.99 to $1.

Ideally, it is because of the whole number point, 9 has only one unit place, and when moved up by 1, it becomes 10, which means there are two digits.

How does it really work?

Like I have mentioned earlier, the primitive reason is because human beings naturally tend to look at numbers from left to right, hence, the "left-digit effect".

Another critical factor is the digit places, if for example, 9 gets rounded up to 10, 10 itself has two unit places, therefore the size will be psychologically perceived as a lot higher despite its real difference.

The two main factors behind the scenes:

#1) The “left-digit effect”

#2) Memory process time

You might be wondering where did the point about two unit places go, well, it is almost directly related to the “left-digit effect” so I might as well put it under key one.

Now, the second question you are probably wondering, what is memory process time? It is the problem we face that the remaining group of customers who do not fall for the $9.99 trick, these people tend to look have a "right-digit effect".

Take note this effect is negative and acts as a counterattack to this psychological strategy.

All problems get solved at some point, marketing experts have suggested that (tested, as well), it would be wise to print out the cents digits in a relatively smaller size than the other units, this little tip works magic, reason being:

Physical magnitude is directly related to numerical magnitude.

After all, Odd Pricing has been proven to work, it has been tested on millions of customers and millions everyday, most important of all, this pricing strategy is supported by psychology and natural human thinking.

More Pricing Strategies?

Did you know that human psychology can help you boost sales up to a ridiculous 45%?

Learn a new strategy now -- The "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" Strategy!

Psychology if utilized properly and implemented into marketing, can potentially raise sales up by loads!

Did you know that pricing is the biggest mistake most companies make?

Well... I hope you are not one of them but the fact is 99.9 out of 100% of the time, you have left heavy bags of cash on the table.


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