Why Do We Fall for 99 Cent Pricing?

When 99 cent pricing was new, it was easy for us to fall for it.

We see a price


and say, “Wow! It’s only five-hundred dollars. What a deal!”

and then we buy it and tell all our friends that it was only $500.00. We rationalize our purchase several ways but this one always works.


I think it is because that we have just all accepted this. We understand how business works and we go along with it.

But, to tell you the truth, I am sick and tired of this method of pricing items. I want honesty in my billing. I don’t want to be tricked into buying something because I think it is a deal. I want to know straight up what I am paying for an item. I want to stop being lied to.

So advertisers, can you please just list the item as $600.00 from now on and not $599.99? You’re not fooling anyone with that penny. Or maybe you are.

I just wonder why we keep falling for this trickery. We convince ourselves that we have saved one-hundred dollars when we haven’t. $100 is a lot of money. Money that I don’t have to throw around.

This is even worse in car sales when we spend thousands of dollars.

All I’m saying is, isn’t it time we had honest pricing? Let’s drop the -99 rule, save a penny and keep prices more honest. I’d appreciate it.

2 responses to “Why Do We Fall for 99 Cent Pricing?”

  1. I completely agree with this. However, from a marketeers point of veiw when trying to sell something, it is better that the customer thinks it is cheaper.

    However as a consumer, i agree that i think i would prefer honesty, It would also justify to some extent the loylaty we show to habitual choices in shops and brands.

  2. Hi CSouthwell,

    I understand the marketing aspect of this. I’m just surprised that it still works. We should all be able to see through this by now. It must have something to do with the fact that we like consuming things but don’t like to spend much money.

    I also don’t understand marking something down a penny in this day and age. Most people don’t collect or save pennies. Some people have even suggested taking pennies out of circulation. Perhaps if that happens, the 99 cent pricing will disappear too.