How to Price What You Sell

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Scenario: Says Johnny, "Dude, our competitor sells his Wilson basketballs for $39. We'll sell ours for $32. People buy rationally. We'll sell more and become billionaires. Skee-daddy. Porsches. Yay!" Johnny...dude, you're wrong here, buddy. Conventional wisdom, as the continual theme goes, sucks.

Test Your Bizo-coolio-ness in 3 Seconds

The Game: Name the pricing point that sells more -- $81, $83, $85, $87, $89 If you answered the last number, you'd be a sexy b!tch. (For you literal nerds, that means you're right.)

"Why? Why? Why?"

Products that end with the number "9" sell more. The number 9 subconsciously tells customers they're getting bargains on their purchases. We at Trizzy refer to the phenomenon as simply: "The 9." A very sexy study by Northwestern's Kellogg and MIT's Sloan researchers studied this phenomenon:


The prices of four dresses were manipulated across catalog versions.


The current policy of the catalog was to use a $9 ending and we refer to this as the Control version. In the two treatments, the price was either raised or lowered by $5, which removed the $9 ending from each dress.


A total of 66 dresses were sold in the $9 ending conditions, compared to 46 units in the $5 lower conditions and 45 units in the $5 higher conditions.

The number "9" helps people "evaluate whether they're getting a good deal." Word of caution: Don't go crazy with The 9. If everything and it's mama ends with it in your store, that ruins the whole phenomenon for your customer.

"But dude, aren't we manipulating our customers if we use The 9?"

Manipulating customers means scamming the $^it out of your customers, then running like you stole something. It's this:

  1. Terry wants basketball.
  2. Jim sells basketball: $19.
  3. Terry discovers it's a lemon.
  4. Terry demands refund.
  5. Jim responds, "No refunds."

Here's Why You Might Use The 9

If you genuinely, truly, absolutely believe -- like a mutha flucka -- that your product will improve the customer's life, you'll do whatever you can to get it into the customer's hands. And if the customer hates it, you offer a swift, no-strings attached, money-back guarantee. That's what you call doing beautiful business: asking the customer for one chance to kick-ass for him/her; then, and only then: s/he'll judge if you're a keeper.

"The 9" opens you up for that one shot.

It's akin to hitting on someone attractive with this beauty: "Hey baby. Thieves must be roaming the sky -- 'cause, someone just stole stars from the sky, then placed your eyes." (Never fails.) The moral:

Open up a chance with "The 9." Then shine like the badass we know you are.


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Posted on September 21

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