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The origin of “99 cents”

"Psychological pricing" refers to the theory that certain prices are more likely to lead to a sale than others. In the United States, that price is usually 99 cents - it is far more common to see a product priced at $5.99 than it is to see a product priced at $6.00. Theoretically, therefore, customers are more likely to purchase a $5.99 product than to purchase a $6.00 product. I wonder if this is actually true.

Are consumers more likely to make a purchase if the price ends in x.99 rather than x.00? And if not, why do products continue to be priced this way?

  • 2
    They are lower, by one cent.
    – user1873
    Jul 21 '12 at 13:17
  • Another user edited the title in a way that did not reflect my actual question. I don't care about how the prices are perceived, I care about whether they cause more purchase decisions.
    – Steve V.
    Jul 22 '12 at 3:23
  • @SteveV.: if they caused more purchase decisions it would be because they would be perceived as lower.
    – nico
    Jul 22 '12 at 6:06
  • Closed as the other question is a tad more general. It has good answers and they do apply here.
    – Sklivvz
    Jul 22 '12 at 6:17

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