Product Line Pricing
Line pricing is the use of a limited number of price points for all the product offerings of a vendor.
Describe the characteristics of line pricing
- Line pricing is beneficial to customers because they want and expect a wide assortment of goods, particularly shopping goods. Many small price differences for a given item can be confusing.
- From the seller’s point of view, line pricing is simpler and more efficient to use. The product and service mix can then be tailored to select price points.
- Line pricing suffers during inflationary periods, where such a strategy can be inflexible.
- price point: Price points are prices at which demand for a given product is supposed to stay relatively high.
- shopping goods: Goods that require more thought and comparison than convenience goods. Consumers compare multiple attributes such as price, style, quality, and features.
- product line pricing: the practice of charging different amount for goods or services that are variations on a base good or service
- basing-point pricing: goods shipped from a designated city are charged the same amount
Line pricing is the use of a limited number of prices for all the product offerings of a vendor. This is a tradition started in the old five and dime stores in which everything cost either 5 cents or 10 cents. Its underlying rationale is that these amounts are seen as suitable price points for a whole range of products by prospective customers. It has the advantage of ease of administering, but the disadvantage of inflexibility, particularly in times of inflation or unstable prices.
Line pricing serves several purposes that benefit both buyers and sellers. Customers want and expect a wide assortment of goods, particularly shopping goods. Many small price differences for a given item can be confusing. If ties were priced at $15, $15.35, $15.75, and so on, selection would be more difficult. The customer would not be able to judge quality differences as reflected by such small increments in price. So having relatively few prices reduces this kind of confusion.
From the seller’s point of view, line pricing holds several benefits:
- It is simpler and more efficient to use relatively fewer prices. The product and service mix can then be tailored to select price points.
- It can result in a smaller inventory than would otherwise be the case. It might increase stock turnover and make inventory control simpler.
- As costs change, the prices can remain the same, but the quality in the line can be changed. For example, you may have bought a $20 tie 15 years ago. You can buy a $20 tie today, but it is unlikely that today’s $20 tie is of the same fine quality as it was in the past.
Psychological pricing is a marketing practice based on the theory that certain prices have meaning to many buyers.
Explain the types of psychological pricing
- Products and services frequently have customary prices in the minds of consumers. A customary price is one that customers identify with particular items.
- Odd prices appear to represent bargains or savings and therefore encourage buying. Thus, marketers often use odd prices that end in figures such as 5, 7, 8, or 9.
- A somewhat related pricing strategy is combination pricing, such as two-for-one or buy-one-get-one-free. Consumers tend to react very positively to these pricing techniques.
- customary price: A price that customers identify with particular items.
- Price Points: Price points are prices at which demand for a given product is supposed to stay relatively high.
Price, as is the case with certain other elements in the marketing mix, has multiple meanings beyond a simple utilitarian statement. One such meaning is often referred to as the psychological aspect of pricing. Inferring quality from price is a common example of the psychological aspect of price. For instance, a buyer may assume that a suit priced at $500 is of higher quality than one priced at $300.
Products and services frequently have customary prices in the minds of consumers. A customary price is one that customers identify with particular items. For example, for many decades a five-stick package of chewing gum cost five cents and a six-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola also cost five cents. Candy bars now cost 60 cents or more, which is the customary price for a standard-sized bar. Manufacturers tend to adjust their wholesale prices to permit retailers to use customary pricing.
Another manifestation of the psychological aspects of pricing is the use of odd prices. We call prices that end in such digits as 5, 7, 8, and 9 “odd prices.” Examples of odd prices include: $2.95, $15.98, or $299.99. Odd prices are intended to drive demand greater than would be expected if consumers were perfectly rational.
Psychological pricing is one cause of price points. For a long time, marketing people have attempted to explain why odd prices are used. It seemed to make little difference whether one paid $29.95 or $30.00 for an item. Perhaps one of the most often heard explanations concerns the psychological impact of odd prices on customers. The explanation is that customers perceive even prices such as $5.00 or $10.00 as regular prices. Odd prices, on the other hand, appear to represent bargains or savings and therefore encourage buying. There seems to be some movement toward even pricing; however, odd pricing is still very common. A somewhat related pricing strategy is combination pricing, such as two-for-one or buy-one-get-one-free. Consumers tend to react very positively to these pricing techniques.
The psychological pricing theory is based on one or more of the following hypotheses:
- Consumers ignore the least significant digits rather than do the proper rounding. Even though the cents are seen and not totally ignored, they may subconsciously be partially ignored.
- Fractional prices suggest to consumers that goods are marked at the lowest possible price.
- When items are listed in a way that is segregated into price bands (such as an online real estate search), the price ending is used to keep an item in a lower band, to be seen by more potential purchasers.