Vertical Probabilistic Selling under Competition: The Role of Consumer Anticipated Regret
40 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2016
Date Written: September 30, 2016
This paper studies probabilistic selling with vertically differentiated products when firms compete and consumers anticipate the potential post-purchase regret raised by possibly obtaining the inferior products. Intuitively, anticipated regret hurts the attractiveness of probabilistic selling. However, we find that probabilistic selling can be more profitable, and more likely to arise with anticipated regret than without it. This is due to the “reverse quality discrimination” (perceived quality of the random product becomes decreasing in consumer type at the competition margin), which increases the perceived differentiation, and may still maintain sufficient attractiveness of the random product for infra-marginal consumers. Meanwhile, it may hurt the competitor.
Keywords: Reverse Quality Discrimination, Probabilistic Selling, Vertical Differentiation, Anticipated Regret, Competition
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