If You Think 9-Ending Prices are Low, Think Again

48 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2019

See all articles by Avichai Snir

Avichai Snir

Netanya Academic College

Daniel Levy

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Emory University - Department of Economics; Rimini Center for Economic Analysis

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 8, 2019


9-ending prices are a dominant feature of many retail settings, which according to the existing literature, is because consumers perceive them as being relatively low. Are 9-ending prices really lower than comparable non 9-ending prices? Surprisingly, the empirical evidence on this question is scarce. We use 8 years of weekly scanner price data with over 98 million price observations to document four findings. First, at the category level, 9-ending prices are usually higher, on average, than non 9-ending prices. Second, at the product level, in most cases, 9-ending prices are, on average, higher than prices with other endings. Third, sale prices are more likely to be non-9 ending than the corresponding regular prices. Fourth, among sale prices, 9-ending prices are often lower, on average, than comparable non 9-ending prices. The first three findings imply that although consumers may associate 9-ending prices with low prices, the data indicates otherwise. The fourth finding offers a possible explanation for this misperception. Retailers may be using 9-ending prices to draw consumers’ attention to particularly large price cuts during sales, which perhaps conditions the shoppers to associate 9-ending prices with low prices.

Keywords: Behavioral Pricing, Psychological Prices, Price Perception, Image Effect, 9-Ending Prices, Price Points, Regular Prices, Sale Prices

JEL Classification: M30, M31, L11, L16, L81, D12, D22, D40, D90, D91, E31

Suggested Citation

Snir, Avichai and Levy, Daniel, If You Think 9-Ending Prices are Low, Think Again (June 8, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3403839 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3403839

Avichai Snir

Netanya Academic College ( email )

1 University St
Netanya 42100, 4223587

Daniel Levy (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 5290002
+972 3 531-8345 (Phone)
+972 3 738-4034 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.biu.ac.il/en/levy

Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )

1602 Fishburne Drive, Suite 306
Rich Building
Atlanta, GA 30322-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://economics.emory.edu/home/people/faculty/Levydaniel.html

Rimini Center for Economic Analysis ( email )

Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave W.
Waterloo, Ontario N2L3C5

HOME PAGE: http://rcea.org/

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