The .99 Theory of Pricing

First off, I would like to announce the new cookbook that my team of creatives and editors has put together to help support the SCSU International Student Association fundraising activity. We have put in huge effort to collect, compile, edit, and design this cookbook, which aims to bring authentic cuisine from all around the world to your kitchen. Kudos, to the editorial and design team!  


And yes, you heard me, this is a fundraiser. We want to make as much profit from the book as possible. So as we were deliberating on the price for the book for sale, we looked at the cost to produce this publication (printing, materials, etc.), we came to a decision for a price. It dawns on me that we might be able to play some trick on the price by applying the “.99” gimmick.

Remy Melina on talked about why do most prices end in .99. According to Lee Hibbett, associate professor of marketing at Freed-Hardeman University, said that this trick has been around for at least a century.

Ending a price in .99 is based on the theory that, because we read from left to right, the first digit of the price resonates with us the most, Hibbett explained.

I looked at other sites with explanations on this phenomenon, most said that .99 on a price tag also makes the items appear to be on sale. It also makes more sense to buyers since most items on the market are subject to sales tax. I regret that I haven’t had a class on pricing and promotions, but taking a deeper look at why prices end in .99 has sparkled an interest in me on this aspect of marketing.

For more intriguing facts, read 2003 Harvard Business Review acticle – Mind Your Pricing Cues.

That being said, we have set the price for this cookbook at $15.99. Since stock is limited, you should give me a headsup immediately if you would like to buy a copy for yourself (or whoever makes your dinner). My contact information can be found here, or, you can simply drop a comment under this post. Shipping options can be arranged.


About Jason Tham

Jason Tham is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research interests are digital pedagogy, connectivism and connected learning, computers and writing, and visual rhetoric.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Design, Graphic design, Marketing, Retail and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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