h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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For years sociologisticians have plumbed the depth of the
human psyche to come up with amazing weapons of war
against those who won't buy the products they've been
First there was the idea that instead of selling a product for
$20, you sell it for $19.99. The consumer, being
material in the eyes of advertisers would presumably look at
the new price, now in the teens and say "I will now consume
for this price is lower."
Fast forward to the advent of the $19.95 price tag which has
been the backbone of our economy for generations. I'd be
first to celebrate this great accomplishment but I propose
move it a step further.
The $19.94 price tag. It's cheaper. It's better. It grabs you by
the face and says you can't afford to not buy it.
This may be applicable to other amounts, such as $99.94 etc
but further research is needed. A seven figure government
research grant ought to do the trick.
Why things cost 19.95
Scientific American article. [doctorremulac3, Mar 19 2017]
It begins! The only item on the web I found priced at $19.94.
Too many $19.95 items to list obviously. [doctorremulac3, Mar 19 2017]
Psycho crazy people taking it waaaaay too far.
These people are clearly living in an alternate reality. Let's take a step back into the real world here people. [doctorremulac3, Mar 19 2017]
Weird anno explained.
Beautifully I may add. [doctorremulac3, Mar 19 2017]
Perhaps the most sarcastic comedy bit ever written by man.
R/C Cola Celebrates Its 10th Purchase. [doctorremulac3, Nov 07 2021]
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||$19.94 price tags..... going cheap at $19.93 for 1,000.
||Step right up, step right up, step right up,
Everyone's a winner, bargains galore
That's right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on
One-tenth of a dollar, one-tenth of a dollar, we got
service after sales
You need perfume? we got perfume, how 'bout an
Something for the little lady, something for the little lady,
Something for the little lady, hmm
Three for a dollar
We got a year-end clearance, we got a white sale
And a smoke-damaged furniture, you can drive it away
Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colors, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills, you're tired of kitchen drudgery
Everything must go, going out of business, going out of
Going out of business sale
Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man
Don't settle for less
How do we do it? how do we do it? volume, volume, turn
up the volume
Now you've heard it advertised, don't hesitate
Don't be caught with your drawers down,
Don't be caught with your drawers down
You can step right up, step right up
That's right, it fillets, it chops, it dices, slices,
Never stops, lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair, it gets rid of
embarrassing age spots,
It delivers a pizza, and it lengthens, and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that's been at large
Under the chaise lounge for several weeks
And it plays a mean Rhythm Master,
It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it's only a dollar, step right up, it's only a dollar, step
'Cause it forges your signature
If not completely satisfied, mail back unused portion of
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up
Please allow thirty days for delivery, don't be fooled by
You can live in it, live in it, laugh in it, love in it
Swim in it, sleep in it,
Live in it, swim in it, laugh in it, love in it
Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets, that's
And it entertains visiting relatives, it turns a sandwich into
Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts, change your life, change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your
And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back Jack, see you later
See you later alligator
And it steals your car
It gets rid of your gambling debts, it quits smoking
It's a friend, and it's a companion,
And it's the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions it never needs
Well it takes weights off hips, bust, thighs, chin, midriff,
Gives you dandruff, and it finds you a job, it is a job
And it strips the phone company free take ten for five
And it gives you denture breath
And you know it's a friend, and it's a companion
And it gets rid of your traveler's checks
It's new, it's improved, it's old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business, never needs winding,
Never needs winding, never needs winding
Gets rid of blackheads, the heartbreak of psoriasis,
Christ, you don't know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy,
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
Cause it's effective, it's defective, it creates household
It disinfects, it sanitizes for your protection
It gives you an erection, it wins the election
Why put up with painful corns any longer?
It's a redeemable coupon, no obligation, no salesman will
visit your home
We got a jackpot, jackpot, jackpot, prizes, prizes, prizes,
all work guaranteed
How do we do it, how do we do it, how do we do it, how
do we do it
We need your business, we're going out of business
We'll give you the business
Get on the business end of our going-out-of-business sale
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions, batteries
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available,
Step right up, step right up, step right up
You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small
print taketh away
Step right up, you can step right up, you can step right up
C'mon step right up
(Get away from me kid, you bother me...)
Step right up, step right up, step right up, c'mon, c'mon,
c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
Step right up, you can step right up, c'mon and step right
C'mon and step right up.
||This is an old idea baked at the end of 20th century. I
remember, because my daughter was born then.
||Presumably she cost you $19.94 ?
||The linked study does not actually give the reason why things
cost $19.95, nor does it claim to. At best, it gives a reason why
things might be priced at $19.95 if we all had time to haggle
over our weekly shopping, one item at a time. And it provides a
useful tip about selling your house. But I'm not going to sell your
house for $19.95
||There may not be any such thing as *the* reason why this kind
of thing happens, but I can offer the following:
||My late father worked on the Dark Side, so to speak, in
marketing and branding, and from him I learned that this "$x.95"
phenomenon had a name, "charm pricing"; but I also learned
that this was a misnomer: the real reason for it, according to
him, was that retailers liked it for reasons of stock control; if you
force the underpaid person on the till to make change, then you
are forcing them to ring up the transaction on the till. This
reduces the risk that they will smile warmly at the departing
customer's back and pocket the $20, leaving the missing item to
be detected in a stock take some time in the remote future, by
when it will be far too late to trace what happened.
||Now, if this *were* the real reason, then we might expect the
practice to decline as we all start paying for things cashlessly.
However, the decline might be extremely slow, since the great
majority of businesses have, I suspect, long since forgotten
how the custom arose, and just keep doing it because it's
always been done. And each price-setting person probably gets
a nice little warm feeling from the thought that *they*
understand it's a trick, which, in their imagination, makes them
so much smarter than millions of customers.
||In fact, I witnessed this process unfolding just a few years ago
when I overheard a phone call between some people deciding
how to price a new online service. One of them proposed to
price it at a nice, round $1, but others on the call insisted on
shaving off a few cents, for reasons that sounded to me a lot
like "it's always been done this way".
||Pert, this has to be the most interesting
annotation I've ever read on this site.
||So its beginnings were actually to prevent
theft by forcing them to make change and ring up
transaction rather than just pocketing the bill.
That makes sense.
||That's worthy of a TicToc or Youtube fun facts
||There is a theory that people actually think .95 is cheaper than .94, because they sense that odd numbers are lower.
||Dang, that's some Mad Men (the tv show) level consumer
psychology profiling here.
||You're very welcome, [dr3]. Bear in mind, it is a single-sourced
hearsay story in the form "my dad once said ...", so I can't
guarantee it's true. But it might be. And it's true that that's what
||Proof that I'm living in the simulation is I'm in the middle of
watching Mad Men and I've just, for the first time in my life,
heard from the first person I've ever known who's actually
somebody in that business.
||Kind of off topic but we were told by the realtor when selling our last house that if we were targeting the Asian market to make sure our price included eights in it. Something to do with lucky numbers differing by culture he said.
||Marketing's a weird game. Never seen an ad for the most
popular product on Earth, the iPhone, at least not that stuck
with me, but I saw a funny bit about Royal Crown cola making
fun of how it was dwarfed by Coke and Pepsi due to its
practically non existant advertising budget. Let me see if I can
find that bit.
||Somewhen in my distance past, I read about (another...) origin
for the $x.99 pricing.
It was to get either "new" or just "more" 1c coins into
It may have been just after the Great Depression (the origin,
that is, not when I read about it...) but I don't remember.
||Boy, the plot thickens on this thing.
||So many urban legends, so little time.
||if only we could sell our halfbaked ideas
||I recommend pricing items at $19.84 as a subtle reminder of what might happen if you don't buy it.
||You could price everything at $x.86 for a "Going Out of Business Sale." [Bartender joke, sorry.]
||BigBrother approves of $19.84 pricing. Now click on the big shiny BUY IT NOW button like a good citizen. Thank you.