The power of 9 price endings

price psychology Nov 28, 2016

The power of a price ending in 9

When you go shopping do you ever really take notice of the prices?

Next time have a quick scan of the receipt. How many of the prices of the things that you bought end in 9? Chances are, a vast majority.


Because 9 is a hugely powerful number when it comes to pricing and price psychology.  There have been numerous studies into its power but one of my favourites involves three experiments carried out by Anderson and Simester in their research paper “The Effects of $9 Price Endings on Retail Sales”.

One of those experiments saw them testing an item in a catalogue at three different price points to see how the price affected conversions.

The results will surprise you.

How a mid-price option proved the most popular

At $34 they sold 16 units
At $39 they sold 21 units
At $44 they told 17 units

Look again.

The cheapest did not sell the most.  The most expensive did not sell the least.  In fact the price point that converted best was the mid price point of $39. It outsold the $34 price point despite being more expensive.

In fact it converted 24% higher despite the higher price.

So imagine if you put your prices up from say 34 to 39 and you increase your sales by 24% as a result. Your total turnover goes up much more and because your costs hardly change the impact on bottom line profits could be double.

That’s powerful.

But don’t overuse it

Of course it could be tempting to end all your prices in a 9.

But don’t. It could begin to look overused. It could look techniquey.

Instead understand the power of a range of price endings – and their implications.

Find out more about how to use the power of 9 in this video.

You can watch the video here.


Every month I provide free online training helping accounting professionals get results from value pricing. If you want to get access to that free training click here to register your place on the list of people I invite.

 Wishing you every success on your pricing journey

Mark Wickersham
Chartered Accountant, public speaker and #1 best-selling author of
Effective Pricing for Accountants” 

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