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Why Literally (Almost) Every Price Ends in 99 Cents

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So you know how the price of pretty much everything ends in 99: watermelon slicers, 200,000 sheets of paper, a Nicolas Cage pillowcase, the “Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Repair Made Easy” book, a life-size cardboard pig cutout, scissors. Literally everything you could ever want is priced ending in 99 cents. There’s a good reason so many prices reflect this pattern—because you’re stupid. Ok not you you, more like you, as a collective humanity are stupid.

I’m sure you are very intelligent. Humans have different psychological quirks that affect how they perceive numbers and the 99 cent trick is one of the best known ones—so well known that you’re probably wondering why you’re watching this video but don’t worry, I have terrible jokes. The idea is that when people see the price 5.99, they focus on the big number—not this big number, the ever growing national debt of the United States, this one, the five. The brain will then perceive the price as $5 rather than almost $6 which is a big difference.

Numerous studies have proven that the psychological difference between $5.99 and $6.00 is more than a cent. Except here’s the problem: tons of products are now priced this way, about 244 million tonnes annually, actually. That’s 60% of all products, and so consumers, you guys, now know the trick. See I told you you guys were smart! Only joking, because now there’s a new trick—not ending prices in 99 cents.

If you go and buy a Rolex watch, the price ends in a whole number, but if you go and buy a Casio watch, the price ends in 99 cents. So nowadays, ending your price in a whole number is perceived as a mark of quality. Only the most refined, most luxurious, most lavish products are priced at whole numbers, like the official Half as Interesting shirt available at DFTBA.com. But then there’s a whole other trick—ignoring both of these rules. When you price something at a seemingly random number, $4.63 for example, the consumer supposedly notices the irregularity of the price and stops and thinks about it a little longer. When you’re selling something for a really good price, a discount, this is exactly what you want the consumer to do.

You want them to notice the great price so more and more retailers, like Walmart, are pricing their products with irregular decimal places. So just to summarize, I’ve now told you the tricks are to price products at 99 cents, to price products at whole numbers, and to price products randomly so hopefully you now realize this video is pointless, like a circle. Continuing on, the best way to get you to buy an expensive product is to put it right next to an even more expensive product. Coincidently, I’m releasing a new bespoke, organic, cage-free, chest-coverlet at DFTBA.com. Just like in survival and aviation and writing, there’s a rule of three in pricing. Netflix, for example, offers a basic package for $8, a standard for $11, and a premium for $14.

Now the one they’re really pushing you towards is this one—the standard. The basic package doesn’t even offer HD which few people would want but for a small uncharge, $3, you can get the standard package with HD viewing and multiple screens. Netflix still can, however, market itself as costing $8 per month. Meanwhile there’s the most expensive option at $14 with options that few people will need like ultra HD quality and four simultaneous viewing screens. Most people will disregard the lowest option for its lack of features and disregard the highest option for its price which leads them quite easily to the middle, standard option. Conformity is christlike.

Restaurants are also notorious in using a variation of this trick where they put a $60 steak on the menu to make a $20 burger seem cheap. Netflix also deploys another tactic that almost every online business uses: monthly pricing. Anyone can agree that you’d be much less likely to sign up for Netflix if it was advertised as $132 per year even though that’s the same as it costs nowadays, so breaking it down into a monthly price makes it seem much more reasonable for most. Speaking of online businesses, you should sign up for Squarespace because you can have a beautiful website with them starting at just 0.0003 cents per minute! What a deal! Squarespace is the best place to build your website because of their beautiful templates, simple website builder, and award-winning 24/7 customer support.

Plus, you know that they’re trustworthy because they use whole-number pricing and also because I, your friendly neighborhood YouTuber, said so. Everyone knows how important it is to have a professional web presence and that’s exactly what Squarespace can help you build. Plus, by signing up at squarespace.com/HAI you’ll get 10% off and you’ll be supporting this terrible, calamity of a show.