Ever wonder why sale prices end in .97, .95, & .99?

Deals The List
By: Jimmy Rhoades | Frenchie Aguilh Posted: 7:57 PM, Sep 7, 2017

Scenario: You're out shopping for groceries or clothes and you see an item with a price tag you just can't resist…but have you ever wondered why you can't seem to resist a deal just because it's a "sale"? There's more going on than you might think when it comes to certain numbers being put on price tags and Jimmy Rhoades is breaking down all that sale price science, with the help of branding expert, Ali Craig.

1. If It's Odd, It's Alright

Because we know that, whenever we buy something, the total amount won't be an even number, our minds have become trained to find odd numbers more realistic. We won't pay $30 for a new pair of slacks – who pays $30 for slacks?

But, a pair of slacks for $28.95? That $0.95 makes us feel like the brand acknowledges that the price is a bit higher than it could be, but it's still an odd number, so they didn't round all the way up – and your brain trusts a brand that doesn't round up.

2. Round 'Em Down

Another way stores expect to win you over with their "sale pricing" is by playing to the fact that most of us are concerned with the leftmost part of a price: the dollar amount. And, a lot of us tend to round larger price amounts down. So when you see a bag that costs $45.99, your brain might think, "That's not quite $50, so it might be a steal!"

That's why, you'll often see higher priced items being put on the shelves with the $0.99 tag – we tend to be so focused on the dollar amount that we don't really give a second thought to the cents. And that's how brands get just a little more out of us than we think.

3. Crazy 8's

Ever wonder why you don't see a lot of $25.98 or $19.98 sales? Often, that change is saved for luxury brands, as an acknowledgement of the longevity of their brand. To understand, take a look at the price tag sideways. The 8 turns into an infinity symbol, right?

It might seem inconsequential, but an 8 on a brand's price tag represents its ability to live forever, no matter how many sales come and go. These are the brands that are very rarely on sale, think Burberry or Chanel. They don't need your .95 or .99 to keep them going, so when you're ready to play on their team, their whole dollar 8's will be ready for ya.

Do these psychological reasons for giving into a "sale" apply to you or have you always had stores figured out from the start? Tell us on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.