Friday, February 20, 2009

‘Buy-ology’ the science that sells!

Recently I saw a book with this title on one of the shelves of Business and Economics books at a bookstore. I have not read the book yet so I do not know what is inside. The title is catchy and seems very interesting. I liked it so I would like to borrow it here. A ‘to read’ book in future. Here, according to me, is the science that is selling goods all around the globe with aplomb!

Have you seen goods with a price tag of Rs. 499? Or, \598? Or, for that matter $97? Have you thought about what it means? Many of you may have but it still doesn’t seem to register well, right? Well, here is my take on it. It is a psychological selling ‘trick’ that is being used all over the world. (Another form of ‘globalization’ may be?!)

When you see the figure 499, your first thought is that it is NOT 500. Hence, it is being offered cheap. So you think twice about buying it. But all the same there is a high chance of you taking it home!

There is nothing wrong or unethical about such selling techniques and many people may have already talked about this before. These days, people have access to information so there is no actual trick involved if you are aware.

The next time you see an item marked with a price tag of 999 (in whatever currency), what would you do? The choice is yours!


  1. The "Art of Marketing" at its best! Remember, the "Bata shoes" from our schooldays...or even the "Khadim's shoes?" Usually with a price tag that went to the last denomination - something like Rs. 299.98(!)

  2. I still own a pair of Bata made black leather shoes that I bought before coming to Japan for the first time many years ago. Thanks! And I wear it for all formal occasions. Good shoes that last! I haven't polished them for six years and they still shine well. Thanks to dust free Japanese roads too!