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The prices on our sites are to the nearest round no. in terms of US$. We thought that it was a good idea from the start because it would give it a unique feel. However, I am concerned it may emphasize the "foreign nature" of our site and affect our conversions. So far our conversion rate do compare favourably with other busineses i.e. 1-3% depending on the type of traffic
I would be very interested in your opinions on this matter.
I used to work for a large chainstore, shortly before the sales were brought on several items would double in price.
During the sale you see adverts saying 40 % off of X item in the sale.
Lo and behold theyd sell tons of that item, but it was X% higher than the original price, people have no sense of value.
It used to make me laugh to hear people saying quite confidently that 'you can tell this a proper sale by the prices'. DOH!
Up to $10, it's best to keep everything .99 or .98.
There does not seem to be much difference between $4.99 and $4.95, so there is no reason to "waste" a few cents.
Prices over $10 work best with .95 or .75, ie, not .99.
So $14.95 seems to perform better than $14.99.
Over $100, should be flat prices, $149 is better than $149.95.
Personally as a consumer, I find this practice rather dishonest and irritating. For one you have to do more thinking when making a purchase. Also you would end up with a lot of changes in cents and pennies from bricks and morters stores.
There are a few reasons for using obscure ending amounts:
1) Consumers (in general) view $9.99 as similar to $9.00, but view $10.00 as in the 'next price bracket up'
2) Some shops with sales reps use the cents (or pennies) column to tell the rep about the product. So a product ending in '99' would be a normal stock item, '98' could mean a commision bonus to the rep, '97' may mean discontinued product line (so they know no more will be coming in if out of stock) etc...