Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Psychology of Price - Increase Your Sales

"While wandering the cobblestone streets of Hil'thra, my eyes were wandering here and there but suddenly came to an abrupt halt.  Affixed on a beautiful sword of northern hand.  I have never seen such craftsmanship before.  The blade glistened from the morning sun almost with a holy glow.  The handle finely wrapped with dark scribed leather.  The hilt inlaid with gems that tickled my insides upon sight.  I motioned to the merchant and started inquiring.  The price was just right." ~Profitz

When is the last time you have been shopping at the local store, mall, or outlet and came across some merchandise you said, "Wow! That's a great price!" ?  We all do it from time to time, even when shopping online.  Those bargains seem to catch our eyes and almost make us buy it on impulse.  I wonder why...  Well, there is an entire science behind this my friends.  One that even if you know about, you will still buy.  Welcome to the world of Numbers and the Psychology of Price.
Psychology of Numbers = Profits

In The LightHouse Project introduction back in March, I was helping Cynful price items and talked a little about numbers.  I was explaining that if you mark items right on the Auction House, they will sell faster simple by changing the last-digits of the price to a "9", "5" or a lower number than 5.  Our minds perceive numbers and cause impulse.  Have you ever noticed the 'type' of music that is played when you are shopping at the mall or certain stores?  It's not there just to tickle your ears my friends.  It moves you to action.  Relaxes you.  When you are comfortable, you are a 'happy' buyer. *chuckles*  What about the color of the paint on the walls or the floor layout?  Folks, this all plays into marketing analysis and making the shopper (AH buyer) see what you want them to see, walk the path you want them to walk in the store, leading them to sales items they previously bought based upon their own shopping habits, and be comfortable by seeing and hearing (some of our most important senses for emotion) throughout the entire experience.  (I wish I could paint the walls of the auction house right now!!)
Buy Price

Sell Price
What does this all mean to me and how can I increase my sales?
I conducted an experiment with my own sales, using historical data pulled from TradeSkillMaster's Accounting module.  Take note to the last digit in the sale prices in the image to the left.  Notice anything?

On the same note, look to the right image.  I pulled records of my own purchases and sure enough, I was doing this without knowing even though I knew about numbers. *blinks*  (Wait, how did....who...what....wait a minute...even ME?  Yes, even I was pulled into buying because of price.)

Without making this article too technical, think about some of these common questions/statements when pricing your next items on the auction house.
  1. People do not like to think too hard - if you can keep the price flat, keep it flat!
    (example: Pricing an item with a zero:  130gold, 12,500g, flat pricing works!)
    We read left-to-right so in our mind it automatically takes into consideration the most-important numbers left-to-right and even rounds the ending numbers.
  2. Think about the last-digit of your priced item(s)
    Think about sales prices always being 14.95 or 14.99.  Our mind processes it automatically and even dismisses the last digits even though it could be priced HIGHER or just 1 copper difference.  So if someone has the item you want to sell already listed, use the numbers game to sell yours faster.  Change a single digit and win!
  3. Pricing is reality
    It does not mean you have to sell things cheap!  By creating a notion the price is valuable and 'rare', you can set prices accordingly.  By listing 10 of the same items, it reduces the 'perspective' of that item being of 'rare value' and that affects pricing.
    Also - don't always rely upon an addon to place your price simply to undercut by 1 copper.  If you want sales, think a little further and name your price! I using a list of numbers to show some things to think about too?  HOW SICK!  Numbers own our!!  *winks*

These are only a few of the things to keep in mind in this huge science of numbers.  I hope this article helps increase your sales or at least gives you some insight into the psychology of numbers.

Best regards and happy sales!


"An inch of time is an inch of gold" ~Chinese Proverb

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