As shoppers, we all want to feel that we are a getting a “good deal.” We want to pay the lowest possible prices for the goods and services we buy at the retail service level and ambiance we expect. Whether shopping with a discounter or an upscale retailer, we are looking for fair prices that are not misrepresented.
So, what are we to make of this situation? Stephanie Clifford and Catherine Rampell report for the New York Times that “most shoppers, coupon collectors or not, want the thrill of getting a great deal, even if it’s an illusion. In recent months, J.C. Penney recognized that human trait and backtracked on its pricing policy, offering coupons and running weekly sales again. And it started marking up items to immediately mark them down for the appearance of a discount. The problem, economists and marketing experts say, is that consumers are conditioned to wait for deals and sales, partly because they do not have a good sense of how much an item should be worth to them and need cues to figure that out.”
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Photo by Rex C. Curry for the New York Times