Supermarket Sales, “10 For $10,” Makes You Buy More

You know when the sign on the bread shelf at Winn-Dixie says “10 for $10,” that’s just wishful thinking on the store’s part, according to a story at Tampa Bay Online.

You can just buy one for $1, or three for $3 if that’s all you really need.

But the pricing strategy, somehow, seems to work, according to a study in the Journal of Marketing Research from 1998 that’s still touted online.

The research indicates that promotions using multi-unit pricing (“3 for $3”), purchase limits (“Limit 12/person”) and suggestive selling (“Buy 10 for your freezer”) all doubled what consumers purchased, according to a summary of the research by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab.

“When most people buy products, they buy one or two at a time. They decide on a low number (like one or two), then buy more if the product’s on sale,” the summary said. “When promotions suggest high numbers (“Buy 12 so you don’t run out!”), people shift their reference point to the higher number, and buy more.”

More interesting data and helpful tips on the psychology of shopping can be found at the Cornell lab’s Web site. Just click here.

Photo by psychologytoday.

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