Last week, I posted an article about a price discriminating tactic in operation by a few firms, whereby they were charging different prices to different consumers, depending on whether or not people could speak the language. (See Entrance this way!). Following this, I had a look around to find some other pricing strategies in practice by firms. These ranged from simple price discrimination to a well-known supermarket, which, following the failure of its till system, decided to trust consumers: estimate the value of the goods in your trolley/basket, deduct 20% and that’s the amount you pay. Also, a strategy being adopted by a number of restaurants – ‘pay what you think it’s worth!’ An advertising gimmick that increased sales.
So, what’s the best pricing strategy for a firm to adopt and which factors affect this? Is it really a rational decision to offer meals, with the possibility that the guests may only be prepared to pay 1p?!
You decide how much meals are worth, restaurants tell customers Telegraph, Nina Goswami (12/06/05)
Panera café says pay what you want Associated Press, Food Inc, Christopher Leonard (18/5/10)
Pound shop forced to close after 99p store opens across the road Daily Mail Online (12/1/09)
Low cost? Not with these extras Times Online, Richard Green (17/8/08)
Cheap hotels: budget accommodation for visits to London Telegraph (25/10/10)
Budget customers call the hotel Tune BBC News, Susannah Streeter (30/8/10)
- Is it a rational decision to trust consumers and ask them to estimate the value of what’s in their trolleys?
- Why would a restaurant offer consumers the chance to pay ‘what you think it’s worth’? Under what circumstances would this incrrease the firm’s revenue?
- What are the key factors that determine the price a firm will charge for its product?
- How can we use the case in Poole, with the new 99p shop, to analyse the model of perfect competition?
- What pricing tactic is being used by the 99p shop? How could we argue that this is an example of tacit collusion?