What is an Odd Pricing Strategy? Definition, Examples, and Pros/Cons

What is Odd Pricing?

Odd Pricing is a pricing strategy that sets product prices in odd numbers. Instead of neat, round numbers like $10, it’s $9.99 or $1.97.

Why the fuss? Well, our brains focus on that first number. So, when we see $9.99, our minds round it down to $9, making it seem way cheaper. Sneaky, right? It’s like a little trick stores use to make us feel we’re getting a deal.

And it often works! People tend to grab items with odd prices more readily. It creates a sense of urgency, too. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t work for everyone or every product. Some shoppers might not fall for this pricing magic. It’s like a tool in the sales toolbox, not a one-size-fits-all strategy.

How Odd Pricing Works?

Odd Pricing plays a mind game with our perception. Instead of $10, it’s $9.99. Why the odd cents? Our brains jump to that first digit, seeing $9.99 more like $9. It tricks us into feeling it’s a better deal.

That $0.01 difference? It’s not about the penny; it’s about how our brains interpret prices. Odd prices create a sense of getting a discount, urging us to buy quickly. It’s a psychological nudge that convinces us to go for it, often without really thinking about the cost.

Pros and Cons of Odd Pricing Strategy

Let’s explore the key pros and cons of Odd Pricing Strategy in Marketing:


  • Perceived Value: Odd prices, like $9.99 instead of $10, create a perception of a better deal. It tricks our brains into thinking we’re paying less, boosting sales.
  • Impulse Buys: When prices end in 9, it feels like a bargain. Customers tend to make quicker purchasing decisions, leading to more spontaneous buys.
  • Psychological Impact: Odd prices play with our emotions. They make us feel like we’re getting a discount, driving a sense of satisfaction with the purchase.
  • Higher Volume Sales: The perception of a lower price point often encourages customers to buy more or add extra items to their purchases, increasing sales volume.
  • Attractiveness: Odd prices stand out. They seem friendlier and more approachable, attracting customers to explore and potentially buy products.

Read More: Psychological Pricing Strategy


  • Deceptive Perception: While it feels like a steal, the difference might be mere cents. It tricks us into thinking it’s a bigger discount than it truly is.
  • Diminished Brand Image: Constant odd pricing can make a brand seem cheap or less prestigious, impacting how customers perceive its quality.
  • Price Comparisons: Consumers may focus less on the product’s features and more on the price, leading to potentially ignoring other valuable aspects.
  • Trust Issues: Overuse of odd prices might make customers skeptical, thinking the company is always trying to trick them with perceived discounts.
  • Confusion and Complexity: Pricing at odd numbers can sometimes confuse customers during calculations or comparisons, leading to decision-making delays.

Examples of Odd Pricing

You can find examples of odd pricing in various fields, here I have illustrated the five examples:

Retail Tactics

Visit any retail store, from clothing outlets to supermarkets, and you’ll likely spot prices ending in 9. For instance, an item marked at $19.99 rather than $20. This strategy aims to convey a lower price perception to entice customers. Psychologically, seeing a number ending in 9 triggers the impression of a bargain, making the product seem more affordable than it actually is.

Read More: Promotional Pricing Strategy

Culinary Businesses

Restaurants and cafes also employ odd pricing. You might notice a menu with items priced at $9.95 or $14.99 instead of rounded figures. This subtle pricing tactic aims to influence patrons by making the cost appear slightly lower, potentially encouraging more orders due to the perceived affordability.

Online Commerce

E-commerce platforms extensively utilize odd pricing techniques. Products listed with prices ending in odd numbers like 7, 5, or 9 aim to catch the buyer’s attention and create an impression of a discounted or lower-priced item, even if the difference is just a few cents.

Service-Oriented Ventures

Services, such as consulting or maintenance businesses, frequently employ odd pricing in their rate cards. They might advertise services at $99.95 or hourly rates ending in 9 to give the impression of affordability and attract more clients.

Read More: Geographical Pricing Strategy

Real Estate Practices

In the property market, odd pricing strategies are observable. Real estate listings often feature prices ending in odd numbers, such as $499,999, aiming to make the property seem more reasonably priced and enticing to potential buyers.

Automotive Deals

Car dealerships regularly resort to odd pricing strategies. They might tag a vehicle at $19,999 instead of a flat $20,000, creating a perception of a better deal or a discounted price to encourage potential buyers.

Odd Vs. Even Pricing

Odd and even pricing are contrasting strategies used to influence consumer perception regarding the value and affordability of products or services. Odd pricing employs prices ending in odd numbers, like $19.99, to convey a sense of affordability and a perception of a discounted or lower price. In contrast, even pricing uses rounded numbers, such as $20 or $25, creating a sense of sophistication or higher value.

The difference lies in the psychological impact on consumers. Odd pricing triggers the perception of a bargain or a deal, encouraging purchases, especially among price-sensitive buyers. Conversely, even pricing signals a higher value or quality perception, appealing to customers looking for luxury or premium items. These approaches exploit subtle psychological cues to influence consumer behavior and shape their purchasing decisions based on perceived value.

Read Next: Price Lining in Marketing

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