29.99

Well it happened again. I bought a pair of shoes with a tag price of 29.99 zl (polish currency), gave the vendor a 100 zl note and received 70 zl in exchange instead of the 70.01 zl I was due.

– Where is my grosze? I asked. (A grosze, 0.01zl, by the way, is equivalent to 1/4 of a cent of Euro, not much indeed).

– I am sorry,sir, I don’t have any.

– Well, then look for one. It is not my fault if you put these stupid prices. I want my grosze.

She ended up calling the store manager who, visibly upset, gave me a 0.05 coin and said: Surely you are happy now. (she was not at all).

They deserve it. If you go to your grocery store and after weighing this and that you end up with a 29.99 or a 29.95 final price, you immediately round up to 30 to make things easier for everybody. But here it is not a result of fortune that such an odd price appears. The marketing department of the store has decided positively and actively to put that price for selling reasons without any regard for the time and comfort of customers and vendors. So, if they don’t have the 0.01zl coin to give me back, then they have a problem. I am not going to get out of the store without it. That 0.01 is nothing? Then put a price of 30.00 and stop torturing my sight with strings of 9’s.

I have researched a little the Internet about where this stupid price comes from:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7522426.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_pricing

Among other possible reasons:

– You sell much more with 29.99 than 30.00

– Historical reasons to force cashiers to open the register machine to give change and avoiding this way that they could keep the money for themselves.

– It makes bargaining more complicated.

But wait a moment. Imagine that you want to buy a car from your neighbor and, after asking him how much does he wants, he says: 2499,99$. What do you immediately think? Well, that your neighbor is a moron, that is laughing at you and has no respect for you time. That is exactly how I feel when I enter a 9-enriched store.

And yes, this is what we should do:

In its 2005 United Kingdom general election manifesto, the Official Monster Raving Loony Party proposed the introduction of a 99-pence coin to “save on change”.

(from the wikipedia page above).

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