Matthew Alice: Why do prices always end in 9? Seems illogical when a penny more is even money. — Barry Wahlgren, San-Diego
Okay, class, by now you all know Matthew’s Maxim #23, the retailer’s mantra, so let’s repeat it for Barry: “When it comes to separating a consumer from his money, logic has nothing to do with it.” In fact, the less logic you apply, the happier the vendor is. While trying to unload a warehouse full of $29.99 baubles that no one really needs, the seller, of course, knows most people will ignore the “9.99” part and be seduced by the “20” part. Your seemingly innocent, logical penny would mysteriously inflate the price a full $10; no longer a useless item in the $20 category, it’s now a useless $30 item. Retailing is all smoke and mirrors, Bruce.