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Previous Price

 

DisciplinesMarketing > Pricing > Previous Price

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Emphasize how good a price is by also showing the 'previous price'. Ways of doing this include:

  • Previous price shown with line through it, followed by new price.
  • Show several previous prices, each struck out.
  • Use simple descriptive text (eg. Was: XX, Now: YY).
  • Putting the previous price lower down so the new price is what the customer sees first.
  • Add a note detailing the percentage reduction that has been applied.

It can also help to make sure that there are distinct differences between the 'before' and 'after' prices, for example with the first digit being lower.

Example

A shop has a 'Reduced to clear' sale, with specially designed price labels showing the new price larger than normal and the old price smaller, below and struck out.

A salesperson uses a sales list with higher prices on. Then during the sales discussion, they strike out a price and write in a new, lower price.

Discussion

This comparison works by the contrast principle, whereby we make sense of one thing by comparing it against another. It hence helps if the new price looks good against the previous price. Having said this, the 'previous price' method is so familiar to many buyers they may not look too carefully at the price difference.

In many countries there is specific legislation about displaying 'previous prices', for example that the goods must have been on sale at the price for a month during the previous year. It is not uncommon for retailers to deliberately put up the price for the requisite period so they can use this 'previous price' method.

A trap with this is that the previous price can get 'stuck' in the reader's mind, giving a feeling of 'expensive'. This can be reduced by making the previous price smaller than the current price.

See also

Contrast principle, Discountable Pricing

 

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