I was asked recently why all of our fair trade products had prices that ended in 99p. “Erm… because we’ve always done it that way, and because it’s standard industry practice” came my mumbled reply.
“Don’t you think that by pricing your bags and scarves this way you are trying to fool your customers into thinking they are cheaper than they actually are?” came the immediate response.
At this I was a bit stunned. “But when we price a bag at, say, £9.99 our customers automatically round this up to £10…” I was panicking a bit by now – because the clear implication was that we aren’t being honest and transparent with our customers… which is a big problem for a fair trade company whose whole philosophy is built around the word “ethical”.
I’m still not sure that the 1p makes that much of a difference, and I do think that, as consumers, we are all programmed to round the price we see up to the next whole number – but at the same time, this wasn’t an approach that I was comfortable defending.
And so, after double checking with our friends on Facebook, we have decided that, from today, all of our prices will be rounded to the nearest 50p, which we believe is an important step in making our pricing, and our business in general, more transparent to our customers.