Price Is Wrong: Understanding What Makes a Price Seem Fair and the True Cost of Unfair Pricing

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Overview

The subject of price fairness is one that affects us all, whether we're consumers or merchants. And while concerns about fair pricing are constantly being voiced, this topic has not been explored as thoroughly as you might think.

Author Sarah Maxwell is a pioneer in the field of fair pricing. Throughout her career, she has seen how pricing practices—across a variety of different areas, from mobile phones and airline tickets to prescription drugs and gasoline—impact our everyday ...

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Overview

The subject of price fairness is one that affects us all, whether we're consumers or merchants. And while concerns about fair pricing are constantly being voiced, this topic has not been explored as thoroughly as you might think.

Author Sarah Maxwell is a pioneer in the field of fair pricing. Throughout her career, she has seen how pricing practices—across a variety of different areas, from mobile phones and airline tickets to prescription drugs and gasoline—impact our everyday lives. Now, with The Price Is Wrong, Maxwell shares her deepest insights on this issue and examines both the psychological and sociological basis of fair pricing.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this book puts fair pricing into perspective by integrating the author's own research with examples of right and wrong pricing, reports from reliable resources, and the contributions of those who have experienced the true cost of unfair pricing firsthand.

Divided into three comprehensive parts, The Price Is Wrong opens with a brief background discussion of this important issue. It quickly moves on to outline a model that explains how personal and social fairness can lead to escalating emotions within consumers. Each element of this model is skillfully illustrated, so you'll become familiar with how judgments of price fairness can increase consumer trust, as well as destroy it—if sellers decide to abuse their power. In the final section, Maxwell reveals how you can effectively apply this model to real-world situations of price fairness such as tipping, negotiations, price discrimination, taxes, and much more.

A fair price is one that is emotionally okay. It is acceptable and just. It has passed the test of personal and social fairness by adhering to the social norms. But when the norms are violated and the price is judged personally and socially unfair, something must be done. With The Price Is Wrong as your guide, you'll come to grips with the slippery idea of price fairness and be in a better position to make more informed decisions when faced with the pricing challenges that are a part of both everyday business and life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470139097
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/3/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Maxwell, PhD, is an expert in fair pricing, with both academic and business experience in this field. She is an Associate Professor at Fordham University and is Co-Director of the Fordham Pricing Center. Dr. Maxwell is also Associate Editor of Pricing for the Journal of Product and Brand Management and has written for a variety of publications, including the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Economic Psychology, and the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Previously, Dr. Maxwell was a vice president of marketing for Aramark and consulted with divisions in Europe and Japan. She has also consulted and taught in several countries including India, China, and Brazil.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Author xv

Part I: Background

Chapter 1: Introduction: "Play fair or I quit!" 3

Chapter 2: History: "A ‘just' price is not God-given!" 13

Part II: Model

Chapter 3: Model: "Now I'm not just annoyed, I'm furious!" 23

Chapter 4: Norms: "That's wrong, and we all know it!" 31

Chapter 5: Emotions: "You're not being fair and I hate you!" 41

Chapter 6: Expectations: "That price is a rip-off!" 47

Chapter 7: Outcomes: "You should get what you pay for!" 55

Chapter 8: Attributions: "The seller is to blame!" 65

Chapter 9: Process: "Ya gotta play by the rules!" 73

Chapter 10: Punishment: "Revenge is sweet!" 85

Chapter 11: Power: "Beware a customer wronged!" 93

Chapter 12: Trust: "Fair price? I doubt it!" 101

Part III: Applications

Chapter 13: Modifications: "Sorry! The rules have changed!" 111

Chapter 14: Tipping: "Just don't stiff the waiter!" 119

Chapter 15: Discrimination: "It's unfair to charge me more than others!" 125

Chapter 16: Negotiations: "Split the difference. That's fair!" 133

Chapter 17: Taxes: "Paying taxes is as American as disliking taxes" 145

Chapter 18: Culture: "But I never ordered any bread!" 155

Chapter 19: Practices: "So how is a company supposed to price fairly?" 165

Notes 179

Glossary 205

References 213

Index 233

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    Sarah Maxwell knows pricing like nobody's business. After reading this hidden gem, I'm so much better equipped with the knowledge of how pricing works, especially when it comes to how businesses try to cheat me out of my very last dime. In these troubling times, what with the housing market and gasoline prices being what they are, I'm thrilled to see someone come forward with a price war manifesto like this one. This is FREAKONOMICS for pricing if ever there was such a thing!

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