The Psychology of the Sales Price

by : Victor Martel



After several months of trying to sell your car and getting frustrated from the tire kickers and those that just want to low ball the price hoping you will say yes just to get rid of the car, you make what you think is a rational decision. You lower your asking price. You think, ok, now I will get serious buyers. Low and behold, a new group of tire kickers come along and a fresh group of low-ballers bombard you with ridiculous offers. What is a car seller to do?

The following stories are all true. I know because I saw them happen.

1. An exotic car owner recently spent $400 each on a new set of tires for his car. Unfortunately less than a week later he totals his car. He pulls the new tires from the car and posts them on a well known internet auction site. He figures what ever he can get he will be happy. His description reads, New tires, $100 each. No one even makes a bid. After three days he lowers the price to $75 each."

2. An automotive parts store owner decides to get rid of two cases of cans of an off-brand fuel additive which have not sold at the recommended $1.98 per can. He puts the individual cans in a basket near check-out marked "Twenty-five cents each." No one buys even a single can.

So, what is a seller with no success to do? Interestingly, the solution is the same in each case.

That solution is...Raise the price.

The exotic car owner changes his posting to read "Brand New High-End Tires, $275 each."

The automotive store operator marks the cans "Cleans fuel injectors like nothing else. $3.95 per can."

The results? The tires sold in two days. The fuel additive sold out in a week.

The psychology of a good sales price is most obvious with the old saying "You get what you pay for." It is the mental attitude the buyer perceives when they see the price. Consciously or unconsciously, a seller conveys the value of his/her product through its price. If the price is ridiculously low, the goods must be of low worth. But displaying them proudly, at a premium price, conveys value as long as it is not obviously overpriced. Consider it from the perspective of your potential buyer. Everyone appreciates and wants a bargain. No one will buy perceived junk. Would you have any interest in a 2005 Porsche 911 for $500? Why would you even consider putting a twenty-five cent additive you have never heard of in your cars' fuel tank? You don't want to sell a car that might sound like it has something wrong with it, do you?

How did you determine the actual selling price? Can you price it more aggressively, and move it to a high-profile website location? If you raise the price of your luxury/exotic car by $2,000 or $3,000, you now have room for the potential seller to bargain with you. High makes you an offer $1,000 or $2,000 below your new selling price and you ultimately accept it. He feels great because he bought a great car at a price he is very happy with because he bargained you down

Remember this well, people who are not serious about buying an exotic or luxury car, and the low-ballers, will not make you a fair market offer.

Do not drop your advertised price because these folks physiologically beat you down, RAISE IT!