Would you rather pay $11 for 10 cans of soup, or get 9 cans of soup for $11? This is a trick question. In fact, even though the first offer is the better deal - odds are you’d pick the second one.
According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, which order the price and quantity are listed in has a big impact on how good we think the offer is. For example, when the quantity comes before the price, we tend to think we’re getting a bargain – no matter what the offer is. But when the price comes first, we get the opposite impression and think the items are expensive.
That’s because we tend to focus on the first number. And when it’s a price, all we’re focusing on is the cost. Not what we’re getting in return.
That’s why you see cell phone offers of 1,000 minutes for $70. And because 1,000 is such a high number, our brains think it must be a good deal. Your best defense is to shop with a calculator. That way you can accurately figure out if a deal is really a deal.
And if you’re selling something – now you know – quantity should come before price.