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  • Writer's pictureJerryton Surya

The Power of Charm Pricing: Why 99 is the Magic Number

The tendency of the human brain to avoid reading complicated letters and numbers gave rise to the concept of charm pricing. Marketers use this pricing strategy to make their brand appear more affordable to customers.

An example of charm pricing
An example of charm pricing

In this blog, we will cover

  • What is charm pricing

  • The psychology behind charm pricing

  • How to use charm pricing

  • Brands that use charm pricing

  • Some common tricks in Pricing

What is charm pricing

Charm pricing is the pricing strategy used by marketers to make product pricing looks affordable and less to customers. Which included rounding the price of the product to odd numbers such as $2.99$ 8.99$. Research shows that charm pricing drives more sales than any other pricing strategy.

The psychology behind charm pricing

Generally, we can easily remember rounded numbers such as $2000 or $5000 but it is slightly hard for us to remember non-rounded numbers such as $6,779 or $3,547.

We usually remember the product price with starting digit

If a product costs $1389, we estimate it is close to $1300 but not significantly closer to $1400.

Our brain encodes prices before we finish reading the numbers thus a one-cent difference between $3.99 and 4.00$ make us feel like a one-dollar difference.

Nowadays, every B2C product has a charm pricing to trick consumers into thinking the item is cheaper than the original price. Most B2B or B2G items won't use charm pricing, but it is still worthwhile to use

How to use charm pricing

If you are a retailer, manufacturer, or B2C seller follow these charm pricing methods to boost your sales

Use odd numbers

Customers are attracted to odd numbers when compared to even numbers. Try to stick your pricing to odd numbers such as $73, $79, $77, etc.

Offer limited-time deals

By providing limited-time discounts, charm pricing creates a sense of urgency in the minds of customers, encouraging them to purchase quickly.

Highlight savings

When using charm pricing, show customers how much they are saving when compared to your old pricing in the bright red font.

Use the magic number 99

Psychologically price ending with 9 attracts customers the most compared to a price ending with 0. That’s why 99 is called the magic number.

Keep on changing

Examine the sales statistics and try various charm pricing tactics to determine which pricing results in the most sales.

Brands that use charm pricing


More than 90% of the brands on Amazon use charm pricing to attract customers. They are using neuromarketing strategies to make the pricing looks affordable to customers. Most Amazon products have the phrase “only one stock left” in their pricing cart which creates an urgency among customers to make a purchase.


Walmart uses charm pricing to make their products seem more affordable, such as $8.88 instead of $9.00. They also use limited-time sales and clearance events to drive traffic to their stores.


Target uses charm pricing to sell its products at lower prices, such as $19.99 instead of $20.00. They also use limited-time deals and discounts to drive sales.


Nike uses charm pricing to sell their products at lower prices, such as $89.99 instead of $90.00

There are many other major brands that use charm pricing effectively - Best buy, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Old Navy, Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Puma, Under Armor, and The Home Depot, etc.

Some common tricks in Pricing

Subtraction principle

Packages often display the old high price with a strikethrough and the new low price on the right side, This method makes it easy for people to subtract the numbers and perceives a greater difference in the price reduction.

The higher number and lower number comparison

Sentences such as 'More than 5,00,000 people are using it'. 'Buy now at a very low price of 99'. This will bring more sales because the higher number in the same sentence will make people assume the price is very low.

Arrange prices in descending order

Customers are more likely to buy expensive products when we arrange prices from high to low.

Remove money symbols

Removing money symbols reduces the value of money and the pain of losing money in the customer's mind.

Provide a reason for the reduction

The same principle applied to a reduction in prices too. If you are providing a high discount, give customers a reason for your reduction. Such as stock clearance, Christmas offers, New year offers, etc.

Click here to Learn about penetration perceived value pricing

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