Wrote a check the other day for a periodical subscription; and while I was writing it, it suddenly occurred to me “Why 19.97?”
I can sort of understand the old marketing approach of $19.99 is seen as $19 and not $20; but why $19.97? They had to consciously set that price. Do those two cents really mean that much?
“Hey, let’s give ’em a two cent discount!”
It even makes less sense when you think about what the use of a penny really is these days. Can’t even buy two cent gum any more. Don’t even get me started about gas pricing. Does anybody out there realize that they still price it to the tenth of a cent, 9/10’s to be exact? So that the $2.39 a gallon is really $2.40, less a tenth of a cent per gallon. What is the point of that? If a penny can’t buy anything these days, what does a tenth of a cent get you?
“We saved 2 cents on that 20 gallon tank of gas, let’s go get some gum!”
Why do they even bother pricing to the penny anymore? It costs more for the cashier to count correct change these days, than it would to price goods to the nearest dime; perhaps even setting prices to the nearest quarter dollar is warranted.
I still stop to pick up change these days. But I’ve been noticing a lot more pennies just lying around; and even penny pinching me will occasionally let the singleton just lie there.
Ben Franklin said “A penny saved is a penny earned”. But Franklin’s pennies were made of copper, rather than the aluminum alloy slugs we get today (not to mention they were a good bit larger then, too) I wonder if he would stoop to pick up a modern day penny.
I guess I should thank that publisher for starting me off on this rant. I’ve definitely got my two cents worth out of it…