Decoy Pricing

Optimize your pricing by including unattractive options

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Plan A


Plan B


Plan C


In his book Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely explains that people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion.

To illustrate his theory, he conducted a study on the Economist's pricing plan. had 2 subscriptions options:

  • Web only version for $59
  • Print + Web versions for $125

68% bought the Web only option and only 32% bought the Print + Web version.

Then he tried something new with their pricing. He added a new reference point, “Print only” for the same price as “Print + Web”.

  • Web only: $59
  • Print only: $125
  • Print + Web: $125

When presented with all three options, 16% bought the Web only version while 84% bought the Print + Web subscription.

The Print + Web sales increased by a significant 262%!

Why? Because the customers were no longer comparing the $59 Web only plan with the $125 Print + Web plan. Rather they were now weighing the Print only subscription plan at $125 against the Print + Web subscription plan at $125.

How you can use it: Add a decoy plan to your pricing next to the plan you really want customers to take.