People are scared of weird pricing numbers

I recently added pricing conversion from £ GBP to $ USD for sheet2api.com.

After doing this, conversions to paid plans dropped significantly.

Pricing for one plan was previously £19.95/month,
And with the conversion to USD became $25.92.

I assume these seemingly strange prices spooked users as soon as I turned off this conversion feature, conversions to paid plans improved again.

Humans are very strange :)

  1. 8

    My theory is the "weird" pricing numbers come with negative associations.

    Most reputable organizations have prices that end in .00, .99, .95, etc. However, it's quite common for scammy or low-class establishments to have weird alternative prices, e.g. "And you get all this for five easy payments of $37.36!" We're always on guard for who we send our money to, since transactions require trust, so it's better not to put out signals similar to those of disreputable organizations.

    Other places where it "shouldn't" matter what you do, but it does, because customers take it as a signal:

    • the quality of your website's design
    • the style of your design (you can have high-quality design that still possesses characteristics reminiscent of low-quality websites, e.g. flashing banners and countdown timers)
    • using too many hashtags on social media
    • having lots of followers but getting very few engagements per post on social
    • your name and domain name
    • etc.
    1. 1

      We've trained our little neural nets so well, and we don't even know it!

  2. 2

    Here's the code for rounding to 'attractive' prices you can reuse for your product


  3. 2

    People are so used to prices rounded to certain values here in North America (.00, .95, .99, .50) that they get weirded out when it isn't one of those.

    An interesting test would be to price everything in USD, ie $25.99, then see if the conversion to GBP results in a drop in conversions. Perhaps people across the pond may not be as finicky?

    1. 3

      I used to work as a solution architect for a pricing software.

      Indeed, it's a common tactic to round final prices to the nearest .00, .50 or .99 after currency conversion or any other adjustments. Of course, it depends on the order of magnitude. If you have prices in thousands, then you don't round to .99 but rather to 99. For example, 1268.53 → 1299.

      1. 1

        Very interesting indeed.

  4. 2

    This is interesting. On the other hand, I have a friend who sells premium domain names and he told me that having the price in EUR/GBP actually got him more offers.

    Maybe the effect reverses if the price gets big enough (he's selling domains for $3k+). Hm...

  5. 1

    I can believe that, because I tend to use pricing as an indication of how serious the company is about treating me like a first-class citizen. I'm not knocking your business, understand, because you're not really in a high-stakes industry. But a larger service that's automatically converting prices probably didn't give much consideration to any market other than their own, so anything relating to law or money would make them a bad choice.

    Like I said, I'm not saying that people are deliberately avoiding a straightforward API service because of that, but there might be an unconscious association.

    The other big "tell" I use, by the way, is when sites with a search-by-distance (like job searches or store locations, back when people left the house) fail to recognize that driving X miles of highway isn't the same as crossing X miles of water. I happen to live near...oh, let's call it a bay, so there's a lot of places within ten to fifteen miles that would take more than an hour to reach, and so probably shouldn't be included.

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