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News Selected by Stingy Investors
Suggested reading from our community of intelligent investors

Headlines
 
  06/28   The psychology of discountingPricing  
  05/28   Information suppression in competitive...Pricing  
  05/28   'Fair and square' pricing? That'll never...Pricing  
  03/08   A monopoly a dayPricing  
  03/08   Why are lawyers so expensive?Pricing  
  01/04   Newspapers, Paywalls, and Core UsersPricing  
  12/17   E-book readers face sticker shockPricing  
  11/25   Friday's deals may not be the bestPricing  


Recent News
 
The psychology of discounting
"Consumers often struggle to realise, for example, that a 50% increase in quantity is the same as a 33% discount in price. They overwhelmingly assume the former is better value. In an experiment, the researchers sold 73% more hand lotion when it was offered in a bonus pack than when it carried an equivalent discount (even after all other effects, such as a desire to stockpile, were controlled for)."
from NormR, 9:54 PM EST, 06/28/12, Pricing
 
Information suppression in competitive markets
"Following Becker (1957) we ask whether competition eliminates the effects of behavioral biases. We study products with add-ons. In competitive markets with costless communication, Bayesian consumers infer that hidden prices are likely to be high prices. Hence, firms choose not to shroud information. However, information shrouding may occur in an economy with some myopic consumers. Such shrouding creates an inefficiency. Sometimes firms have an incentive to eliminate this inefficiency by educating their competitors' myopic consumers. However, if add-ons have close substitutes, a"
from NormR, 2:41 PM EST, 05/28/12, Pricing
 
'Fair and square' pricing? That'll never work
"Sounds like a sales pitch aimed at consumer advocates and collectors of fine print frustration, like me. As it turned out, it was a sales pitch that only a consumer advocate could love. Shoppers hated it."
from NormR, 2:32 PM EST, 05/28/12, Pricing
 
A monopoly a day
"As Apple prepared to introduce its first iPad, the late Steve Jobs, then its chief executive, suggested moving to an 'agency model,' under which the publishers would set the price of the book and Apple would take a 30% cut. Apple also stipulated that publishers couldn't let rival retailers sell the same book at a lower price."
from NormR, 4:28 PM EST, 03/08/12, Pricing
 
Why are lawyers so expensive?
"I've addressed the question of why (large, top-tier) law firm billing rates are so high: Enormous overhead, sticky billing rates and salaries, and a general institutional insensitivity to costs until clients kick and scream about them. But what about that bimodal distribution and all of those out-of-work lawyers?"
from NormR, 3:17 PM EST, 03/08/12, Pricing
 
Newspapers, Paywalls, and Core Users
"This may be the year where newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers."
from NormR, 5:23 PM EST, 01/04/12, Pricing
 
E-book readers face sticker shock
"Under the old book arrangement, major publishers charged the same wholesale price for e-books as they received for hardcovers. For a new novel priced at $25, for example, they received $12.50 for the e-book and $12.50 for the hardcover. When Amazon.com discounted the e-book at $9.99, Amazon took the loss. But under the new pricing model, a $25 hardcover is often priced at $12.99 for the e-book. And because publishers receive 70% of the e-book retail price - while retailers retain 30% - that means publishers receive only $9.09. Publishers were willing to accept the lower profits because they felt the new arrangement preserved the value of books and encouraged other retailers to enter the e-book market."
from NormR, 10:15 PM EST, 12/17/11, Pricing
 
Friday's deals may not be the best
"Professor Etzioni, who teaches computer science at the University of Washington, has directed his considerable intellect at the American ritual of shopping for bargains on Black Friday. After examining billions of prices of consumer electronics, he has decided to spend the busiest shopping day of the year scuba-diving in Bali."
from NormR, 10:07 AM EST, 11/25/11, Pricing
The psychology of discounting
"Consumers often struggle to realise, for example, that a 50% increase in quantity is the same as a 33% discount in price. They overwhelmingly assume the former is better value. In an experiment, the researchers sold 73% more hand lotion when it was offered in a bonus pack than when it carried an equivalent discount (even after all other effects, such as a desire to stockpile, were controlled for)."
from NormR, 9:54 PM EST, 06/28/12, Pricing
 
Information suppression in competitive markets
"Following Becker (1957) we ask whether competition eliminates the effects of behavioral biases. We study products with add-ons. In competitive markets with costless communication, Bayesian consumers infer that hidden prices are likely to be high prices. Hence, firms choose not to shroud information. However, information shrouding may occur in an economy with some myopic consumers. Such shrouding creates an inefficiency. Sometimes firms have an incentive to eliminate this inefficiency by educating their competitors' myopic consumers. However, if add-ons have close substitutes, a"
from NormR, 2:41 PM EST, 05/28/12, Pricing
 
'Fair and square' pricing? That'll never work
"Sounds like a sales pitch aimed at consumer advocates and collectors of fine print frustration, like me. As it turned out, it was a sales pitch that only a consumer advocate could love. Shoppers hated it."
from NormR, 2:32 PM EST, 05/28/12, Pricing
 
A monopoly a day
"As Apple prepared to introduce its first iPad, the late Steve Jobs, then its chief executive, suggested moving to an 'agency model,' under which the publishers would set the price of the book and Apple would take a 30% cut. Apple also stipulated that publishers couldn't let rival retailers sell the same book at a lower price."
from NormR, 4:28 PM EST, 03/08/12, Pricing
 
Why are lawyers so expensive?
"I've addressed the question of why (large, top-tier) law firm billing rates are so high: Enormous overhead, sticky billing rates and salaries, and a general institutional insensitivity to costs until clients kick and scream about them. But what about that bimodal distribution and all of those out-of-work lawyers?"
from NormR, 3:17 PM EST, 03/08/12, Pricing
 
Newspapers, Paywalls, and Core Users
"This may be the year where newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers."
from NormR, 5:23 PM EST, 01/04/12, Pricing
 
E-book readers face sticker shock
"Under the old book arrangement, major publishers charged the same wholesale price for e-books as they received for hardcovers. For a new novel priced at $25, for example, they received $12.50 for the e-book and $12.50 for the hardcover. When Amazon.com discounted the e-book at $9.99, Amazon took the loss. But under the new pricing model, a $25 hardcover is often priced at $12.99 for the e-book. And because publishers receive 70% of the e-book retail price - while retailers retain 30% - that means publishers receive only $9.09. Publishers were willing to accept the lower profits because they felt the new arrangement preserved the value of books and encouraged other retailers to enter the e-book market."
from NormR, 10:15 PM EST, 12/17/11, Pricing
 
Friday's deals may not be the best
"Professor Etzioni, who teaches computer science at the University of Washington, has directed his considerable intellect at the American ritual of shopping for bargains on Black Friday. After examining billions of prices of consumer electronics, he has decided to spend the busiest shopping day of the year scuba-diving in Bali."
from NormR, 10:07 AM EST, 11/25/11, Pricing