Publication Date



The existing consumer behavior literature generally presents prices as costs which consumers try to minimize and/or as cues which consumers use to judge quality. This limited perspective on price's functions assumes that, if allowed to choose their own price for a good or service of known quality, consumers would always choose the lowest price possible. This assumption is tested in a study examining the price choices of patrons at a restaurant that allowed its customers to choose the price they wanted to pay for entrees they had already consumed. Forty-four percent of the customers chose to pay more than was necessary for their entrees. This finding requires an expanded view of price and its functions. Additional price functions that might explain this finding are presented and discussed.


Required Publisher Statement
© Association for Consumer Research. Final version published as: Lynn, M. (1990). Choose your own price: An exploratory study requiring an expanded view of price's functions. In M. E. Goldberg, G. Gorn, & R. W. Pollay (Eds.), Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 17 (pp. 710-715). Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.