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Priceless
 
 

Priceless [Kindle Edition]

William Poundstone
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Review

"Pricing is a richer subject than you might imagine. The smile that creeps onto your face when a shameless marketing gambit reminds you of something you read in Poundstone's book? Priceless." -- Business Week

"An instructive and entertaining romp, which will leave you amused, smarter, and wondering about what money and prices really mean." -- Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University, and Nobel Laureate in Economics

"A powerful argument that should be a wake-up call to everyone who still subscribes to the old model of economics." -- Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University

"If you can get this book for under $100, grab it! After you read it, you will better understand why the price you paid felt like a bargain." --Max H. Bazerman, Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School Max H. Bazerman, Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"Poundstone has managed to write a book that is fun to read and yet well-researched and substantive. Without a minute of suffering the reader gets to know nearly all the key contributors to the science of decision making. Recommended for anyone who has to make decisions." -- Richard H. Thaler, author of Nudge: Improving Decisions on Health, Wealth and Happiness

"Poundstone is your savvy, witty guide to saving the pound in your purse." -- The Times

"All about the hidden psychology of value, it is a truly eye-opening account of how the pricing of products affects how we think of them."
-- The Big Issue

"An instructive and entertaining romp, which will leave you amused, smarter, and wondering about what money and prices really mean." --Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University, and Nobel Laureate in Economics

"A powerful argument that should be a wake-up call to everyone who still subscribes to the old model of economics." --Dan Ariely, Author of Predictably Irrational and James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University

"If you can get this book for under $100, grab it! After you read it, you will better understand why the price you paid felt like a bargain." --Max H. Bazerman, Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"Poundstone has managed to write a book that is fun to read and yet well-researched and substantive. Without a minute of suffering the reader gets to know nearly all the key contributors to the science of decision making. Recommended for anyone who has to make decisions." --Richard H. Thaler, Author of Nudge: Improving Decisions on Health, Wealth and Happiness

Product Description

Why do text messages cost money while e-mails are free? How does Apple persuade people to pay for music instead of downloading it for nothing? In Priceless, bestselling author William Poundstone reveals how we perceive value and why businesses set the prices we pay. Rooted in the emerging field of behavioural decision theory, Poundstone reveals the secrets that multinationals - including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Nokia and Mercedes - are willing to pay millions for from so-called price consultants. Revealing how conventional economics gets it all wrong, this is a stunning expose of how irrational we all are and how global businesses are taking advantage.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1041 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (30 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A37Z0BO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,608 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless! 5 Feb 2011
By DigiTAL
Format:Paperback
This is the latest in a long line of excellent popular science books by William Poundstone. Its topic is "behavioural decision theory", the study of how individuals make systematically irrational decisions in choice situations, risky gambles (where the probabilities are known), and uncertain gambles (where probabilities are unknown).

A lot of this field has focused on the latter two segments: decision making under risk and uncertainty. This was in some ways due to a methodological quirk, as these two scenarios were much easier to test with experiments, questionnaires, and real-life data.

Poundstone covers both these areas, but he also looks at how some companies are beginning to exploit consumers' common irrationalities. For instance, a fundamental axiom of rational choice theory is the "independence of irrelevant alternatives". Say you are choosing between good A and good B. Adding a third good to the choice menu -- good C -- shouldn't affect your original choice between good A and good B. Say you initially chose good A from the set {A,B}; then, the independence of irrelevant alternatives states that you shouldn't then choose good B from the set {A,B,C} (although you could choose C).

This axiom frequently gets violated in the real world, and clever marketers are wising up to this. Say you are choosing from two vacuum cleaners: a very cheap cleaner (A), and a more expensive model (B). In this case many people would choose A. However, the company can alter your choice by adding a third vacuum cleaner: an incredibly expensive state of the art model costing thousands of pounds (C).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The price of this book is, well, priceless...! 7 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
If you run a business you need this book. Simple as that. It is, as the title says, priceless. The reason is not that the book tells you how to calculate your prices. Rather it challenges your very thinking about pricing and the strategies and models you might use. Far too many businesses either use guesswork or fancy calculations on pricing that merely dress up that guesswork. This book unravels that methodology and with the help of some fascinating studies shows you what people really are prepared to pay for - and how much. The book goes beyond pricing, as such, and looks at the whole notion of value.

In addition to the great content of this book - all backed up with solid research and references - it is also immensely readable. Indeed, it is broken down into 55 short chapters, so you can read it in bit-sized chunks.

Priceless does not provide you with practical pricing advice, but it certainly makes you think and will definitely help you re-think your pricing models so you can gain more profit. That alone is priceless advice - yet you only have to pay £12.99 for it...!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The construction of value 22 Jan 2010
By Bert
Format:Hardcover
As someone who works in pricing, a book on what constitutes 'fair' value got my immediate attention. The main message is that there is no such thing in absolute terms. What is considered fair will depend on the context, and this context can be manipulated to increase the perception of fairness. While the book does contain some ideas you could implement, it is not a pricing handbook.

The book gives an overview of the field of behavioural economics in so far as it relates to pricing/valuation. If you've read a bit on the work of Kahneman, Tversky, Ariely, Thaler, ... you'll already be familiar with most of its contents. The book's merit lies in the selection it makes within this broad area of knowledge and the author's own observations.

It is set up as a series of short chapters that deal with a specific concept (priming, anchoring, ...), a specific application (99 cent pricing, Free!, ...) or an exploration of influencing factors (intelligence, race, gender, ...).

It's written in an entertaining anecdotal style that doesn't require any previous knowledge on the part of the reader. Anyone interested in understanding how humans can be influenced to find certain prices more attractive will benefit from reading this book. Once you've read this book you'll never look at a restaurant menu in the same way again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy one get one free 18 April 2012
Format:Paperback
Two themes in this book are picked up in this book which together make it really most readable.
There is a bit of pop psychology that explains how people respond & expect different prices & appreciate the value of things depending on context. I used some of the ideas the following week in pay negotiations at work thefollowing week. It didn't get me any more money because the decisions had already been taken but it could have so maybe next year....

There was a fascinating short chapter in menu
design & layout but Unfortunatly I didn't make a good impression on my dining companion when I started explaining how the menu at the fancy restaurant we were in knew how to extract the highest prices! The book tells this in a much more engaging way than I did.

The 'get one free' part of the book goes beyond the quantified tests that back up these ideas & looks at the frankly loopy (sorry, i mean driven) characters who have developed these ideas mostly in universities & good fun it is

I suspect some people moght struggle with a whole book on either theme but putting the 2 together made it a highly palatable read & I certainly learnt some valuable (not sure priceless) lessons. A strong contender as a different business book that is not another rerun of what part of the brain is creative & what part is rational
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars simply fab
This was an excellent read! Couldn't put it down. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in behavioural economics.
Published 3 months ago by Musician
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless: The Hidden Psychology of Value Priceless: The Hidden...
An excellent book. Looks at issues of pricing, and how psychology leads us to believe we're having a good deal dependent on the price and perceived value of an item. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Owen Phillips 2
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I wasn't too sure about this book however I found it so interesting I could barely put it down. If you don't remember many of the facts in it at least it provides you with a... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Katherine
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas and psychology
I really enjoyed William Poundstone's previous books and this one was no exception. The subject of this book isn't as interesting as some of his others but the style is great and... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jozxyqk
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the cover makes out
I learnt a lot from this book but at times it did seem rather repetitive. I'm not sure who the book is meant to appeal to - I tend to read quite a lot of non-fiction (including... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bhavini Shah
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative review of pricing tricks and strategies
You might think you're a tuned-in consumer and immune to the tricks and gimmicks marketers deploy to get you to buy their products for top prices. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars A great review of how customers are manipulated
This book discloses the secrets of how marketeers choose prices to maximise their income, and it's not simply raising prices!. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by Hathorn
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Priceless!
This book has really changed how I view mundane transactions such as ordering off a menu, house pricing, jury decisions and negotiating job offers. Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by Tess McGill
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read - though provoking
Very interesting and though provoking book. A bit repetitive in parts but full of fascinating research on the psychology of how we view values, risk and make choices. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2012 by Sarah
2.0 out of 5 stars None
I have just finished reading it. After purchasing I felt disappointed because it was very thoretical. Describing history of the research into the prices and buying patterns. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by YoungCalvinist
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