Although I am something of a 21-year-old, with the reputation of being a spendthrift, I have to seek my mother’s approval before making any purchases. No wonder my wish list is brimming but my cart is dry.

Also because she’s the one who settles my bills. Bold of you to assume that I pay for my own expenses with the paycheck of a writer. *sobs copiously*

Recently, while making a transaction I casually told my mom that I’m buying a dress for Rs. 2000. Looking at her Kamolika-esque wide eyes, I corrected myself, “No, sorry, it’s for one-thousand-something.” I got a green signal right away.

Jagran Josh

Now even if that ‘something’ translates to nine-hundred-ninety-nine rupees, it really doesn’t concern anyone and boom! The item is purchased. 

You practically always find yourself in this circumstance, but have you ever wondered that it might be a marketing strategy?


Apparently it is a strategy adopted all over the world that is based on psychological analysis of human brain. Although the difference between 999–1000 is just a rupee, it has a strong influence on data processing in the brain.


Since our brain reads from left to right, the first digit of a price resonates with us the most. It creates an optical illusion that we have purchased something in the lower number series.

For instance, when the tag says Rs. 39, it psychologically gives the impression that we have purchased something in the 30 ‘something’ range and not 40.

People frequently shop in the spur of the moment. For reasoning, the brain contains two zones. One is quick and emotionally driven. Another takes time to assess and make a decision. In general, we are wired to make emotional and quick decisions while shopping.

The Statesman

Very true to its purpose, it is also called ‘charm pricing’ which is intended to trick prospective customers into thinking that the product is far less than it actually is.

Also read: I Never Realised What The Bristles On Escalators Actually Did

Only if I consciously saved that one rupee, I’d be filthy rich today coz I buy a billion things, you know.