What Consumers Really Think About Reference Price Labels

Law360, March 21, 2017

Many retailers engage in the practice of reference pricing–that is, referencing a higher price next to the price at which the product is offered, accompanied by labels such as “compare at” or “original” that imply the consumer would be getting a good deal by buying the product. However, this practice is increasingly coming under legal scrutiny, with allegations that some reference prices are “artificial [and] arbitrary.”

In an article, “What Consumers Really Think About Reference Price Labels,” published on Law360, Analysis Group Affiliate Joel Steckel, Managing Principal Rebecca Kirk Fair, and Vice President Laura O'Laughlin examine the role that consumer surveys and field experiments can play in providing insight into how consumers might interpret and respond to various reference price labels. The authors explain why empirical studies and surveys are likely to have a more prominent role in determining case outcomes as reference price litigation continues to gain momentum.

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Steckel J, Kirk Fair R, Shampanier K, O'Laughlin L, Shea J