14.1.09

Imponderables

I recently needed to get gas for my car (not an uncommon occurrence). There's a "no-name" gas station that's on my way to/from work that I usually go to, particularly since they're about $.05-$.10 cheaper than the other stations, including the one across the street.

I paid $1.79... ish. Why ish? Because the price was $1.78 9/10. I don't get that.

First of all, why the 9/10? Have we ever paid 7/10 or 3/10?

Second, we always round down when we talk about gas prices. In another endeavor, .9 is rounded up, but not gas. So I tell people I've paid $1.78, when really I've paid almost $1.79.

Huh?

2 comments:

waltc said...

You answered the first question with your second question--and I've seen far too many people round-down any "9" price ($4.99 is "about $4" while $5 is, definitely, $5--as an extreme case, a house listed for $999,999 is a whole lot cheaper than one listed for $1,000,000).

9/10 is pure psychology...and it works.

Aravis said...

I always thought that it was odd, too. I guess now we have the explanation. :0)