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Pay-as-you-wish pricing


Marketing Science



Authors / Editors

Chen Y;Koenigsberg O;Zhang J


Publication Year



Some firms use a curious pricing mechanism called “pay as you wish” pricing (PAYW). When PAYW is used, a firm lets consumers decide what a product is worth to them and how much they want to pay to get the product. This practice has been observed in a number of industries. In this paper, we theoretically investigate why and where PAYW can be a profitable pricing strategy relative to the conventional “pay as asked” pricing (PAAP) strategy. We show that PAYW has a number of advantages over PAAP such that it is well suited for some industries but not for others. These advantages are as follows: (1) PAYW helps a firm to maximally penetrate a market; (2) it allows a firm to price discriminate among heterogenous consumers; (3) it helps to moderate price competition. We derive conditions under which PAYW dominates PAAP and discuss ways to improve the profitability of PAYW.


Pricing strategy; Competitive price discrimination; Self-determined price

Available on ECCH


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