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Selling the Forest, Buying the Trees: The Effect of Construal Level on Seller-Buyer Price Discrepancy

Caglar Irmak, Cheryl J. Wakslak and Yaacov Trope
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 2 (August 2013), pp. 284-297
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/670020
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/670020
Page Count: 14
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Selling the Forest, Buying the Trees: The Effect of Construal Level on Seller-Buyer Price Discrepancy
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Abstract

Four studies demonstrate that selling and buying prices are differentially influenced by the value of products’ low- and high-level construal features. The study shows that sellers construe products at a higher level than do buyers and owners. Based on this, this study predicts and demonstrates that selling prices exceed buying prices when (1) the object’s primary aspects are superior and the object’s secondary aspects are inferior but not vice versa, (2) individuals focus on a product’s desirability-related aspects rather than the same product’s feasibility-related aspects, (3) individuals are in a “why” mind-set but not when they are in a “how” mind-set, and (4) the product’s desirability aspects are superior and its feasibility aspects inferior but not vice versa. Further, sellers’ and buyers’ differential construal mediates the difference between seller and buyer prices, which emerges when a product’s value derives from high-level features but not from low-level features.

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