Should manufacturers of durable products such as automobiles and household appliances offer cash rebates to all consumers at the time of purchase, or offer trade deals to retailers? The authors conduct an analytical inquiry that shows that choosing between these two types of price promotion critically depends on the consumer sensitivity to both regular and promotional prices. More specifically, when consumers are more (less) sensitive to promotions than to regular prices, manufacturers are better (worse) off offering trade deals (consumer rebates) rather than consumer rebates (trade deals). Consistent with traditional predictions found in the economic literature, either of the two promotions can be offered indiscriminately if consumers make no difference between promotional offers and regular price reductions. The theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.
Published November 2008 , 32 pages