Maybe in college you can get away with bringing out a bottle of two-buck-Chuck, aka Charles Shaw brand wine at Trader Joe’s, but since no one likes to look cheap, even the most frugal shoppers will opt for a more expensive wine choice.
SmartMoney reports on a new study from “The Discriminating Consumer: Product Proliferation and Willingness to Pay for Quality,” in the Journal of Marketing Research, which says that out of several options of wine or anything in a high-end category, consumers don’t pick the cheapest, or even second or third cheapest.
The reason being, says study co-author and Columbia Business School professor Sheena Iyengar, price can mean quality to consumers when it comes to things like wine, as opposed to other goods like office supplies or light bulbs.
“The more choices you have, the more likely you are to look for anything to make that choice easier.”
Basically if you can pay $15.99 instead of $6.99 for a bottle of white or a bottle of red, you won’t look like a cheapskate but still don’t have to break the bank on the higher priced bottles.
Another thing to note – restaurants and the like are also keyed into this phenomenon and will offer big mark-ups on what is really their second-cheapest bottle of wine.
Why You Conspicuously Avoid the Cheaper Wine [Smart Money]