JCR: The Favor Request Effect

February 11, 2016

Blanchard, S. J., Carlson, K. A., & Hyodo, J. D. (2016). The favor request effect: Requesting a favor from consumers to seal the deal. Journal of Consumer Research, 42(6), 985-1001.

When consumers and sellers negotiate on price, the seller’s goal is to complete the sale at a profitable price. In this research, we show that sellers who pair a discounted offer with a favor request can increase the probability that a consumer will accept the offer. The effect, which we refer to as “the favor request effect”, is found across multiple shopping contexts and multiple types of favor requests (experiment 1) and in negotiations involving financial consequences (experiment 2). The favor request effect operates by increasing consumers’ perceptions that the interaction with the seller is reciprocal, which in turn increases their confidence that they have obtained the lowest price (experiments 3 and 4). Finally, the moderating role of the magnitude of the discount offered on the effectiveness of the favor request is explored (experiment 5).

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