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Power of Free

What is the Power of Free?

The Power of Free is a principle that describes how much more appealing the words “free” can be, as compared to a very low price. 

To discover exactly what is so appealing about free, Professor Ariely set up a candy stand in his university’s student center. They decided to compare a low price to free, and see what would happen. Some days they priced candy at 1 cent per piece. Other days they offered students a piece of candy for free. 

When the candies were priced at one cent, only 58 students stopped to buy one. But, when the candies were free, 207 students stopped by — an increase of 112%. Clearly, free has a huge impact on getting people to browse and ultimately buy. 

The Power of Free in the Real World

When Amazon launched free shipping with their Prime program, they found that their sales went up in every country except one — France. 

Why? Because France had nearly free shipping — at 20 cents — but that 20 cent charge made a huge difference. Once they got rid of the fee, sales skyrocketed in France as well.


Example Vault: The Power of Free 

Power of Free: HelloFresh
Power of Free: Walmart+