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Prices tend to be regulated by the law of supply and demand; that is, a price of a good or service increases with smaller supply and/or greater demand. A corollary to this is the idea that commoditization drives prices down because it increases supply (sometimes vastly) while leaving demand the same. Prices likewise rise when the value of money declines. Governments can and have controlled the prices of certain goods and services by subsidy or decree. This is usually an anti-inflationary measure and tends to distort, rather than eliminate, the law of supply and demand. It is thus not generally sustainable as a mechanism for controlling price.
pricethe money value of a unit of a GOOD, SERVICE, FINANCIAL SECURITY or ASSET which a buyer is required to pay a seller to purchase the item. Usually the price of a product is fixed by the seller in advance on the basis of the costs of producing and selling the product and the seller's desired profit margin. In other cases, however, prices are variable, being determined by prevailing demand and supply conditions as with the sale, for example, of a STOCK or SHARE, a house or items sold at an auction.
Because a purchase involves a money outlay on the part of buyers who operate within a budget constraint, the price of a product is an important factor in the buying decision. It may well be the paramount consideration in many cases, but for some purchases other elements in the MARKETING MIX (product quality and performance etc.) may be equally if not more important. Thus, although many products (especially COMMODITY-TYPE PRODUCTS) tend to be sold at low, competitive prices, many others can be sold at higher prices, providing customers with a variety of price-quality trade-offs and other product attributes. See MARKET STRUCTURE, MONOPOLY, BUYER'S MARKET, SELLER'S MARKET, PRICING, PRICING OBJECTIVES, PRICING METHODS, FOUR P'S OF MARKETING.
pricethe money value of a unit of a GOOD, SERVICE, ASSET or FACTOR INPUT. In some markets (for example, see PERFECT COMPETITION), price will be determined entirely by the forces of DEMAND and SUPPLY. By contrast, in other markets (for example, MONOPOLY markets) powerful suppliers have considerable discretion over the price that they charge. In certain circumstances, prices may be subjected to governmental PRICE CONTROL or regulated by means of PRICES AND INCOMES POLICY. See also EQUILIBRIUM MARKET PRICE, ADMINISTERED PRICE.
An amount of money exchanged for something of value.