When Products Are Valued More But Sold For Less: the Impact of Waste Aversion on Disposal Behavior

Aaron Brough, Northwesteern University, USA
Mathew Isaac, Northwestern University, USA
Central to the study of consumer behavior are the processes of product acquisition, usage, and disposal. When disposing of a product, consumers often judge its value. In general, sellers are motivated to overestimate value in order to increase selling price and maximize profit. However, waste aversion—a motivation to fully exhaust a product’s residual value—can cause sellers to decrease their acceptable selling price despite perceptions that a product is more valuable. Three empirical studies provide converging evidence that waste aversion, by shifting consumers from a profit-maximization to a product-utilization orientation, can bias value judgments and lead to counterintuitive behaviors.
[ to cite ]:
Aaron Brough and Mathew Isaac (2010) ,"When Products Are Valued More But Sold For Less: the Impact of Waste Aversion on Disposal Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 484-485 .