Seller’S Face and Concession Patterns: Influence on Buyer’S Price Expectations

We explore how seller facial repesentations (honest vs. dishonest) influence buyer price expectations in the presence of seller’s concession patterns in face-to-face negotiations. Sellers often vary their price concession patterns to influence buyer price expectations. These concession patterns are ambiguous and interpretation may be contingent on other available cues. One powerful interpretive cue that is available to buyers in face-to-face negotiations is the seller’s face. We find that the seller’s face influences how buyers interpret the seller’s concession patterns. Moreover, the mode of processing (nonconscious vs. conscious) also impacts this influence. When the seller’s face is processed nonconsciously, an honest face elicits higher price expectations relative to a dishonest face and concession patterns do not influence price expectations. However, when the seller’s face is processed consciously, buyers correct for its influence. Thus, face no longer influences price expectations. Consequently, the only other available cue, that is, the seller’s concession patterns now influences price expectations. Providing more diagnostic information about the seller does not alter these patterns of results. Thus, across a series of studies we show that the seller’s face influences buyers’ price expectations and provide a framework to study such an influence. We also discuss theoretical and managerial implications and suggest future extensions.


Rajesh Bagchi, Dipankar Chakravarti, and Atanu Sinha (2009) ,"Seller’S Face and Concession Patterns: Influence on Buyer’S Price Expectations", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 176-176.


Rajesh Bagchi, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA
Dipankar Chakravarti, University of Colorado at Boulder
Atanu Sinha, University of Colorado at Boulder


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

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