Consider the following scenario:

In a given store, there are two shirts available for sale, shirt (A) and shirt (B).

Both are exactly the same, except shirt (B) is twice as the price.

Is there a word for someone who is willing to pay the premium for (B) even though it's exactly the same as (A).

I initially thought of the word over-priced, but that has more to do with the object itself.

Can anyone suggest a word that describes a person who willingly pays more for the same quality, or the ACT of paying more for the same quality?

  • 1
    So, what are we talking about here. (1) He buys the shirt with the brand name showing it was expensive in order to show it off? (2) He refuses to buy the counterfeit shirt, in order to support the legitimate shirt-makers ... (3) other?
    – GEdgar
    Sep 12, 2012 at 18:14
  • Both of the shirts are the same brand, he buys the one that's more expensive simply because it's more expensive.
    – TelJanini
    Sep 12, 2012 at 18:20
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    The person who pays more than it is worth is called a 'sucker' (they have been swindled by the seller).
    – Mitch
    Sep 12, 2012 at 18:56
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    I think the word is "gullible". Unless you own the store, in which case the term is "good customer".
    – Jay
    Sep 12, 2012 at 19:18
  • I think the word is "gentile", at least it was in my family. The joke was: "Why did god make gentiles?" "Somebody has to pay retail price." Sep 13, 2012 at 2:10

3 Answers 3


While this might not be an exact fit, marketers often follow something known as the Goldilocks Principle:

The Goldilocks principle is derived from a children's story Goldilocks and the Three Bears in which a little girl found a house owned by three bears. Each bear owned a separate copy of many things, such as food, beds, etc. After testing each of the three, Goldilocks determined that one was always too much in one extreme (too hot, too large, etc.), one was too much in the opposite extreme (too cold, too small, etc.), and one was "just right".

Known as Goldilocks pricing in market-speak, this usually involves presenting the customer with three options: budget, standard/regular, and premium/prestige. While the product is seldom identical, it could well be that the three options differ only minimally. The customer is usually drawn to the standard product as it feels "just right". Customers who want to feel like they are being prudent and thrifty will go for the budget option. Premium, status-conscious, or prestige buyers, on the other hand, will opt for the high-end version of the product for any of a number of reasons: belief that it ensures the best quality, status, etc.

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    "Prestige buyer" might be a better fit here than "price insensitive", since it sounds like the asker is saying they're actually buying it for the price tag. +1 Sep 12, 2012 at 18:56

The phrase or term for someone who will pay more for something that is of equal value (though that may not be obvious) is price insensitive.

This term comes to us from marketing, where certain types of products are deliberately marketed, packaged, and (high) priced to capture the spending dollars of people who don't make cost their first priority. The most common usage I'm familiar with is related to organic products, which are typically more expensive inherently, but also have their price marked up even more to exploit the fact that they are typically bought by people who prioritise the "organic" label over the price tag.


There is an economic and sociological concept known as conspicuous consumption, first described by Veblen. It has been defined as

the spending of money for and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power

The spending of large amounts of money to try to prove the worth of the spender is often referred to as ostentation and even aggressive ostentation

The buyer could also be characterized as pretentious

1.making claim to distinction or importance, esp undeservedly

2.having or creating a deceptive outer appearance of great worth; ostentatious

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