, Volume 15, Issue 12, pp 1299-1312

Blind man's bluff: The ethics of quantity surcharges

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Abstract

Empirical evidence, including a recent field study in Northwest Indiana, indicates that supermarkets and other retail merchants frequently incorporate quantity surcharges in their product pricing strategy. Retailers impose surcharges by charging higher unit prices for products packaged in a larger quantity than smaller quantity of the same goods and brand. The purpose of this article is to examine the business ethics of such pricing strategy in light of empirical findings, existing government regulations, factors that motivate quantity surcharges and prevailing consumer perceptions.

Omprakash K. Gupta is an Associate Professor of Management in the Division of Business & Economics at Indiana University Northwest. His research interests are in Operations Management, Management Science, Mathematical Modeling of Business Systems and Business Ethics. He has published several articles in national and international journals. He has also reviewed papers for many journals and edited special issues.
Anna S. Rominger is an attorney, a mediator, and an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Division of Business & Economics at Indiana University Northwest. Her research interests are negotiation, alternative dispute resolutions, labor management relations, business ethics and professional liability. She has published articles in several of these areas.