Yes it is common, amongst especially bargain places, but still insulting to the customer. I have seen it creep into everything , even high ticket items. Even cars! Will houses be next? Only £999,999.99 for a flat in Edinburgh.
Everything is x99.99, it was a good trick to start with and I suppose we are all prone to think of 29.99 as much cheaper than 30.00. But I wish they would stop it.
Of course being Scottish I always insist on my 1p change in cash
At least we don’t have to barter, that’s something that I could never manage when in countries where it is common place. We never like to insult the seller by too low an offer, or feel we have been duped into paying far too much. I once had to drag my wife out of a Turkish carpet shop, where the owner had all the patter, he was saying things like “what price would make you happy?”
Of course barter still seems to apply mainly to one industry here, double glazing sales. Oh and now some solar panel salesmen, who were selling double glazing last week. I had one chap who couldn’t tell me even roughly what size the solar inverter was, because he had never seen one in his life. He didn’t know if it was 3”square or 6 feet square!
Almost without exception they start with a ridiculously high quote and by the time they have finished with their, “must speak to my manager”, “special price if you sign tonight”, and all the other tricks of the trade, it is usually at least a quarter of the price they first quoted. I find that totally insulting. Even if you tell them straight away that you know all the tricks and just give me the lowest price they still do it and take up most of your evening. I once made the mistake of going to a price comparison double glazing site and found out that the 3 quotes were from the same parent company. I still get nuisance calls from them to this day.
When I ran my own business, I priced in whole numbers, basically because my mental arithmetic is not a strong point and finding change was a nuisance. Nobody ever complained that someone had the same thing a penny cheaper.
Last gripe, when something is imported it is quite common for the U.K. price in Pounds to be the same figure as the Dollar price. Funny that, but very predictable. A lot depends on whether there is any competition or not.