promotion restrictions; effort; price fairness; promotion fairness; retailing


Marketers frequently use promotions to enhance sales and increase consumers’ perceptions of value. However, most promotions usually come with restrictions, such as time expiration, quantity or product model restriction, etc. In the present research, the effect of the stage in the purchase process when the consumer finds out about the restriction is investigated. The findings indicate that the later in the purchase process the consumer discovers the restriction, the greater is the perception that the effort invested into the purchase is wasted, consequently resulting in lower promotion and price fairness. This effect is mediated through the feeling of entitlement to the promotional price and the inferred negative retailer’s motive for the promotion. Theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed.