Optimal Pricing of Two Successive-Generation Products with Trade-in Options under Uncertainty

Rui Yin, Hongmin Li, Christopher S. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


To entice consumers to purchase both current and next generation products, many manufacturers and retailers offer trade-in programs that allow buyers of the first generation product to trade-in the product and purchase the new generation product at a lower price. By considering the interactions between "forward-looking" consumers and a firm when a trade-in program is offered, we analyze a two-period dynamic game to determine the optimal prices of two successive-generation products in equilibrium, and examine the conditions under which trade-in programs are beneficial to the firm. Our model incorporates market heterogeneity (valuation of the first generation product varies among the consumer population), product uncertainty (the incremental value of the new product is uncertain before its introduction), and consumers' forward-looking behavior (consumers take future product valuation and prices into consideration when making purchasing decisions). With the trade-in option, we show that consumers are willing to pay a price that is higher than their valuations of the current product. Furthermore, trade-in programs are more beneficial to the firm when: (i) the durability of the current product is high; (ii) the market heterogeneity is low; or (iii) the uncertainty level (or the expected incremental value) of the new product is high. Finally, when the incremental value of the new product is more uncertain, consumers are more willing to purchase the current product because of the "option" value of the trade-in programs and thus trade-in programs can be more beneficial to the firm in this case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-595
Number of pages31
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015



  • Consumer Behavior
  • Decision Analysis
  • Marketing and Manufacturing Interfaces
  • Pricing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Information Systems and Management

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