As the consideration given in exchange for transfer of ownership, price forms the essential basis of commercial transactions. It may be fixed by a contract, left to be determined by an agreed upon formula at a future date, or discovered or negotiated during the course of dealings between the parties involved.
In commerce, price is determined by what (1) a buyer is willing to pay, (2) a seller is willing to accept, and (3) the competition is allowing to be charged. With product, promotion, and place of marketing mix, it is one of the business variables over which organizations can exercise some degree of control.
It is a criminal offense to manipulate prices (see price fixing) in collusion with other suppliers, and to give a misleading indication of price such as charging for items that are reasonably expected to be included in the advertised, list, or quoted price.