Retailers use a number of tricks to get you to part with your money. The minute you walk in to a shop, you are targeted to spend money that you didn’t plan to. The same applies when you visit a store online. The ways in which they target you are very clever. So clever in fact that you are unlikely to notice that you’re being influenced. Just knowing these tricks could be enough to help you avoid them. Doing so will save you money that you never planned to spend in the first place.
Big ‘SALE’ signs
We like to think that the retailers are helping us out by having huge ‘Sale’ signs dotted around the shops. The fact is quite the opposite. As you make your way towards the lovely red sale sign you will pass lots of items that aren’t on sale. Unless you are intentionally making a beeline for the sale section then you will probably buy some more expensive items on the way there.
The Honey Trap at the Front of the Shop
Whenever you visit a supermarket you will notice that the first products you see as you walk in the door are the ones that you really do not need. These tend to be cut flowers, expensive chocolates and other items that you didn’t plan to buy when you walked in. Strengthen your will power, save yourself money and walk straight past.
The Ailes are arranged so that you see More than you Need to
When was the last time you went in to a supermarket for the ingredients to a recipe and saw everything next to each mother in the same aisle? The chances are this has never happened. The reason for this is that you are then forced to walk around the shop. When you do that, you see more tempting products and offers than you’d ideally like to.
Goodies at Eye Level
The shops know that you’re more likely to but something that is at eye level. If you want to save money then when you’re in the right part of the supermarket, look above and below your normal eye level. You will find that you are then avoiding the most expensive products. Why else do you think the economy branded items are always so low down?
Sometimes the item at eye level may appear to be a cheaper price, but it could be in a much smaller package so the unit cost is higher.
Wide, Spacious Aisles
Have you ever gone to a supermarket and thought that they are wasting space by having such wide aisles? Surely they could sell more products and make more money if they put more shelving in? The opposite is in fact true. Aisles are intentionally made spacious so that you can take your time and see more of the tempting products on display. If the aisle is crowded, the chances are you’ll just grab what you need without looking for too long, so you’ll buy less. Resist the temptation to browse – get what you need and then get out.
Happy Shoppers Spend More
You don’t have to be happy with the shop, the products or the service in order to be in a vulnerable money-spending state. You just need to be happy. Which is why you’ll often find upbeat music being played as you peruse the aisles. There are lots of special offers and lovely bright colours, what’s not to be happy about? How about the fact that you’re so happy that you’re not looking at the prices.
If you’ve ever wondered why items are never priced to the nearest pound then here’s why. Something that costs £3.95 doesn’t seem anywhere near as expensive as something else that costs £4, yet there is only 5p difference in the price. At the same time, something that costs £1.15 doesn’t sound a lot more than something that costs £1. We’re being fooled with more or less every product like this.
A common psychological trick that retailers use is to have small price tags on items. It is thought that numbers that are written in a large font appear bigger in amount to us. In the same way that a smaller font will look like a smaller number. It sounds ridiculous but studies have shown that this works. Avoid stores with very small fonts on price tags.
“While Stocks Last”
The phrase “while stocks last” and “today only” are known as perceived scarcity, and this concept is used more than you’d think. The retailer makes you believe that the offer is only for the chosen few who grab it in time. You feel lucky to have found it so you buy more than one, even though you probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t on offer. You may not have even wanted that item at all!
The way such offers are displayed makes it look as though they have a limited quantity – often with a dedicated promotional stand. The truth is if something’s on offer there are plenty in the warehouse and as soon as the promo stand empties someone will be right along to fill it back up.
Other tricks include “Maximum of 3 per customer”. When you see something like this how do you react? You think that it must be an exceptional deal if they’ve limited the number you’re allowed to buy, so you buy 3. See what just happened?
Baskets Hard to Find but Trolleys are Everywhere
Have you ever noticed when you go to a supermarket that you can hunt for ages to find a basket, yet there are often hundreds of trolley right near the entrance? There’s a reason for this. If you’ve got a trolley you are more likely to buy more, as strange as that sounds.
Smaller than you Thought
Clothing retailers love this trick, and they refer to it as vani-sizing. They size clothing incorrectly so people trying it on think they are a size smaller than they really are. How does this work? Well if you’re a size 14 and you try on a size 12 top that fits you are likely to be very happy and therefore buy it. Remember retailers just want you to be happy.
Beware of Samples
Nothing in this world comes for free. Remember that next time you see the free samples stands at the end of the supermarket aisles. They actually serve two purposes. Firstly to rope you into buying something that you may otherwise not have wanted. Secondly, to slow you down. You were just going to walk straight past that aisle, but the sample stand has slowed you down giving you plenty of time to have a look and see what’s there. Very sneaky.
So you’re queuing at the checkout, and the chances are even if you know what you’re doing you’re going to spend quite a lot of money on the weekly food shop. This is why there are often small, cheap items along the checkout queues. You think “I’ve just spent £50, what’s another £1?” so you put those sweets in to your trolley. It may only be a pound, but it’s a pound more than you intended to spend.