8 ways retailers trick you into spending more money

8 ways retailers trick you into spending more money

It doesn’t matter where you look these days, we are constantly being bombarded with ads to buy more and more things! Money makes the world go around after all and retailers and marketers use a variety of tactics and tricks to play on human psychology to get consumers to spend as much as possible.

Here are some of the most common strategies retailers use – see how many you notice when you’re out shopping next!

1. Pre-cut, sliced and diced fruit & vegetables

Supermarkets can easily double their profits on packaged produce because they plan on the notion that we pay for convenience. If you compare the price per kilo of a bag of carrots compared to pre-cut carrot slices it can be a huge difference.

If you want to keep your produce costs down, go for whole, unprepared fruits and vegetables. It’s worth spending 10 to 15 minutes doing your slicing and dicing at home.

2. Prepared meals and ready-to-eat items

Supermarkets also entice customers to buy prepared foods by placing pre-made meals and food around the perimeter of the store. Like pre-cut produce, many customers might end up paying for the convenience.

It’s tempting to throw a roast chook and veggies in your trolley and call it dinner, but you can save money on food by purchasing the ingredients and preparing the meal at home. And if you’re pressed for time, try cooking meals in bulk and freezing for later.

3. Oversized trolleys and shopping bags

Large trolleys and bags make it easy to grab all the items you need, but they also make it easy to add items you don’t need.

4. Overflowing sales bins

It’s common for retailers to fill open bins with goods that are on sale. Bins are easy to fill to the brim with sale merchandise, which creates a sense of urgency to buy and a treasure hunt-like shopping experience.

To avoid this trap keep a list of what you need and stick to it!

5. The ‘Compromise Price Effect’

With this trick, a store will place an expensive item right next to a slightly cheaper, but comparable item. The customer is tempted to buy the more expensive item, but then they see the less expensive, similar item and go for that instead. The customer walks away feeling like they got a great deal, while the store cashes in.

To avoid falling for it, you can do your research on products before you buy by reading reviews, comparing prices from various retailers and searching for coupons.

6. Dazed and confused

It’s not an accident that supermarkets are often laid out unintuitively – losing focus makes people spend more on impulse purchases. Getting interrupted during shopping also makes you less price-sensitive because when you return to look at products after a distraction, you have a false sense of having already vetted them.

7. Pricing one cent short of a whole number

Nobody believes they’ll be persuaded to buy something simply because it’s priced $9.99 instead of $10, but studies say otherwise. It’s called the “left-digit effect.” The difference of one cent can turn a window shopper into an actual shopper.

8. Anchoring

Anchoring refers to the notion that people will make decisions that rely too heavily on the first piece of information they get.

Companies often use this tactic with sales, where they set an “anchor” price and show you how much the product has been marked down. For instance, you may be willing to pay $50 for a new shirt if it’s been discounted from $100, even if it’s more money than you would usually pay.




Sacha Loutkovsky
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