Ways Retailers Trick Shoppers

A significant portion of Western economies are consumption based.  No matter what a person does, we consume: food, energy, goods, services and many others.  But when it comes to the most basic aspects of consumerism (I.E. shopping malls, retail outlets, etc.) we are buying behemoths.

According to a 2006 study, women spend approximately eight years of their life (or 25,184 hours and 53 minutes over a period of 63 years) shopping – the study did not consist of their male counterparts.

Over the course of a year, Americans spend trillions of dollars on consumption, and about $450 billion during the holiday season.  Many experts have developed a term called a Consuming Addict, which is someone who needs and craves to acquire possessions.

When people do shop, though, they may attempt to find the best deals at the local shopping plaza.  Retailers try to find any necessary method to draw in potential customers to purchase their goods or services.  In the end, though, items on sale may not even be deals and it will force you to spend more money.

Business will try any tactic to force you to spend more.  What are some of the ways retailers trick you into spending more money?

Bundling (and free items)

Outside of a store, there may be a huge sign that states, “Buy one | get one free.”  This seems too good to be true (it probably is).  They will try to bundle items together at an extra cost to try get rid of their stock.

For example, a store may have a pair of socks priced at $10, but if you buy a bundle that consists of a “free pair” then most likely the price would be raised to $12.50, which is more than what you expected to spend.

$9.99 (not the Herman Cain plan)

You will browse through a store and see all of the items on sale for $1.99, $9.99 and $19.99.  Why do they do this?  Wouldn’t it make life easier if they had on items selling for $2, $10 and $20?  If you sat through your marketing class in high school you will remember studies that suggest shoppers spend more money when prices end in nine.

Sales (supposedly)

It’s pretty common for stores to hold sales throughout the year, but if you think about it, the items that are on sale aren’t really on sale.  If an item normally costs $89.99, but is on sale for $69.99 then it’s not really a sale because that’s how much the item is most likely worth.

Don’t normally assume that a “sale” automatically means good prices, even though you were forced to believe that throughout your life.  Unless a good is normally $100 and is now being reduced to $10, don’t buy into it (literally).

Eye to eye (literally)

A standard method that stores utilize, especially grocery stores, is putting things at eye level.  Usually, when you see an item at eye level, it’s pretty easy to pick it up with your hands.  This would encourage you to buy it.  Why do you think that a majority of grocery items are so easy to get, particularly the food that is bad for you?

Carts vs. Baskets (the saving battle)

Head over to Wal-Mart, your local grocery store or any department store and you will see oversized carts being filled to the rim with useless items.  They have these carts on sale so the consumer fills it up.  Baskets are a better alternative for shoppers because it will force you to spend less.

If you go to a grocery store, you can spend around between $20 and $30 if you fill up your basket.  If you utilize a cart, you can spend an astronomical amount of money on food that will most likely expire.

Do you plan to go shopping any time soon?  Opt for the baskets.