8 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More Money

Here are 8 ways retailers trick you into spending more money.
8 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More Money

As someone who works in retail by day and lives to shop by night, I know a thing or two about sales tactics. Yes, there are a bunch of enticing ways in which retailers try to persuade you into spending just a bit more money than you may have originally intended to. These sneaky promotional techniques are becoming increasingly popular as many retailers struggle to stay afloat. Do these spending tricks work? I’m sure you’ve fallen victim to one or two before… I know I have. Here are 8 ways retailers trick you into spending more money.

Strategically Placed Items by the Checkout

Look away! Some retailers will configure their checkout lineups to wrap around strategically placed product displays. These product displays are typically stocked with tiny products in pretty packaging that would make great gift add-ons. Don’t be fooled – your money is not worth the value of these trial size items.

A Coupon Off Your Next Purchase with a Minimum Purchase Spend

It’s really ingenious isn’t it… when a retailer entices you to spend X dollars in order to receive a coupon for X dollars off of your NEXT purchase? It’s a double whammy. These retailers are giving you a coupon for a future purchase that you hadn’t even considered making yet. Well done!

A Free Gift with a Minimum Purchase Spend

Do you really need that free gift with the brand’s name plastered across it? Probably not. Brands love having you advertising for them by first, asking you to spend more money and then second, by gifting you a tote bag with their name all over it. Think twice next time you increase your spending for a free goodie; it’ll probably just end up in the donation pile with all of the others. #Guilty

BOGO Sales

You know ‘BOGO’… short for “Buy One, Get One”. No longer is it the standard ‘Buy One, Get One Free’. BOGO now seems to be taking on percentages (i.e. Buy One, Get One for 50% off). Did you ever really need two? No. Did you only want two if the second one was absolutely free? Of course. Don’t be fooled – nothing is better than free. Period.


Something as simple as a contest can entice you to spend more money with a retailer (for example, did you really want that coffee, or did you just want a chance to “Roll Up the Rim”?) There’s really no need to spend more with a retailer in order to participate in their contest. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, contests must be structured as ‘no purchase necessary’ and provide a ‘free entry alternative’ for non-customers. Most people don’t know this one 🙂


Free Shipping for a Minimum Order Spend


Ever fall for this? David’s Tea and Zara are two retailers that I just can’t crack! They both have sneakily priced their merchandise so that you can never just purchase one or two items in order to reach the minimum spend for free shipping. In an effort to spend $50 for free shipping, I end up with $95 of goods in my cart. I minus well just get up and walk to the store in that case…


Paid Loyalty Program Memberships


While some rewards programs are beneficial, those that require you to purchase an annual membership aren’t always going to serve you enough value to justify the additional cost. Retailers love a good paid membership program – this is how they get shoppers to cough up money before even spending a dime on actual merchandise. Be cautious before signing up and ask yourself if you truly shop at this retailer often enough to justify paying for their loyalty.

‘Limited Time Only’ Sales


‘Buy it now before it’s gone!’ Yes, I’ve heard that one before… especially at Structube for some reason. Some retailers will trick you into spending more money on the spot by leading on that a sale does not have a definitive end date and that an item may revert back to it’s regular price the next day. If the item’s sale price is too good to be true – purchase it! However, if you’re convinced that you could get that item at a later date for a better price, risk it and hold off until when you’re comfortable.


Do these retailer tricks to spend more money work on you? Leave a comment down below.

(Images via Cristina Avila)