Retailers have a funny knack for making us spend more money than we’d originally planned. Sometimes the buyer’s remorse is real, and then other times we don’t even realize we’ve been swindled. As the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” goes, the same rules apply to many of the pricing schemes and different sales our favourite stores provide.
Next time you snatch up a couple of pairs of shoes during a BOGO deal or get excited when you see “up to 70% off” signage, put your thinking cap on and deliberate whether or not you’re actually saving.
Here are sales tricks retailers use to get you to spend more money.
Basically, all cell phone and internet providers use bundle purchases to lure you in. While at first glance $150 per month for 3 different services may seem like a good deal, it’s really just enticing you to purchase services you normally wouldn’t use. Let’s be real: in this day and age, you really don’t need a home phone line, do you?
At surface value, BOGO seems like an incredible deal! Buy one item and get a second for free – how could that be a scam? Well, let me tell you. Similar to coupons, most of the time the sale is meant to entice us into buying something we weren’t actually looking for. How many times have you bought shoes you didn’t actually need because they were BOGO?
It may seem like no big deal to pick up a rewards card, swipe it at checkout, and get your points, but this is actually a major tactic that companies use to get you to spend more money. Although this encourages you to also spend your cash at the specific store when you shop, you’re also more likely to spend more money all in one go to be able to reach your next reward.
When we see coupons, we automatically assume we’re saving, but many times the deals aren’t actually that good. A lot of times we are unaware of the original price and might be saving less than $1. Along with not really saving a whole lot, coupons also have a way of making us purchase things we would never normally buy at full price or even at sale price.
Misleading Sales Events
Misleading sales events are notorious for getting you into a store you hadn’t planned on visiting; signs advertising an incredible sale like “everything up to 70% off,” are hard to ignore. However, a lot of the time, most items are priced normally and the heavily reduced items are few and far between or located at the back of the store. Having to search for the sale items may entice you to purchase full-price items too, or even worse, instead.
Free Shipping Offers
If you’re shopping online, don’t automatically assume that free shipping means you’re saving. While shipping costs are what deters a lot of people from purchasing online, free shipping usually comes with a catch. For example, in order to get said free shipping, you need to spend over $150. You’ll likely end up adding things to your cart you don’t need.
Psychological pricing is a lot like misleading sales events, in that it tricks you into making purchases. Don’t discount the power of a price tag that reads $19.99 rather than $20! The difference of an extra cent allows us to categorize the item as under $20 in our mind, leaving out the specifics. It’s actually quite common practice for retailers to use odd numbers to confuse us.
Essentials Are Usually Found Toward The Back
Placing the essentials near the back of the store, makes you walk throughout the entire space to get to your items. This makes it much more likely that you’ll spot something else that you’re interested in. Therefore, you’ll probably end up spending much more than you planned.
People often downplay the power of words and language, but in terms of selling, they can make or break a sale. Many retailers specifically train employees to ask whether you want “an extra shot of espresso” or “what else would you like?” rather than “do you want anything else?” Unaware, we may end up spending more than planned because of these loaded questions.
Point-of-sales add-ons are all those smaller items and accessories you find located specifically by the registers in stores. Most of the time, add-ons are cheap, or travel-size products. This tactic persuades you to impulse buy random things, and sometimes, like in the case of travel-size, things that aren’t actually very good value. Next time you’re in a lineup and see something flashy, ask yourself whether or not you actually need it.
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