How many times have you gone to the store to buy socks, only to come home with two bulging shopping bags. Well, there’s a good reason. Marketing geniuses spend their days researching our shopping habits so they can use subtle tricks to make us buy more! So here’s how to outsmart the experts and buy only what you need.
- Give yourself a time limit. According to the Food Marketing Institute, the average consumer spends more than $2 for every minute they’re in the grocery store. So it’s no wonder that stores use tricks like interesting displays and tasty food samples to make you linger longer.
- If you only need a few items, grab a basket, not a shopping cart. A large cart gives you the perception that you don’t have that many things in it, so you feel like you can buy more. The book The Call of the Mall says, grab a hand-held basket instead. When that starts to feel heavy, you’ll know it’s time to stop.
- Marketers also know the more stuff you see, the more likely you are to buy. That’s why they have all that stuff by the cash register – from CDs and DVDs, to candy, and little trinkets. In your mind you think, ‘It’s just an extra $10’ – but when you add up all those ‘extra ten bucks’ you probably could have put your kid through college.
- Don’t be fooled by the sale sign. Research shows that if a store sticks a sign next to an item, sales increase significantly – even if the item isn’t marked down at all!
- Here’s a great tip for your holiday shopping. Studies show that consumers are attracted to the first items they see. So retailers stick the expensive stuff up front. If you go to the back of the store first, you’ll find more bargains. The sale stuff is almost always in the back, right-hand corner of the store.
- Here’s something you probably didn’t know – but have fallen for a million times. It’s called “the contrast effect.” You see a really beautiful, pricey coat and right next to it, some cheap gloves. The idea is, once you spend $300 on the coat – an extra $20 for the gloves won’t hurt that much. Don’t fall for it!