Personal Finance, Shopping

How Stores Trick You Into Spending More

What a lot of people don’t realize is that there is a lot of research and planning to get you to spend more when you walk into a store. Lee Eisenberg,the author of “Shoptimism” says that the retail outlets are experts at playing on your emotions, your perceptions and your lack of critical reasoning.

What may surprise you is that it is often little things that you would never think would influence you that actually do. For example, studies have shown that simply adding the word “only” or “just” before the price of an item rather than the price only will get people to buy more. Or that “10 items for $10” will get people to buy a lot more of the item rather than listing the price as $1 each even though they are exactly the same.

Stores also like to play the game of “good, better, best” with the merchandise in there store knowing that consumers that see similar items for a high price and a low price will most often go for the middle priced good. They also use the “halo effect” where the place a high priced item with a lot of lower cost related items around it to sell those lower priced items.

The best way to avoid falling for these tricks is to know that they exist and to be able to realize when the store is trying to manipulate you into purchasing something that you don’t really need.

7 thoughts on “How Stores Trick You Into Spending More

  1. Here’s another trick they like to use: They post one price on the shelf and then when you get to the checkout counter, they charge you another higher price – odds are, you rarely catch it.

    (Yes, I know that’s not really a “trick” they use, but it happens enough that sometimes it makes me wonder…) 😉


  2. This is all so true. thankfully I was taught early on to pay attention to the ‘true’ price of items, mostly to help out my mother with shopping. But it is amazing how little people know about these tricks and get played by them. I remeber shopping with my boyfriend for the first time and asking why he needed 5 of one item when he was only going to use 1 or 2 in the near future, his reply was the ‘buy 5 for 5’ deal so that is the only way to buy them. We had a long discussion after that of how to shop without being screwed over by retailers.

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  4. Wow…I am definitely a victim of many of those tricks, even if I realize it after the fact (usually too late).

    The video was great–thanks for sharing it with us! Also a great lesson for those of us on the other side of the spectrum actually trying to SELL something. 🙂

  5. So true!! I as shopping for the kids back to school copy books, which were all wrapped up in ‘Buy two, get one free’ for 2.80 -90 centimes a copy basically. At the back of the shop the identical single copy books were 59 centimes each !!!!

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