12 tricks retailers use to make us spend more

I just read an interesting piece from Women’s Day about shopping scams.

Here are 12 tricks to know about.

1. The Tactic: Beautiful Ambience
Retailers know that as much as 70 percent of all purchases are unplanned! They want you to linger as long as possible, so they create an atmosphere that’s inviting to the store’s target audience.

2. The Tactic: Colored Walls
Stores use certain colors according to the audience they’re trying to reach: Younger people tend to like bold colors; older people prefer softer hues.

3. The Tactic: Carpeting
Carpeting subtly directs you deeper into the store by creating a defined path for you to follow. outsmart it! Create your own path. Step off the carpet and shop for the items you came to buy.

4. The Tactic: Strategically Placed Merchandise
“Some retailers insist on displaying their most expensive items up front. It makes everything else seem inexpensive afterward,” warns Robert Cialdini, PhD, author of Influence: Science and Practice. With sale items, it’s a kind of double trick. We get pulled in by the promise of a sale, but once we’re inside, those sale items often aren’t clearly displayed or as desirable as we thought. But, because we’ve already mentally decided to buy, we often buy something else. outsmart it!

5. The Tactic: Easy Access
Research shows that if you touch something, you’re more likely to buy it. That’s why products like stuffed animals and candy are placed within easy reach of children at the grocery checkout, and soft blankets or cozy sweaters are positioned strategically on low tables at a store’s entrance. outsmart it! Hands off. Don’t touch the merchandise even to look at the price tag unless it’s something you’ve planned to buy.

6. The Tactic: Spacious Shopping Carts
A cart frees you to touch more things.Forget the cart. Or at least opt for the smallest one.

7. The Tactic: Shrinking Products
This one often goes unnoticed.  Know your weights and measures as well as your prices. Pay attention to the unit price listed clever retailers on the shelf (the cost per ounce, for example).

8. The Tactic: The Food Court
Of course it’s convenient, but it also keeps you at the mall so you’ll do more shopping. outsmart it! Leave the mall once you have what you need. If you do eat at the food court, leave right after.

9. The Tactic: Milk In the Back.
This trick is as old as they come, yet it will get you every time if you’re not mentally prepared. Supermarkets typically put the quick pickup items of milk and eggs way at the back of the store. This forces you to go through the store, exposing you to all kinds of other items that might grab your attention. Or bring only enough cash for what you need.

10. The Tactic: Cosmetics Near Shoes
These are the two top purchase areas for female mall shoppers. Retailers know that while you’re waiting for the clerk to bring shoes to try on, your eyes will wander.

11. The Tactic: Helpful Salespeople
Who doesn’t like a helpful sales clerk?

12. The Tactic: Clever Wording
Stores count on the fact that most people assume words like “Special!” or “Hot Deal!” mean the same as “On Sale!” Don’t believe it. A big display of picnic food items with a sign announcing, “Summer Blowout!” is not necessarily filled with great bargains.

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