Don’t Fall for these Sneaky Store Tactics to Get You to Spend More

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

Part of frugal living is trying to get the best deal whenever you can. It’s about getting the most value for your money. However, you might be fighting a difficult battle. Stores actively try to get you to spend more money. And it’s not just about manufacturers downsizing their package sizes and sneaky labeling; many stores have little psychological cues that encourage you to buy more than expected, or to pay a higher price for something.

As you engage in your regular shopping, don’t just focus on coupon clipping and looking for the best sales. Be aware of what the store is doing in the hopes that you’ll spend more on your purchases:

Eye Level Products

Those products at eye level are more likely to be the pricier items. Even manufacturers pay for placement at eye level, and 12 inches within eye level. Studies indicate that most shoppers automatically reach for what they can easily see. So, your better bargains are likely to be a little higher, or a little lower.

But don’t let a lower placement fool you, either. Depending on the aisle you’re in (read: cereal aisle), some items are placed with children in mind. Pricier items that appeal to children will be put at their eye level so that they can see them — and beg you to buy.

Bumpouts/Endcaps/Floor Displays

All of these are designed to get you to stop and look at what is available. Whether it’s a display set up in the middle of the aisle, an attractively arranged endcap, or a bumpout that actually sticks out even beyond the endcap, the idea is to get you to grab something.

Often, we assume that the items in these types of displays are on sale. Unfortunately, they often aren’t. In many cases, these are items that are regularly priced — and might even be higher priced. It’s about getting you to grab the convenient item and put it in your cart without actually going down the aisle and finding a comparable (but cheaper) item.

Store Setup

The setup of the store itself is designed to increase the chance of impulse buys. Think about it: Bread is often on the other side of the store from milk and eggs. Other staples are somewhere in the middle. In order to get what you need for your shopping list, you have to traverse the entire length of the store.

Studies indicate that impulse buying accounts for a large percentage of purchases in a store. The longer you are in the store, and the more items you pass, the more likely you are to grab something not on your list. Stores are counting on that with their setups. Be aware of this, and stick to your list.

Being aware of these tricks can help you save money on your purchases at the store, especially when you are grocery shopping. You can improve your chances of saving money by planning ahead with a list, and sticking to it. While you are actually choosing items, look in the aisles, and don’t automatically grab the first thing you see. Look around a little bit. Avoid being rushed into grabbing things that will cost you more.

Bonus Tip:

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

lynda September 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

It is best to always take a list and make the shopping trip short and sweet. Browsing induces impulse buying.

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