Ever wonder where all your money has gone despite being careful? It’s not just your imagination. Marketers and retailers have always been using smart tactics to keep you spending a “little” more just to save more. Hundreds of dollars could be leaking from your purse or wallet each month without you even noticing. Here are some of the most common tricks:
Limited time offer/sales
We’re more inclined to purchase something if we think it might be gone tomorrow. Psychologists call it the scarcity principle, or the scarcity heuristic. The truth is, the offer or sale is probably going all year long, where the prices of the products are marked up to account for it.
The products that make the largest profit margin will usually be found at eye level – you won’t find a bargain in the best shelf spots so it pays to look further up and down. Children’s items are always placed at their height also – maybe we can blame the supermarkets for the invention of the tantrum?
Check out counters
Last-minute temptations such as chocolates, lollies, magazines and cold drinks are all located here to entice bored, tired shoppers (i.e. you, and your children) while they wait to be served. The supermarkets see this as the last chance to really upsell you and see if you want to grab something small for the road.
Strategic floorplan and music
Most of the supermarkets have the fruit and vegetable section located near the entrance. It’s there to present a fresh and healthy image. It’s also designed to look like a marketplace, which encourages you to stay in-store longer and to spend more. They will also play you easy-going hits, ones that make you sing along and feel energised – this is said to increase your chances of impulse buying and moving away from your shopping list.
Technically, you’re under no obligation to buy anything that you taste in the supermarket. But retailers know how guilty you may feel if you don’t. Pro tip: eat before you shop. Don’t shop when you’re hungry – it’s a sure-fire way to end up with a trolley full of unnecessary purchases.