Wednesday, 17 April 2013

10 ways shops trick you into spending money

A silk worm cocoon - made of a 500m long strand of silk!
Hello all!

I just got back from a fab week in Turkey. It was a really cheap trip because the flights and accommodation were subsidised by three Turkish companies. In return, the group had to visit these establishments (a jeweller, a carpet-weaving co-operative and a leather shop - vegan Mum was not amused!). Their aim was to sell enough of their beautifully crafted but ridiculously expensive products to make it worth their while.

Unfortunately for the salespeople, I don't have a budget of several thousand pounds for a necklace, rug or jacket! Still it was interesting to watch their sales techniques.

In each of the three locations, their first aim was to split up the tour group. People are much easier to influence on their own! They all described their wares as an investment, which would hold their value over the years (only if you can find someone to BUY them off you though!). They also insisted that you touch/try on the product, which even I know makes a person more likely to identify with and purchase an object.

If you're anything like me, you hate being tricked into buying anything. Here are some things to look out for closer to home:

  • Items placed near the entrance to a shop are there to encourage impulse buying whilst you're still in the mood to shop!
  • Similarly, fresh fruit, veg and bread are often located near the front of the store to give you the impression of a "fresh" shop - and because they are high-profit items!
  • The things you want are usually located at the back of the shop, to encourage impulse buys of additional products that the customer passes.
  • Shops regularly rotate their stock so people spend more time searching for the things they need.
  • There are very few windows or clocks to prevent people from realising how long they have been shopping.
  • Special offers make you think you're getting a great deal, but did you actually want three jars of pickled eggs? Or any??
  • Popular items are placed in the middle of the aisle, so customers are forced past other items to tempt them.
  • The most expensive items are at eye level. 
  • Inexpensive, small items are placed next to the tills, likely to be grabbed by bored people in the queue.
  • And online? Shoppers are more likely to buy from a website that already has their details stored.

It's a good idea to plan what you're going to buy before you get there to avoid being tricked into spending money you don't want to part with! Whether you're shopping for a new car, shoes or just a pint of milk, make sure you do your research and get the best deal for you!

How many of the above list do you recognise? Do you know of any other sneaky tricks? Let us know in the comments below!


Justine said...

Never realised supermarkets don't have windows and that it is part of their plan!!

Meanqueen said...

One discount shop that I go in used to have a gap halfway down the aisles so you could cut through to the next one. They have closed the gap, presumably to get more shelving in, but also to make you walk down the whole aisle and get distracted enough to pick something up as you are passing. Doesn't work with me, it's just annoying.

Frugal Living UK said...

very interesting and the main part is that it actually works. I fight against it, but I can feel the impulse on certain occasions - near the beginning and special offer. Fortunately, knowledge is arms against them.

Attila said...

I rarely shop for food online but I often use their websites to compare prices. When you search for something, it doesn't give you the value range versions unless you specifically type it in....sneaky!

Emma Watts said...

Shameless Skulduggery. Those small impulse buys soon add up

saving for travel said...

Oh I remember travelling through Turkey and ending up in carpet sellers shops. Free coke all around.

Lots of my fellow travelers said there was NO way they were buying anything! Then, blow me, they had their credit cards out and did.

Not me however and I have no regrets.

Sft x

Well done for staying strong!

Pamela said...

I also noticed that retailers and companies try to push something as a deal by using .99 cents or pence. So it would be 5.99 as opposed to 6 and customers feel like they're getting a deal--they see the 5 first and not really the .99.

Sol said...

ikea is crazy. I never know what direction I am going in as there are no windows and you get all turned around. and those huge baskets! They get people every time.

saving for travel said...

Bryallen, have you got a paypal account.If so you can post your 30 ways to save £1 for and earn £30.
See life after money blog for details.

Sft x

GreenFlag said...

Interestingly, apparently shoppers are purchasing less impulse buys as they queue for the till, because we are playing on our mobile phones more.

Hope said...

I've banned my husband from even setting foot in a supermarket, he falls for every trick in the book! I started packing a flask and a book whenever we went shopping and leaving him in the car (maybe that was what he had planned all along, lol) and now when I get to the checkout the only things in my trolley are things we actually NEED not the shiney 'BUY ME, BUY ME' items that aren't the bargains they claim to be.