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Monday 20 June 2022

5 tricks shops are doing to make you spend more

How to shop smart and avoid the tricks retail stores are using to make you spend more 

For a vast majority of us in the UK right now money is tighter than it has been. Rising bill costs, fuel, high inflation and a lack of wage increases has caused an extensive cost of living crisis. It has meant that everyone is trying to tighten their belts and pinch the pennies a little more. Whether you're looking to reduce your bills or save money for a holiday there's always ways to cut back

Retail Store Design

Obviously some places don't want you to spend less, they will always want you to spend more! There is a huge boom in retail store design in the UK*. A
 gorgeous layout and a cleverly designed store means you're likely to stay longer and be persuaded to spend more.

Here are the top five tricks used in stores to make you spend and just how you can avoid them:

Own brand items having two price points

The trick more expensive items being in your eye line is an old one and definitely one still employed by retail stores, but it's one a lot of people are wise to now. So below the eye line where the store branded items are usually kept your likely to find a budget range and then a similar store branded item. The budget range will look super bland, boring packaging and just be very basic. The store branded range will very usually have the same product but the packaging will be fancier, the item will be descibed more effectively and it's likely you will feel like you're 'treating' yourself but still within a means.

What to do: Buy the cheapest product and give it a try, in blind taste tests most people can't tell a difference but it can have a big difference on your spending

Multibuy or Meal Deal Offers 

Multibuy offers range from anything from buy one get one free, to 3 for 2 and even 5 for 4 etc etc. They're made to make you think you're saving money, making it more cost efficient for you. But in reality did you need three of an item? Did you really need more than one before you saw the multibuy offers.

Another way retail stores are getting you is the meal deals. Any event from Valentines Day to a BBQ in the summer is now absolutely rinsed by food stores with ready made deals. Meal offers of mains, sides and deserts. Special party platters ready made for your benefit. Chances are you've bought one of these deals, and often they can work out well. But a lot of the meal plans people are picking options they may not have usually bought. The advertised potential saving applies to one specific combination of items.

What to do: Only buy what you need and is necessary. If you are buying a meal deal offer make sure you're getting the best deal for your money and that the items wouldn't cost cheaper separately

Where are the eggs?

I can't be the only person who's walked what I think is the whole entire store and haven't found the eggs. Logical places to put eggs such as near bread, milk or even baking items and you won't find them. This is a clever ploy to make you keep looking and keep walking around more of the store and likely spot other items you weren't planning on buying. My local store for example the eggs are on the back wall at the end of the alcohol aisle - baffling!

What to do: Typically head to the back of the store or even ask a member of staff to stop you impulse buying as you look around

Item pricing tricks

Other retail stores are also on board in trying to coax you into spending more money. For example retail stores will tend to price items up a few pence under the pound such as £9.99 or even £9.97 - this is so close to £10 it's unlikely we'd do anything with the pennies, but the simple act of it not being £10 is more likely to make consumers purchase the items

What to do: I round the prices up - my bank rounds prices up and the savings go into a different pot so in my head I always work in round numbers to try and not fall for this trick

Limited edition / Stock

This trick is universal across all brands and types of stores. There's always new items and a lot are run on a limited edition basis, it makes you think that you need to get it or you'll miss out (they play up to the FOMO as much as possible). To further this they'll utilise online media to garner interest and push the limited edition products. Similarly especially in retail stores, they won't have everything available in sight. Clothes stores for example will only have a few of each size on the rack, this is to encourage you to purchase before they run out of your size.

What to do: Allocate yourself a frivalous budget to spend on limited edition items if you really want to try them, in terms of stock I've found taking a picture and then if I really want it by the end of the day, or before I leave the shopping centre then I go back. Often I take a picture and completely forget so I can't have needed the item that badly

My last top tip applies everywhere. Make a shopping list! Have a clear idea and clear intentions before going shopping of what you need to buy. It can be vague such as 'dress for x event' or super specific for example your favourite foundation. Having a set list you can tick off helps you stay focused and avoid distractions whilst shopping

What other tricks do stores do that you know about?


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