13 Jan 2010

5 Retail Sneaky Strategies You Need To Be Aware Of!

Yesterday I was ranting about people getting into debt during Christmas. Not saving for future purchases is only one piece of the "special occasion" debt. The other piece is the retail tricks used to lure us into spending more.

1. Creating a Hype
Retail is great in advertising event-related sales and displaying "countdowns" of days remaining until the day X.

TIP: Shop online or at least try to avoid peak trading hours and days as you are more likely to "follow the crowd" and fall a victim to the next impulse buy.

2. Encouraging Excess

A simple shopping trolley or basket is making your life easier while shopping and harder after you played for all that merchandise! The size of the trolley is directly related to the amount you buy, really!

TIP: Go into the shop with a pre-defined budget and without a trolley or a basket. It will help you immensely to control your spending. Don't walk aimlessly into a large store with a shopping bag to fill - it's a recipe for budgetary disaster!

3. Concealing the deals

Where and how to display specific items is not left to chance. In fact, it's carefully planned. Retail studies have shown that people tend to head to the right when they enter a store. As a result, the most expensive items - and those with the highest profit margins - are found on the right-hand side of the store. Similarly, if a store seems to be highlighting a specific item, it is probably also one that provides higher returns to the retailer. Likewise, in many stores, sale or discounted items are tucked into a back corner and are omitted from attractive displays.

TIP: If you're shopping for savings, try checking the store's sales items first. In other words, start your shopping at the back of the store and work your way to the front. You may find something similar to the higher priced goods that caught your eye at the front of the store for a lower price.

4. Bonus Bargains

Merchandise thrown in a bin suggests its on sale, right? Not always. Higher end stores will also use this method to make people think they are getting something on sale when really, it's regularly priced. Similarly, stores will often mix sale and non-sale items together to confuse shoppers into buying the more expensive items. This is particularly true when items are offered on sale when purchased in multiples (i.e. 2 for 1 offers)

TIP: Less expensive items are usually placed in the least visible and/or least convenient location in the hope that you'll go for the more expensive, prominently placed items. Therefore, if you want to find the best sales (or just compare prices), you'll have to spend more time browsing. In electronics stores, lower priced items tend to be placed on lower, less accessible shelves. In clothing and department stores, sale items are frequently found at the back.

5. Encouraging Impulse Buy

Ever "remembered" that you need batteries for the gadget you are about to purchase while standing in the check out queue? Guess what? The retailer is hoping that if you're standing in that line for several minutes, or if you've left your shopping until the last possible minute, that you'll scoop up these items and pay the premium for buying them there, rather than comparing prices elsewhere in the store or buying them at a discount retailer.

TIP: There are always items you're going to need every year, such as cards, wrapping paper and, yes, batteries. Plan ahead and shop for these items well before the holiday shopping season begins. Learn from the retailers themselves - they call those always needed items "flow" and buy them in the wholesale all year around rather than at the beginning of the season.

Any other to add?
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