Retail Techniques You Should Be Aware Of

Monday, January 19, 2015, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Retail stores over the years have consistently used various tactics and techniques to lure customers in their stores and to give them incentives to buy their merchandise. In many instances, the incentives turn out to be fake. They are hidden tactics the retailers apply to make you come inside the stores and “force” you to buy.

Retail Techniques You Should Be Aware Of

However, no matter what the businesses do and how they attract customers, in the final analysis, at the end of the day, it is you and you alone to spend and overspend your hard-earned money.

If you need something, you buy it only when you can afford it without stepping into the debt shit. It’s as simple as that.

Psychologists have pointed out an important factor in the spending spree of some people. When they see the words “On Sale”, they have already made the decision of buying. The more “satisfaction” comes from how much discount percentage they get on the merchandise.

These customers don’t look at the total price. They only look at the discount in percentage.

One store says the discount is 30% on an item that originally would have set you back $100. You get it for $70.

Down the street in another store, exactly the same merchandise may be selling for $60 with no discount.

The following techniques these days are the norm among retailers:

  1. Discount on Artificially Inflated Price

    Customers buy the discounted item instead of the one with the lesser original price.

    It is becoming a norm for all retailers – used to be specific to furniture stores – to jack up the prices and then discount the item but frequently more than the original price at another store.

    They win, you lose even though you might think you saved money.

    That means the first retailer in the example is playing a game on you, a game of psychology.

    It tries to go deep into your skull, get inside your little gray cells [Agatha Christie] if you have any left because of the fake discount phenomenon, and “forces” you to buy.

    When you look at the discount, your brain stops working. At the time of paying at the counter, your brain is completely blank.

    You are happy that you are getting 30% discount whereas your neighbor may have bought for lesser original price at another store.

  2. Freebie when you buy more

    It’s another nice tactic for retailers but maybe a financial set back for you.

    Buy 1 pair at $100, get another pair for half the price. That would be $150 for both. Why couldn’t they sell each for $75?

    There is no free or half price or something else, so your brain says “Oh No! You ain’t buying that at $75 each. Hey, Man! That’s original price.”

    You can’t tell your brain to shut up. Nobody can. That’s the only part in your body that can actually think but only when you drag it on the right path away from confusion.

    The retailer jacks up the price to $100, fakes the incentive and let you buy two pairs. Who wins, who loses, you decide.

  3. Try it, Buy it

    Another tactic in the freebie department is the phenomenon “try it, buy it.” The retailer would let you sample cheese, perfume and other items.

    Some folks feel obligated to buy. Why? Who knows? Over the weekend, when you go to one of the warehouse clubs like Sam’s, BJ’s and Costco, they have all kinds of food samples for you to try. You feel obligated to buy something, anything.

    I have heard some people go to a shelf, get an item, anything, put it on the shopping cart and start pushing it.

    They feel embarrassed to keep filling their bellies with food samples and not buy anything.

    Some folks just put the item back on the shelf after they eat their lunch for free before they leave the store.

    Where else can you eat free lunch with a 5-course meal? Only in America, folks!

  4. Exhausted and Clueless Shoppers – Advantage to Retailers

    Shoppers might also spend foolishly simply because they are overwhelmed. During Christmas shopping days, Jesus Christ, for whom Christmas is supposedly celebrated, becomes an unknown figure, an empty nest.

    The only “nest” hanging out in you brain is for gifts, gifts, and more gifts.

    With too many people to buy gifts for and too many options to pick from, you become confused and consumed by more shopping.

    That’s the time retailers try to find a hole in your head so they can come in and give you some kind of incentive to buy.

    So what do you do? Exhausted and clueless, shoppers often just defer to whatever they see anyone else is buying.

    And the shrewd retailers take advantage of you being exhausted and clueless. Dan Ariely, a psychology professor at Duke University and the author of Predictably Irrational, refers to this as “herding.”

Read another psychology professor’s article

By the way the artificially inflated price is known as anchoring in retail business.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The good professor has written an article A Psychologist’s Guide to Holiday Shopping, in which she gives the rundown on all-too-common retail tactics that manipulate shoppers into overspending.

Read it especially if you are psychologically inept, if your brain stops working when you see the sign “On Sale”.

You might learn something about the psychological games retailers use to “force” you to buy.

In a Nutshell
Don’t let the retailers blow you away with these tactics and techniques.

They use them to somehow fill their registers with your money.

They use them to somehow empty your pockets and put you on the path of more debt.

And then some people start complaining they live from paycheck to paycheck or they get in deeper debt shit.

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