Beware of Sellers’ Tricks: A Basic Guide to Smart Shopping

by A Guest Writer · 1 comment

in Guest Posts

The guest post is provided by Ann of, the social community for bargain hunters, where codes are shared and rated by site users so they’re always valid and up-to-date.

If you are a reader of this blog, you probably prefer smart shopping and you like to save (well, who doesn’t after all?). You don’t like to think that you are being tricked into buying something or spending more.

However (and you are most likely to be well aware of that) there’s the whole science and art behind actually selling you something. Keeping in mind that you are being manipulated is what can save you hundreds and thousands.

So let’s have a look at just a few (well-spread) tricks that may bring you into spending more:

Break the Shopping Momentum

Shopping momentum

After the first purchase the shopper can’t stop because he no more considers buying anything but gets to action (deliberation versus implementation of shopping ).

To break the momentum it is recommended to buy with cash and using different envelopes (or several pockets) to pay from. This returns you from implementing back to deliberating.

The Fallacy of Free

fallacy of free Free in the meaning of spending no cash is one of the most popular marketing techniques. However there is nothing really free under the sun. You pay for the contact information you disclose (you’ll spend money later). Or you pay by spreading the company’s message (they save on advertising this way). Or by accepting the gift you just feel obliged to buy later.

But there is really nothing bad in freebies until you are fooled into thinking something is free. Very often you are encouraged to buy something to get the present – and that’s where you end up paying twice: tempted to get the present you buy that even if you don’t really need that.

Beware of False Deals

Let’s face it, most of us are not too good at math.

Therefore very often we are easily manipulated into buying something by using “the false” coupon code: e.g. a discount on minimum purchase that makes you buy more and spend more than you initially intended to.

The best way out is to use the calculator and to do your homework. Using reliable coupon code directories and shopping communities is another great way to evaluate shoppers’ reviews and ratings before buying anything.

Thanks Ann, for this guest post! I found it to be quite thought provoking. I know that I am willing to trade off some potential loss of privacy for the money I save by using a store card. How about you? Do you consider yourself to be a smart shopper?

Post image credits to digitalART2 and stage88.

{ 1 comment }

1 Kristy @ Master Your Card May 10, 2009

I fall victim to the first one quite a bit. Once I spend money on something, or even just commit to spend the money, it’s very easy to tell myself “what’s another $20-$30 more?” Now, this usually only happens when I’m purchasing DVDs, my one true shopping weakness; however, it did happen on a recent clothes shopping trip and I walked out spending way more than I wanted. I could have returned some of the clothes, but I did need new clothes and I wear them, so I just chalked it up to a lesson learned.

Something you didn’t point out, but does affect our shopping habits is sales. Stores trick people into believing they’re getting a good deal on something by having a “sale.” From my old retail days, I can tell you, they mark that stuff up 10-15% before putting it on sale. You’re not really saving anything. Black Friday is a classic example here in the states. The day after Thanksgiving is seen as one of the biggest sale days of the year and people line up outside their favorite stores 4-5 hours before opening to make sure they get what they want. Ridiculous. You’re not saving any real money AND you’re driven to mean-spirited competition because you want the same thing as everyone else. Every year, at least one death is reported from trampling of these crowds.

Now, that’s not to say that ALL sales are fictitious. However, as you pointed out, it’s important for people to do the math and their homework. Just because an item says it’s on sale doesn’t mean it really is. You have to consider what it was before the sale, and what it is now.

Thanks for the great post!

Kristy @ Master Your Card´s last blog post..Weekly Round Up

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