It’s no secret that the United States economy is fueled by consumption. All of the supposed great economic minds in this country, public officials and financial analysts encourage Americans, as if it’s their patriotic duty, to consume, consume and consumer, even if it’s stuff they don’t even need.
Indeed, the U.S. isn’t the only nation guilty of this notion. Although some of these countries generate economic growth through the means of production and manufacturing, Canada, Great Britain, France and elsewhere are told they have to purchase goods and/or services in order to stimulate the economy.
It’s akin to what the late great comedian George Carlin once described the U.S.: it’s one giant shopping mall. Of course, a shopping mall can’t exist without shoppers and the studies show that we are indeed shoppers. A study from 2006 suggested that women spend about eight years of their lives (or 25,184 hours and 53 minutes over a period of 63 years) shopping (the study did not involve their male counterparts).
How much do Americans spend to consume? Well, in the matter of just a single year, consumers across the Land of the Free spend trillions of dollars, including $450 billion throughout the holiday season. It’s surprising, though, that most of these individuals are not Consuming Addicts, a person that experts have referred to as someone who needs and craves the acquisition of possessions.
The difficult economic climate has at least encouraged shoppers to locate the best deals and to save some cash, whether it’s through the means of coupons, sales and other methods to get a lower price at the retailer outfit.
It must be asked, though: how do businesses entice consumers to spend more than they budgeted for? Do they use neurolinguistic programming? Does the cashier use mind control? Is there subliminal messaging going on? No, it’s just good business practices and a few tricks to get the person to spend a little bit more.
Here are 5 ways retailers get you to spend in their store.
Bundling, free items and how I loved to buy in bulk
Outside of any particular store, there might be a gigantic sign that informs the customer that there is a buy one get one free sale occurring at this time. A shopper may realize that this is a good time to buy some stuff in order to refrain from spending more in the future.
It should be realized, however, that retailers aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Instead, they will attempt to bundle items together at an additional expense to the consumer to go through their inventory.
For instance, a store may have a pair of shoes priced at $20, but if you buy a bundle that consists of a “free pair” then most likely the price would be raised to $30, which is more than what you expected to spend.
The .99 trick
Anyone who has studied business marketing will realize that this is the oldest trick in the book. Whether it’s a grocery store, clothing store, kitchen appliance store or a car dealership, companies will list their items for $1.99, $9.99, $19.99, $99.99 and so on.
The question that should be asked: why do they do this? Isn’t it easier to list the respective items for just $2 or $20? According to various studies, shoppers will spend more money than they wanted to if prices end in nine.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to hold sales during any given time in the year. However, a customer who really analyzes the marketplace these days should understand that the goods on sale aren’t really on sale. Think about it: if an item usually costs $99.99 but is on sale for $59.99 then it’s not a sale because that’s how much the item is most likely worth anyway.
In most cases, a sale doesn’t automatically mean good prices. An exception is if an item is normally priced at $100 but has been lowered to $10 then this is definitely a fantastic price. Other than that, don’t buy into the marketing scheme.
Cashiers and stockers are informed to put items at eye level; this is especially true at grocery stores. When a product is at eye level then it’s considered to be pretty easy to pick it up with your hands and thus entice you buy to it. Ask yourself: why are a majority of the grocery items easy to grab, particularly the product that is bad for your health?
What saves more? Carts or baskets?
During your next trip to Wal-Mart, The Bay or Target, be sure to notice the many oversized carts being filled to the rim with useless items that no one ever really needs. Most of these carts are usually used at the store, but baskets are a much better alternative because the heavier it is the less you will spend.
When you travel to a grocery store, you can spend between $20 and $30 if you fill up your basket. If you utilize a cart, you can spend an astronomical amount of money on food that will most likely expire and then be tossed into the garbage.
Do you plan to go shopping any time soon? Carry a basket.