Explore the Psychology behind Shopping

By: Elizabeth L., Published: Apr 2, 2020 | Related: Coupons and Exciting Discounts

Retailers know what they're doing from the moment that you step past their front door. There are several levels of psychology at play when you glance in their direction. The retailers' goal is to sell items. You're well-aware of this fact, but you may not realize how deep the mental challenges go. Explore the psychology behind shopping so that you recognize these tactics on your next trip.


Walk Past the Dazzle

Retailers decorate their store windows with the most tantalizing deals and products. They pull you into the store. Keep your mind on the items that you're actually shopping for. The dazzling items are just ploys to keep you browsing and buying in that particular store.

Crossed-Out Strategy

Explore a store, and take a look at one of the price tags. You might see a dramatic slash drawn through an old price. The new cost is just below it. This psychological tactic is designed to make you feel like you've discovered a sale. It's not always the truth, however.

Free Isn't Free

This is often sales strategy the "Buy one, get one free". Although you receive the free item, you might be buying another product that's not on your list. Stick to your shopping list because BOGO deals aren't really free.


Website Deals

Coupons won't always save you money. Be a smart shopper by comparing a store's online deals with its in-house sales. You may be able to save several dollars by purchasing an item online instead of cutting out coupons for a storefront deal.

"Everything" is On Sale

When a retailer advertises that everything is 80 percent off, be wary of the statement. In most cases, there's a caveat to that advertisement. Some items are deeply discounted, but the ones you truly desire are at full price. The store merely reaches its goal of pulling you in the door.

High-End Products

Be aware of the quality-versus-price consideration. Certain brands have high prices attributed to them. Some consumers see these prices as a reflection on the product's quality. As a result, they buy the item at full price. This perception isn't always true so be aware of the features of each product that you choose. Some inexpensive products have the best quality around.

The 0.99 Factor

Nearly every product today has a $0.99 price tag. Remind yourself that an item listed as $99.99 is still a $100 item when you account for tax. This tactic has been around for decades, and it continues to work wonders for retailers.


Doorbuster Psychology

Excitement over doorbusters pulls you into a store. However, those items may be already sold out. There are other, attractive items nearby. You carefully look them over. A sale is probably in that retailer's future. You've committed to the store, but you end up paying full price for an item that you didn't want in the first place.

The Limitation Trick

When there's a limitation on an item, you want it even more. You'll pay extra for it too. Don't take limitation into consideration. Retailers will almost always restock an item.

Pressure Tactics at the Register

Coupons that don't scan, small print and confusing expiration dates create issues at the cash register. To avoid any social problems in the line behind you, paying full price is how you rectify the situation. Read over your coupons so that the cashier cannot steer you away from a deal.

Transparent Pricing

Retailers are doing you a favor by showing a competitor's price beside their own sales numbers. This strategy appears transparent, but both prices might be inflated. In either case, you're probably paying more than necessary.

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Manipulated "Original" Prices

Inflated prices are the hallmark of a great deal at a retail store. They actually inflate the original prices so that the sales numbers look that much more pleasing to the eye. Go online to verify the real price. This "original" cost could be several dollars higher than normal.

By understanding these strategies, you can beat the retailers at their own game. You'll know when a price is truly reduced instead of inflated and dropped down, for example. Being a smart shopper helps you in the long run as you deal with legitimate sales among the biggest retailers.




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