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Beat Retail Stores At Their Own Game With These 5 Tips

Written by Toi Williams on May 15th, 2008 | Filed under: mindset, saving

Everyone knows that many retail stores use devious little tricks to entice consumers into spending more than they intend.  Subtle tricks, such as placing the least expensive brands on lower shelves out of eyesight or moving the items that many people come into the store for to the back of the store so that people have to walk by more items that they may buy on impulse, have become more commonplace over the years and some people believe that these tricks have contributed to the culture of debt strangling the nation.  It is possible to beat these stores at their own tricks, but only if you are able to recognize what the tricks are.

1. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Stores position their items in the store with the goal of tricking consumers into buying more items than they intend to.  Common methods such as placing slower moving items in huge piles with brightly colored signs is designed to draw your eye and start you thinking about purchasing the item, and chances are once you begin to think about purchasing an item, you will put the item into your cart.  The way to avoid purchasing items that you do not need is to begin making a list of the things that you need before you leave your home and stick to the list once you have arrived at the store. 

2. Pay Off Store Credit On Time
Many stores will offer free financing for a period of time, typically 6 months to 1 year, in order to draw you into the store and give you a false sense of security about making a larger purchase than you can currently afford.  What many consumers tend to forget is that if the total amount of the purchase is not paid off by the time the grace period expires, the consumer will have to pay interest on the total amount of the purchase from the day that the item way purchased, a move that could add hundreds of dollars to the purchase price of the item.  If you would like to take advantage of a financing promotion offered by a retail store, be sure to pay off the purchase before the interest rate grace period has ended and you have just used the stores money for 6 months for free.

3. Purchase Sale Items And Leave The Store
Many stores use sale items as a way to get consumers into the store where they can be bombarded by all of the other tricks stores use to get consumers to purchase their items.  The sale item may be a great value and save you a good deal of money, but that savings cannot be realized if you also purchase the overpriced items that the store actually wants you to buy.  If you are going to the store to purchase the sale item, go directly to the item in the store, purchase it, and leave.

4. If You Only Need 1, Only Buy 1
Everyone has seen the offers for “2 for $5” or “3 for $10” deals used by some companies to move additional merchandise.  What many consumers fail to realize is that, in many cases, they do not have to purchase multiple items to realize the savings, so that single laundry detergent that is listed at “2 for $6” will only cost you $3 if you put it in the cart alone.

5. Leave The Carts At The Entrance
If you are only running into a store for one or two items, there is really no reason for you to push a cart through the store.  Stores offer carts to consumers in the hopes that they will find more things to put into the cart as they wander through the store looking for the items that they need.  If you do not have a cart to carry the excess items, you are much more likely to leave them on the shelf.

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