How Stores Are Tricking You to Spend More

Do you ever feel that stores are tricking you to spend more? Stores have so many tactics to get you to spend your money.

By knowing these tricks, you can avoid overspending and save money. So let's talk about how stores are tricking you to spend more.

1. The free shipping trick

Is it really free shipping? If there’s no minimum on how much you have to buy for free shipping, or you have a card with that store, then it’s free shipping.

If it says you have to hit a minimum before you get free shipping or you have a coupon code for a discount, you’ll likely end up below that $35 minimum, even if you’re buying $35 worth of stuff.

So now to qualify for the free shipping you have to spend more. So if you did not intend to spend more than the minimum, now you have to spend more.

Package by door

Free is a word that does something to your mind, making you think you’re getting such a good bargain. But if you have to spend an additional $15 or $20 to hit the free shipping, they just got you to spend more money.

Usually, the amount you will have to pay for shipping is well under the additional amount of money you will need to spend to get free shipping!

For example, I had the option of spending $20 extra dollars to get free shipping or paying $8.95 for shipping an item. I hit the button for $8.95 and saved $12 by not getting extra items I didn’t need just for free shipping.

40% off sign

2. Shopping the end caps

The end caps are at the end of the aisles that have products in them but it’s used strategically by stores. Stores can place “sale” items or inexpensive products on end caps so you think the whole store has low prices.

End caps are gold for stores. Manufacturers are paying the store to put those items exactly where they want you to see them. There’s nothing random about what you see at eye level on those end caps. Retailers want you to go into the store to get those end-cap bargains and then stay longer to do more shopping.

3. Free cash back

I fight the urge to indulge in this all the time. It’s hard not to mention which store does this, but I’m sure you know which store I’m talking about.

The store I’m talking about tells you that for every $50 you spend, you get $10 back in that store’s “cash.” Sometimes it’s $5 back for every $25 you spend. I love that store because I can rack up the discounts when shopping online.

They tried to lure me to spend more the other day when I was checking out by telling me I could make more cash back if I spent more money and I’d get free shipping!

I added things to my cart but in the end, I would have spent an extra $25 to get $5 and free shipping! The shipping was only $8.95, so in the end, it was not worth the extra items I had no intention of buying. The math was ridiculous and did not make sense.

4. In-store music

Have you ever been shopping, just bopping along, and it’s just so relaxing. Why? The music they play has a catchy beat and it is slower than your heartbeat so it relaxes you. Stores know you won’t stay if the music is too fast and annoying. It’s designed to get you to stay longer than you intended so you can shop more.

Scented candles

5. In-store smells

Certain scents remind us of specific seasons and stores use these smells to lure you to buy seasonal items.

For example, in the fall, you think about apples and pumpkins, the winter is anything related to Christmas, the summer scent is lavender, and that’s what smells in the store. Stores pump those scents into the air to get you in the mood to buy seasonal items.

How stores are tricking you

If you keep all these things in mind, you can counteract the sneaky ways stores are tricking you to spend more money. But it’s your wallet, your money, and your choice.

Let me know more retail tricks you know about in the comments below.

Next, check out my 7 Easy Meal Planning Tips to Save Big on Grocery Shopping.

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