10 Little Tricks That Shops Use to Make Us Spend More Money Without Thinking First

Tips & tricks
3 years ago

We probably think we know everything about marketing tricks. And approaches like “2 for the price of 1” and “it’s only 9.99” don’t work on us anymore. But in the end, these hacks aren’t the only tricks that marketers have up their sleeves. Companies pay close attention, not only to their number of sales, but they also want to keep their customers in a good mood. This factor increases the chances that a customer will make an impulsive purchase, in both women and men. And this will increase the profits of the company.

We at Bright Side prefer a healthy approach to shopping where there’s no place for cunning tricks. Take a look and stay alert when shopping.

10. No currency symbols means no problems.

Just thinking about having to make a big purchase might bring us discomfort. We don’t like to lose anything, especially our money. But shops have found that if they remove currency symbols from their price tags, their customers will spend more. The same thing happens when we pay with a credit card, because we don’t actually see how much money we are spending.

9. How to distract customers from lines

The passengers who arrived at Houston’s airport were complaining that they had to wait for their luggage for way too long. The airport took a lot of different measures, but none of them could improve the situation. So the airport decided to make the time that it took passengers to walk from the arrival terminal to the baggage claim, 6 times longer. People started to spend the time that they used to spend waiting, on walking. And the number of complaints almost dropped to zero.

All skyscrapers have mirrors next to their elevators, so that people can distract themselves while waiting. At Disneyland, visitors can estimate how long they have to wait in a line with countdown timers, while supermarkets keep different smaller items close to the check-out desk to distract you.

8. A tiny gift contributes to big love.

If a representative of a company does something nice for you for free, you’re likely to want to thank them for that. A small pack of gum or some candies in a bill folder have saved many waiters from clients’ dissatisfaction with the total price of their dinner.

Dissatisfaction with the service or the prices may easily be smoothed out with other freebies, like branded T-shirts, an exclusive book, or even with a cup of ice cream. In the summer of 2015, the taxi service, Uber, launched a large-scale campaign to deliver ice cream to its clients for free. Despite the fact that not everyone got to receive this bonus, the number of complaints against drivers decreased, while the number of orders increased.

7. Everyone loves the “by default” option.

The human brain is wired to think as little as possible. Going with the flow saves us energy, and this principle works for shopping as well. So if you want to make people buy more and be ok with it, don’t add more new options. Just adjust your “by default” settings. For example, shops may change the size of an ordinary shopping cart. And a customer may end up buying up to 40% more without even thinking about it.

6. The spirit of competition will smooth out the feeling of loss.

“Earn reward points by paying with your phone.”

Shops use point systems to prevent their customers from complaining about high prices. Initially, this system was developed for drivers, but it works perfectly in retail as well. If a customer spends a certain amount of money, they get a sticker, a couple of bonus points, or the opportunity to take part in a lottery.

5. If something is elite, it’s desirable.

It may be difficult to believe now, but at the beginning of the ’80s, Timberland was in a difficult situation. The company was selling high-quality, but not very pretty shoes. The sales were declining and people were complaining about the weird design of their products. So the Timberland executives just made the prices higher in comparison with other competitors on the market, and sales went up. This decision turned their shoes into an elite product that became more desirable in the eyes of customers.

4. Customers rarely complain about scarce items.

When you’re in a rush to buy the last 2 tickets to get on the plane, you no longer pay attention to the details. And once you are finally on the plane, you will most likely be glad that you are flying at all and will ignore the fact that you’re sitting far away from a window or that the back of your seat is broken. In 1975, scientists proved that deficiency affects our perception.

A collection of Yeezy Boost sneakers that was launched by Adidas in collaboration with Kanye West is sold as a limited edition. People line up in the stores to buy this product and they don’t even complain about its extraordinary price.

3. The “bulla bulla” effect

How can a shop sell small and unnecessary items without putting them on sale or having customers complain that the shop is forcing this stuff on them? The solution is to create the illusion of volume by putting things in big containers for low prices. Shops don’t even have to discount these items, because people will be attracted by the volume. This approach is called the “bulla bulla” effect.

2. No evidence means no complaints.

A 25-year warranty, free technical support, or a life-long subscription sounds like a great deal. But the company usually asks the customers to keep the receipt. This can be explained by the fact that when offering these bonuses, the sellers make sure that the customers won’t complain about the quality of the product. They don’t have to worry about minor breakdowns or poor quality, because an item can always be replaced with a new one. But the problem is that the receipt is usually printed on a standard cash register on thermal paper, so it’ll completely fade after a couple of years. As a result, manufacturers keep customers’ loyalty without having to spend money on actual repairs.

1. The more difficult it’s to buy the product, the better.

IKEA stores are always located on the outskirts of the city. And by the time we get there, we’ve already swallowed the marketers’ bait. If a person has gone through this much trouble to drive that far away, they subconsciously set themselves up for a purchase, because it would be a pity to waste so much time with no results.

In IKEA, the furniture is sold disassembled for a reason. This is another psychological trick. A person has to spend a lot of effort and time to assemble the furniture. As a result, they will no longer want to complain about the product and are more likely to admire their purchase.

Meanwhile, it was established that IKEA uses 1% of the world’s commercial wood supply annually for the production of its goods. And the company is trying to not advertise these astonishing volumes.

Which of these tricks would make you forget about your dissatisfaction and buy the product anyway? Or maybe you know better marketing hacks?

Preview photo credit FreddyKruegerFiles / youtube


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Why would they write "iPhone" specific.. that would just make some people mad no?


That's actually smart.. I thought those items near the check-out were meant for kids to nag so that their parents would buy more


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