Bright Side

19 Sales Tricks Stores Use to Make You Buy Unnecessary Stuff

Many people wait for sales when they want to get good deals on clothes and other stuff with big discounts. During this time, discounts and attractive deals pour out, as if from a cornucopia, while we, in pursuit of a good catch, forget that the main goal of any business is profit. We don’t always remember that stores will never give goods away at a loss.

We at Bright Side want to introduce you to a bunch of tricks that skillful marketers use to convince us to buy as much as possible.

Shop windows are designed to lure you into the store.

The task of a marketer is to form the “see and want” impulse in a person passing by. That’s why they use very curious tricks.

  • Special design: The windows of premium-segment shops are decorated quite modestly during sale seasons, but mass-market shops aren’t afraid to use such tricks. It almost feels as if their windows are shouting, “Come in, it’s cheaper in here!” And the “sale” sign is mandatory in the windows of shops like these.
  • The color of the graphic: Most often, marketers use the “checked combination of colors” that even the most skeptical buyer reacts to. Can you guess which combination this is? Of course, red and white. Those who want to stand out or take a risk use unusual color combinations like orange and purple or blue and yellow.
  • Price: Most often, there are no price tags on the windows, only a percentage of the discount so that the buyer doesn’t compare the cost of the goods with their salary and get discouraged. If the price is minimal in percentage terms, they’ll write it in dollars, like “$4.99” or a new price, such as “only $9.99.”
  • A thoroughly selected image: Mannequins are dressed in a mix of clothes and accessories, which most fully illustrate the range of goods presented in the store.
  • Happy people: Using posters depicting happy people in shop windows is a method that checks out. Their smiles say, “They bought our goods and they’re happy but you’re sad because you still don’t have any of it.”

The optimal length of sales is 45 days so don’t feel in a rush after having seen the bright window displays — you’ll have plenty of time, so be patient. But the time discounts start can vary — it all depends on how successful the previous sale season was. The more successful it was for the shop, the longer you’ll see the shop window displaying discounts.

Discounts: regular and melting

The size of a discount always depends on the demand. If it’s high, there is only one way to buy something which is without discounts. Moreover, these deals and promos cause addiction and can result in trying on a piece of clothing without buying it because the spoiled buyer chooses to wait for a discount.

  • 25% — 30% discounts: Such deals are made to increase the demand for goods or are done at the start of a sale. Usually, these are the earliest arrivals of the last season and the cheapest goods are located in the back of the store.
  • 50% discounts are the second stage of sales. The cheapest product is placed at the entrance so that visitors can enjoy the generous offer and go into the store. As you move along the trading hall, the discount will gradually reduce. Most often, it’ll piece copies that are sold this way. They will make buyers purchase something else thanks to their profitable buy.
  • Reductions of the collection with discounts of up to 70% is a way to get rid of the rest of the goods when the season is over. Goods with reduced prices take up a significant amount of the trading space and are scattered all around the store.
  • Discounts of more than 80% are the last stage of final reductions and it’s literally a cry for help as if to say, “Buy me!” All items from the new collection will be located at the entrance but the “veteran” sale items will be relocated to the depths of the trading hall in order for buyers to pay attention to new items while looking for profitable offers. The margin of such big discounts is minimal, and it’s a desperate attempt to sell as many products as possible and make room for new things.
  • “Melting discounts” are bait based on the fact that possible losses scare and excite people way more than the purchases themselves. They work on the following principle: on the first day of the promo, they give a 30% discount and then reduce it more every day. Buyer activity might be not that high on the first day but it increases drastically when the discount starts to melt. Everyone thinks that if they wait for the final reductions they may miss out on their size or desired color and therefore, buy the item right away. The longest duration of such a promo is generally 2 weeks.

Today, companies rarely follow the well-known 3-stage sales system and act depending on the current situation, which means they may start with 50% off and finish the sale without reaching the final huge discount. Or they’ll jump from 20% off straight to 80% off if they need to urgently free some space for a new collection or if the previous discount wasn’t that effective. Monitor the prices to understand whether the offer you see is really profitable or whether it’s inflated. Also, keep in mind that making purchases with a discount should be sensible. Looking at the price tag should be the last thing you do since first, you need to understand whether or not you actually need the item.

Deals are a good opportunity to use tempting offers profitably.

Deals are not a luxury but rather, a traditional way to “flirt” with a buyer. That’s why it’s important not to lose your train of thought and dive into them but instead, flirt back to prevent buying unnecessary goods.

  • “The week of summer dresses” is an example of a deal for certain goods that were not sold during the season and are taking up space on hangers and shelves. It will suit those who don’t care whether the thing will lose its relevance next season.
  • “Promo sets” like 5 ties for $14.99 don’t allow you to choose the color or pattern of an item. That’s how stores solve the issue of “leftovers.” When offering such deals, marketers rely on your practical approach because buying for the future is a part of most people’s psychology.
  • Loyalty programs and gift bonuses often do things like give every tenth purchase a discount or give you something for free after buying a certain amount of goods or for spending a specific amount of money. It convinces people to buy more while waiting for a more “profitable” deal sometime in the future.
  • The store’s birthday usually happens during a period of low sales and doesn’t relate to the real date of the store’s opening. Only non-popular or unsold goods are sold during this period.
  • “Only today” sales are limited by time to convince people to buy something right here, right now. This is how they push you to make an impulsive purchase without thinking. Online stores use timers counting the time till the end of the deal and often display “last item available” on the things you like.

Stores stop making a big secret of leftovers and sell them openly with discounts at the end of the season. That’s why in order not to end up wearing the same clothes as half of the city, you shouldn’t buy popular items from the finishing collection like those that were displayed in shop windows or that you’ve seen on the store’s Instagram page. Buy classic items that will serve you for a long time, not things that will collect dust in your closet.

Life continues when the sales are over.

The unsold items from the premium segment go to outlets and stocks. Some of them are presented to bloggers for promoting the brand and some are sold to personnel. But that’s not the most interesting thing that can happen to items from old collections.

  • They come to stores as a part of a new collection. Basic items from previous collections or items for all seasons get “updated” and placed in different parts of the store.
  • They’re kept in warehouses for a while. Have you ever found items that suddenly appeared during a sale that weren’t there during the season of a certain collection? It’s likely that merchandisers are trying to offer you old, unpresentable clothes that have been lying in the warehouse for years. Most stores store clothing from previous seasons that “unexpectedly” appear during the sales of newer collections.
  • They become trendy again. Sometimes the item that wasn’t desirable before becomes a part of the set and gets popular in the new season.
  • They’re destroyed. For example, the British luxury brand Burberry burned their clothes from previous collections for the amount of $36.5 million. Brands don’t give out unsold clothes to the needy nor do they send them to outlets because it’s considered a blow to their reputation — the brand should be associated with luxury.

The goal of marketers is to create the feeling of a profitable purchase while yours is to buy goods for a great price. It turns out that benefits from sales do exist but only when you get what you really need. In this case, both you and the store feel good. Do you wait for sales to buy items that you like?