There are many tactics that retailers use to try to make consumers believe that they are getting great bargains when there is, in reality, no rebate whatsoever. Here are a few examples of such practices, along with tips on how to avoid these shopping pitfalls:
BOGO or Buy One Get One deal is when the consumer is offered a “free” or reduced-price article for having bought a first one. These kinds of sales are often not as profitable as they seem, at least not to you, the consumer. But to the seller, they are, since their goal is basically to get rid of overstock while still making a considerable profit. To avoid this trap, ask yourself if that second article that is offered as a bonus is really something you can use. Because if it isn’t, then all you are doing is paying that first article full price.
Fake Sales Prices
Sometimes the retailer will boost the price of an article for a certain period, after which they will lower it to the price that it should have been in the first place. This is a common practice to create the illusion of a bargain. It is a fake markdown. In the end, the consumer is merely paying the regular price. Instead of falling for this, why not simply wait for the real sales that will inevitably follow?
The Power of Nine
Studies show that we judge prices by the left digit. This is the reason why many companies ensure that their prices end with the number nine. For instance, retailers know that when we see an asking price of $19.99, our brain interprets this price as being $19 instead of $20 minus one penny. Fight this tactic by rounding the price up, rather than down. This way, you will be fully aware of the actual cost of that particular article.
One of the sneakiest things retailers do to get you to spend is to make “limited-time” offers. And though these “special” offers come up regularly, they count on the fact that people, in general, are afraid to miss out on something great. All they want is for you to buy whatever it is they’re selling immediately and without thinking.
Beware of Bargain Shopping in Itself
Finally, bargain hunting in itself can be a trap. This is because shopping for deals is addictive. It has been shown that people who regularly bargain-hunt tend to spend more money overall than those who don’t.
Yes, bargain-hunting can be fun, and it can help you save money. But for it to be profitable for you, the consumer, you must be savvy and mindful of the tactics used by retailers to get you to spend more than you should.