Don’t Fall for These Retailer Tricks – Or It’ll Cost You

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Every time I leave a supermarket, convenience store, or pharmacy, I buy a candy bar. I did that for many years, and I paid for it in lost money and gained weight. Impulse buys. Those items are placed by the register to tempt your impulsive tendencies. In fact, the average consumer spends over $5,400 every year on random impulse purchases.

What could you do with an extra $5,400? Resist these retailer tricks and maybe one day you’ll find out.

Buying Food in Bulk

Unless you have a large and growing extended family, or habitually eat at home and make daily lunches, you have no business buying food in bulk. You’re just throwing away money and worse of all, wasting food. Americans routinely throw away 40% of the food they buy, uneaten.

This problem gets exponentially worse if you buy in bulk unnecessarily. We like to plan for a week or two when we buy food, but most of us don’t stick to those plans. Buying in bulk won’t save you money if you have erratic eating patterns. How often do you buy take out or end up dining out after work with friends?

You may think that you’re planning ahead, but you may just end up throwing out a lot more food than you usually do.

The Rinse and Repeat Con

Most shampoo products have the instructions, “rinse and repeat,” printed on them. The goal is to get you to waste the product quicker and then purchase more. Take notice of the generous, and long-lasting, lather you can build up from one dollop of shampoo the next time you wash your hair. That is all you need for efficient cleaning.

Unless you are a mechanic with a part-time coal mining job, you don’t need multiple rinse and repeat lathering cycles.

The Limited Time Offer Swindle

Psychological studies have proven the effect of the scarcity principle on a consumer’s drive to buy something. If you think a product is scarce and will be gone soon, then you will want it even more. You can see this process yourself in those consumer stampedes for midnight bargain sales or in the upper-class public auctions for expensive items.

People want something because they think its rare or to prevent someone else form getting that rarity. Don’t be fooled by, “limited time sale,” promotions. The store may have a huge inventory it needs to move when they promote such sales. A sign that says inventory quantities are low may not be true.

Free Sample Offerings

You don’t have to buy anything in a store just because an employee gave you a free sample. Many people feel obligated to do just that, however. There is actually a scientific theory called the Reciprocity Rule that states that people naturally want to return an act of kindness shown to them.

Make Budget Adherence an Impulse

Make detailed shopping lists and budgets whenever you shop. That way, you can easily identity random impulse purchases. Learn to self-recognize and correct impulsive shopping behaviors and patterns. Otherwise, only your retailer end up benefiting from your shopping habits.

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Posted in: Education, Food and Grocery, Life Hacks, Money, Personal Finance, Saving Money

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