Shopping smart is a quality many of us are unfamiliar with. Be it a grocery store or our favourite clothing outlet, we always feel good when we pile up that shopping cart with things we like- only until we get our hands on that long scroll of a bill bearing big numbers. Stores often incorporate a range of tricks and traps to beguile shoppers to indulge in inadvertent buying. Here are some tips to sidestep these common retail gimmicks and become a savvy shopper.
The Trick: ‘Buy in bulk’ deals
The Tackle: More often than not, the huge ‘Buy three cartons of juices for Rs. 250 only’ banner outside the store makes buyers think that they have to purchase a whole lot to reap monetary benefits from a particular product. However, the bulk deals approach is an underhanded way of promoting a product. You can actually manage the same savings by just getting one item, in place of, say, five. This is all the more true when it comes to perishable items – so read the fine print of the product before you throw it into your cart.
The Trick: Ambiguous sale signs on clothing racks
The Tackle: This might come as a shocker to you, but don’t ever presuppose that all the items on a sale rack are at discount. In most cases, stores position a sale sign amidst a prolonged rack to make it seem like the pricing of all the clothes on the rack are slashed. This tactic is used in a belief that the difference in the pricing will not be noticed by the customers and even if they do, it will be at the billing counter when they are already too attached to the item to discard it. The next time you are browsing through clothing items on a sale rack, make sure you ask the shop assistant for details and be ready to abandon items that are not discounted.
The Trick: The ‘Buy two and get one free’ deal.
The Tackle: You might be all too tempted to buy more when you spot one or many of these so called attractive deals but in reality, they are never beneficial to the customer. Always remember that all ‘buy one, get one’ deals are tricks aimed to make you spend twice as much. When you fall for such deals, you would be saving not more than 25% of the total price, while a sale can be called a sale only if you are able to save half of the total cost price of a pair.
Gourmet or Specialty Stores
The Trick: The ‘Free Sample’ offer.
The Tackle: A store never offers something for free even if it’s meant to be sampled because it feels generous. Sample items of anything are offered in the hope that by initiating such a gesture, the shopper will definitely be obligated to buy something as a sign of reciprocity. Also, having sampled a bite of say cheese or chocolate, you will eventually end up buying plenty of it even if it is not a necessity. Let your shopping list be your guide and not the ostensible complimentary samples.
Pubs or Bars
The Trick: Happy Hours
The Tackle: This is a single most successful idea designed solely to increase walk-ins to a club or a bar. If you notice, happy hours as a concept will only be incorporated during that part of the day when the sales are at their lowest possible. You would never find these places offering happy hours during the weekends or in the evenings! When drinks are sold at discounted prices, the inevitable act is to drink more and you probably will end up spending the same amount as you would spend in a non-happy hour!