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Marketing Tactics That Encourage You To Shop More Than You Need To

Did you ever buy stuff that you didn’t need at all but bought it simply because it came at a discount, or you thought it was a good deal? Guilty as charged, right! We all have some clothes and other unnecessary purchases stacked in the darkest corners of our closets. They make us feel ashamed when we look at them, and think of the amount of money we wasted. Don’t be. Instead, consider yourself a victim who has been tricked into buying it. The language used by online and physical stores are often dictated by marketing tactics. They have a psychology behind these tricks which helps improve their success rates. These clever marketing strategies have a psychological effect that sort of plants in our mind the idea that we are getting the best deals with the lowest prices possible.

Know these tricks, so that the next time you won’t get fooled so easily!

Understanding The Psychology Behind The “.99” Theory

We have been puzzled for quite a while as we saw all kinds of products with a price tag that has an extra 99 cents at the end. Whether it is a baked goodie worth $2.99 or a lovely dress for $29.99, the fact that the products are one cent less of $3 and $30 respectively makes us believe it is a good deal. Pricing that ends with “9” is called “charm pricing“. In fact, a study by MIT and University of Chicago has shown that the same product priced at $39 sold more rather than at $34 or $44. In reality, you are saving just one cent, yet you think it was a good bargain.

Using The “Buy One Get One Free” Trap

We have fallen prey to this tactic countless times. It takes little to understand why. When you are buying a product with a full price, you are getting another either for half the price or completely free. So essentially, you are getting two things at the price of one. This is exactly what the stores want you to believe. However, two things should be considered here. Do you really need the second item? Often, the second item has to be chosen from a limited section of products, and they might not be even suitable for your needs. Another aspect is that the same item for which you paid full price might be available elsewhere or at the same place for a much lesser price once the BOGO is over.

Adding The Words Strategically


Sometimes, words like “small” and “big” can make all the difference, admit experts. Carnegie-Mellon University conducted a study where they found an ad campaign getting more sign-ups just because they added the word “small”. When it was added before the subscription fee amount, a lot more people signed up. It seems these words definitely appeal to our brain. Similarly, phrases like “the biggest sale of the year” will catch our attention immediately. It wouldn’t matter even if our savings are minuscule during the sale days compared to other days, but we will be more interested in buying.

Putting Up The Board For Sale Outside The Door

We have all seen that big red sign that says “Sale” and felt something that sort of propelled us towards the store. Yet, once inside we find there is just limited items under sale –  most of which are outdated, old, and unfashionable. The new collection looks much better, though without a discount. But since you like it, wouldn’t you try it out? Of course, you would, and you might buy it as well! This is exactly why stores keep the sale in the first place.

Selling Products Under A Limited Time Offer

In stores and online, we often find products that say that they are available for a “limited time only”. Sometimes, they are available for a limited time for a special price. The moment the word “limited time” registers in our brain, we want to to see the product. It kind of gives the product more value than it really is worth. It compels us to buy the item because of the given time limit.

The good news is that when you know these marketing tactics, it is easier to stop yourself from getting tempted to buy anything. Next time you go shopping, do not get excited about some special bargain or sale day at the mall. Instead, be rational and buy things that you need instead of things that you aren’t necessary at all.


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