This content may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosures for more information.
The second you walk into a store your senses are immediately assaulted with a variety of sneaky tactics that marketing executives use in an attempt to get you to spend more money than you originally intended. Enticing merchandise is placed at eye level. Red tags are placed on merchandise that isn’t actually on a really great sale at all. Everything you see, hear, feel (and in some cases, smell), is designed to make you want to give the store as much money as possible.
There is nothing innately wrong with these tactics. After all, anyone who has ever taken an introductory psychology class can understand that the way merchandise is presented can change the way consumers view it. On the other hand, since your goal should be to save as much money as possible and avoid as many impulse buys as you can then you need to be on the lookout for these tactics whenever you enter a store.
How do you know when marketing tactics are being successfully used on you? Here are some examples:
How Marketing Tactics Get You to Spend
1. You enter a store you didn’t intend on going into.
2. You find yourself sifting through the full-price racks even though you only intended on searching through the clearance racks.
3. You spend a lot more than you intended on spending.
4. You walk out of the store having bought something that you don’t need and that doesn’t even really belong in the store (like breath mints at a clothing store).
These things happen to the best of us, so don’t get too embarrassed if you find them happening to you. The key to avoid them in the future is to think like a marketing executive when you enter a store. If you find yourself drawn to something then before you decide that you simply must have it you should ask yourself this question: “Am I falling prey to a marketing tactic right now?” Sure, that glittery skirt seems like a good idea while it’s surrounded by flashy lights and appealing accessories, but once you get it home are you going to scratch your head and wonder why in the world you bought something that not even a self-respecting go-go dancer would wear?