Ever been to a supermarket and came out with a bill almost twice of what you planned? That’s what supermarkets hope for! They never want you to come with a list and stick to it. This is because a list will always only consist of necessities. You will give a lot of thought to the items before you put it on the list. Supermarkets hate that!Supermarkets can do nothing if you come with a list and stick to it. But they have got plenty of tricks up their sleeves to induce you into spending more.
Here are a few I have come across which annoys me the most:
1. Keeping Low Cost Items at Inconvenient Locations
Ever wondered why the branded and the most high cost items are at a convenient height? It encourages you to pick up the item and increases the chance that you will buy it. Manufacturers pay the supermarkets to place their items at eye level. Always look at the lowest shelves to find bargains.
2. Hiding Milk and Eggs in the Back
You might have planned to stop “just for milk” on your way back to home, but the milk is always placed the farthest from the entrance. So that you will pass all the aisles and end up buying items you did not plan to in the first place. Stick to a list.
3. Keeping Gigantic Shopping Carts
Ever seen the shopping carts at Wal-marts? They are so huge that I have seen small children playing inside them! They are large for a reason. Supermarkets don’t want to leave anything to chance. If you don’t have space in your cart (maybe after 24 double rolls of bath tissue) you probably would skip more purchases for the trip. They don’t want that to happen! Even if it means more than 75% of the customers don’t use half of the cart-space.
4. “10 for $10” Deals
These are just gimmicks. More often than not you can get the item at $1 each. It just encourages you to buy in bulk when you don’t need them.
This is also an excellent way for the supermarkets to move items that are near their expiration dates.
5. Items near the Checkout Counter
This is a supermarket’s dream place to promote a product. You are waiting in a line, probably tired and nothing better to do, an excellent time for an impulse purchase. A magazine or a packet of gums hardly seems harmful. Manufacturers give supermarkets incentives to place their items in these shelves. And guess where the money comes from? From You. All these innocent items have the highest markups.
6. Shelf Arrangement
Supermarkets rearrange the shelves on a continuous basis, so you spend more time looking for items and possibly buy more. This is one of the techniques to keep you longer inside the supermarket.
7. Coupon at Checkout
This one is a horrible trick! You are presented you a coupon (10% off or $10 off) with receipt at checkout. But it cannot be applied to that days’ purchase. So you have to make another trip and buy $40 worth of stuff (you probably don’t need) to save $10.
8. Promoting Useless Sales
“Sale!” in big red letters is all that is needed to trigger our instinct to buy and not lose a good deal. Have you noticed nearly all the items are on sale every day of the week? Sometimes the sales are as little as 10 cents on a $2.99 item or 15 cents on a $4.99 item. Always figure out the actual price (and whether you need them) before throwing it into your cart.
9. Playing Slow Music
Many supermarkets have perfected the art of putting a customer in the buying mood. They research as to which music triggers customers to buy more. It’s usually slow music in the background. You can’t do anything about the music, but you sure can make a list and stick with it.
Rebates: These are more frequently given by manufacturers. But the trick is also used by Supermarkets. They bet that more often than not the customer will forget to fill in the rebate form or else fill it incorrectly. And according to research it works. If you do buy a product with a rebate do fill up the form and send it.
If you have come across any other tricks, which you hate, please comment.