These Two Retailer Tricks Manipulate You Into Buying More Than You Need


Even smart shoppers get seduced by clever marketing tactics. Your best defense? Know the tricks and do your research before you head out the door or turn on your computer.

  1. The Color of Money – Both online and brick-and-mortar stores use colors strategically to make you feel calm, excited or any number of emotions that positively affect your buying mood. Bold colors excite young people to shop; calm colors keep everyone relaxed and feeling good about spending time in the store.

    Even colors used in online product images affect shoppers. The New York Times blog Gadgetwise reported a study that showed how the color behind a couch influenced shoppers’ feelings about buying the couch. Green made people think about money – and therefore the price of the couch – and blue made it seem comfortable.Your Strategy: Don’t trust the ambiance of a store or how great a product looks online. To avoid shopping emotionally, have a budget in mind and research products in advance. That way you know the brands you want to consider and how much the item should cost before you shop.
  2. Product Placement – From grocery stores to online merchants, retailers love using placement as a tool to entice spending. Supermarkets push items by placing them at the end of the aisle. You think they’re on sale, so you buy. But they’re not. Look for deals on shelves above and below eye level, where less expensive items tend to hide.

    And if you’re shopping online, don’t fall in love with the first product you see. Another study reported in Gadgetwise found that consumers select items displayed first on a site most often. Retailers put products that they’re pushing in those slots.Your Strategy: Have a mission and stick to it. Next time you head to the store or go online, make it a matter of pride that you won’t let sneaky marketing tactics get the best of you. Buy only what you set out to buy.