How many times have you gone into the store to grab one thing, but ended up blowing $50 at the checkout? We have all been guilty of this at least a time or two. While your self-control might be called into question, stores are actually setting you up to overspend. They use professionals and psychologists to strategically map out their floor plan to make you buy more. By understanding some of the tactics used by stores to get you to spend, you can avoid falling into their traps!
The Decompression Zone – As you enter a store, the foyer or “decompression zone” is where you find yourself first. This area is meant to get you in the frame of mind to shop. The decompression zone has friendly greeters, advertisements, and some of the best deals on display. But those displays aren’t necessarily created to make you grab one of those items. Its purpose is to prove that there are great deals all over this store and you should explore further to find them.
The Center – In the grocery store, you may notice that convenience food displays make up most of the items stocked in the center of the store. You are forced to pass them in order to locate the basic items like milk and eggs. Clothing stores save the center of their shops for full-priced items. You must walk past the more expensive items in order to reach the clearance section in the back. Sometimes, you may be fooled into thinking you are getting something for the sale price until you check out and realize that you have spent more than you thought.
The Checkout Line – Every parent knows that checkout lines in most retail stores are packed with impulse buys. Some stores have tabloid magazines to flip through and impulsively buy. Some have novelty or “As Seen On TV” items. Others have shelves of practical items like batteries, Tylenol, or lip balm. Consumers need to be aware that retailers are manipulating their fears of forgetting something.
Some ways to beat retailers are shopping quickly with a list of needed items, checking price tags, and taking your time to weigh options. If you understand the methods that retailers use, you can be in control of your shopping and spending.
FSSB wants you to stay in control of your money. As always, we will continue to offer you financial tips and information in our future blog posts!