PHOENIX — Attention, ABC15 Smart Shoppers! Have you ever noticed the music playing in a store or realized the snacks seem to always be where children can see or reach? Well, it may not be a coincidence.
Stores use different tricks to get you to spend more.
RetailMeNot editor Kristin McGrath says, "A lot of these tricks are subliminal. You're not consciously thinking about how much you're spending and how much you're being convinced to put in your cart."
These tricks can be as simple as playing your favorite tunes or doing anything they can to get you to take your time in the store and not be in a rush to get in and out.
Other ways might be by putting your essentials, like milk, way in the back of the store so that you have to cut through other aisles to get there.
"Buy One, Get One," or BOGO, deals are popular sales advertised at many different stores. But the deal isn't always a deal if you're shelling out more money.
“The proposition is that you're still getting something for free or for less. But consumers really need to do the math in those moments and see what the per-unit cost is and make sure that these are things you're actually going to use,” said McGrath.
Another popular retail trick online is free gifts with your purchase.
McGrath says beware of psychological warfare.
“It can be a bit of a mind game because the item that they're giving might not be worth spending extra on something you wouldn't have bought already.”
Sometimes retailers will play on emotions when they’re setting up end caps or aisles. One we see often is when stores put sanitizing products near children’s aisles. This plays on our want to keep kids healthy and safe, so we will grab those items as well.
These things have become so common, many shoppers don’t even notice anymore.
To save money, McGrath says to go old-school to save your wallet.
“I think the biggest thing is to go in with a plan, it can be as old-fashioned as putting a shopping list to paper. There are apps that let you create shopping lists too."
This way you keep your money out of their registers and in your account.