You’re probably a pretty savvy shopper. You only buy products when they’re on sale, shop around, and never shop when you’re hungry. In fact, you probably never fall for obvious sales tactics, right?
If you said “right!”, you may want to think again. You may want to rethink that. I’d be willing to bet that there are still a few sales tactics that you still fall for. Granted, these are usually very subtle sales tactics that prey on our subconscious and simply make us think we’re getting a great deal. Others appeal to our emotional side.
Still think you don’t ever fall for sales tactics? Check out this list and decide for yourself…
Here’s a dirty little sales tactic that works more often or not. It can be as overt and obvious as a salesperson telling you that you look stunning in a dress you’re trying on or as subtle as a salesperson gushing over how cute your kids are. Either way, flattery is usually a very effective sales tactic.
Have you ever walked through a grocery store and had a small sample of a product? Took advantage of a free product coupon from a store? Had a cup of complimentary coffee at a furniture store? Shoppers are more likely to spend money at a business offers them something for free. We often feel obligated to patronize businesses that give away freebies as a way to “repay” their kindness.
“Buy One, Get One FREE!” “Buy One, Get One 50% Off!” Sound like great deals, right? Unfortunately, not always. BOGO sales might sound great, but when you break it down with simple math, they usually aren’t very attractive. For instance, a BOGO 50% off sale usually equals 25% off each item. Furthermore, the regular price that you have to pay full price is usually higher than most other stores in the area. The exception here is pairing coupons with BOGO sales; basically if you can get the items much cheaper than the least expensive price you’ve seen, then it’s usually a good deal.
Marked Down Markups
A whopping 50% off or 75% off always sounds like an awesome deal to a bargain hunter. In this case, though, you should ask yourself what the original price or value of the item really was before jumping on it. Some stores will actually mark up the retail price of an item just to put it on “sale”. Make sure you do your homework and shop around, especially for big ticket items.
Not So Clearance Clearance Prices
Clearance sales are a way for businesses to get rid of stock. Shoppers who see that an item is on clearance, because we automatically associate clearance sales with huge markdowns. However, some stores don’t mark some “clearance” items down much at all. I’m not naming names here, but one particular retailer (starts with ‘W’ and ends in ‘Mart’) is particularly guilty of this sales tactic in my area. For instance, a ‘clearance’ price on an item may be $9.97, but it was originally $9.98. No joke – I’ve actually seen this!
Sense of Urgency
Speaking of clearance sales, another one of the more popular sales tactics that many shoppers fall for is to create a sense of urgency. Shoppers see clearance items, for instance, and believe that that particular item won’t be around much longer, especially at that price. The same is true for limited time sales and deals. Just keep in mind that most stores have sales cycles and the same products go on sale several times each year. That great sale you found on cereal is bound to come around again in about 4 to 6 weeks.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and seen boxes of products with flashy labels stating exactly how much more f the product you’re getting? This usually includes labels that state things like “20% more!” or “5+2 count”. Sometimes, the original number of items will be crossed out and a higher number will be written in. As consumers, we’re conditioned to automatically associate getting more of a product as a better deal. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Pay close attention to the unit price of a product and compare it to the price and unit price of the “original” product. Simple math can tell you whether you’re actually getting a better deal or not.
What about you? Are there any sales tactics you fall for from time to time?