How supermarkets trick you to spend more

Last week, we published an article on ways you can save money while doing your grocery shopping. One of the tips we offered is to look at the top or bottom shelves for items with better value. This week, we learned that supermarkets do much more than just strategically fixing the shelves.

Here are 6 ways supermarkets trick you to spend more:

Using colourful tags for specials

Specials are great when they’re exactly what you need. But more often than not, items on special aren’t delivering the best value. A bottle of 500 grams instant coffee, for instance, is currently on half-price for $9. However, a whole tin worth a kilo of instant coffee is regularly priced at $11. Is the half-price really delivering the best value? Always check the cost per 100 grams to help you decide where you can get the best value.

supermarket colourful tags

Displaying colourful items in front

Colourful items tend to put people in a good mood. This is why they place colourful fruits, vegetables and flowers towards the shop’s entrance. They also look inviting, so they tempt you to enter the store in a good mood.

fruits supermarket tricks spend more

Leveraging on the smell of freshly baked bread or roast chicken

Think they’re offering freshly baked bread or roasted chicken because that’s what you want? Think again. A study found that the smell of fresh bread triggers positive mood. When you’re in a positive mood, you tend to value money less, making you spend more. This is why they place bakeries near the fresh produce. The smell of roast chicken, on the other hand, will trick your brain into thinking you’re hungry.

Playing music to trigger mood

Not only do they use your sense of sight and smell, but also trick your sense of hearing. Supermarkets play music with a moderate tempo to encourage you to take a leisurely walk around the shop. They want you to enjoy looking around so that you get tempted to buy more.

Locating eggs and milk towards the back

You’d think that since eggs and milk are two of the most commonly bought items, supermarkets would make them more accessible. Well, that’s the very reason they’ve strategically placed it towards the back. By having them towards the back, they encourage you to walk around and buy 5 other items you don’t need.

Placing small ticket items before check-out

Finally, they place small chocolates, candies, magazines and other small ticket items near check-out counters to tempt you one last time. If you grab one, it’ll be harder to put back because it’ll be your turn to pay. A study found that people also tend to feel guilty for putting items back when in front of a grocery staff.

Supermarkets use all these strategies to get you to spend more than you need to. Keeping these in mind the next time you shop will help you avoid buying unnecessary things.

Have you noticed any of these tricks before? What other tricks have you noticed? Share them with us!

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