Pushy overconfident salesmen, dubious exceedingly good deals and shady looking contracts. Most of us probably would have encountered them at least once, and most of us know to be wary of. However, there are also strategies and set up ‘illusions’ that salespeople and retailers do that we may not detect, and it hampers our judgement when buying something, which may result in more spending. To prevent yourself from falling to such strategies and set up ‘illusions’, here are a few tips to increase your observance and awareness of them and hence prevent yourself from falling prey to them and end up spending more than you want. 

     1. At many eateries, especially takeaway food kiosks or cake shops, you would notice that the larger or more expensive variant of a product such as a cake looks nicer in terms of its colour or texture. Do not be fooled into thinking the larger or more expensive one is better because of that and end up buying it instead of the smaller or cheaper one you intended to buy. What some shop owners actually do is that they like to put the smaller and cheaper item in a less outstanding set up in a part of the fridge or shelve, and the larger and more expensive one would be in a place where the light would enhance its looks. This creates the impression of the larger and definitely more expensive item being better which clouds customers’ judgement who may then choose to buy the larger and more expensive item instead of a smaller or cheaper one they had intended to buy originally. The tip here is to stick to your original plan and do not let the comparison of appearances between the two items affect your purchase decision too much, unless it is really obvious that the smaller or cheaper item you wanted you buy is more of a patchwork compared to the larger and more expensive one.


     2. Another really common sales/retail strategy is the ‘.99’/’.90′ tactic, which features more expensive items being sold at prices such as $39.99 or $39.90 instead of a closely rounded $40. It may not seem like much, but psychologically, a person is likely to see $39.99/$39.90 as $30 plus instead of $40, which makes the person think the item is cheaper or more affordable and is more likely to buy it. A way to avoid this is to round up the prices upwards to the nearest dollar, which removes this cloud of a cheaper price and gives you clearer judgement in your decision to buy an item.


    3. One other sales/retail strategy is an intentional overpricing followed with an excellent discount offer. This can be illustrated by an example, in which product A is priced at $40 per piece, but there is an offer where if you buy 2 product As you only have to pay $70. On the outside it may seem like a $10 saving makes the offer really good and that you should buy 2 product As, but that is far from the truth, as product A’s original production or purchase cost may be much lower, and by charging  $70 for 2, the business still makes a lot of money out of you. You can prevent yourself from falling to such trickery by doing your homework about the product, roughly how much different places sell it and how expensive its production/purchase cost can be before deciding if a rather expensive product even on a discount is worth buying.


    4. The next strategy is probably one of the more shady ones, and is usually more common in health products. In this case, the product be given a brilliant description of its vast benefits and there will be ‘people’ who give positive opinions about it. However, the benefits may sometimes be very general and the benefits may not be a boon to everyone, and as for the ‘peoples’ opinions, they could well be fake. The best way to avoid this strategy is to do some research on the product, especially if it is a health product. Try not to believe those opinions like ‘oh, this is really good’, and try to make your own judgement on it or consult a friend or family member who has tried the product before.


   5. This last tip is for those who are buying property, especially condominiums. Many showrooms and units usually have many mirrors placed around, and no they are not there because they make the design more tasteful. When there are many mirrors all over the showroom or unit, the place looks bigger and it appears that if you buy the property you are getting a good buy as it is not only tastefully designed but also rather huge, but the place is actually smaller than you think once you remove the mirrors. The simplest way to prevent falling for this is to check the apartment details, find out its real dimensions and determine its real size before jumping into a decision based on the showroom or unit. Property salespeople would also try to push you to buy after viewing, giving reasons such as discounts or quick moving sales, but never fall for that and always do your own homework before deciding, for a work not done could be a regret created.

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