In the battle for customers and their hard-earned money, many supermarkets employ marketing tactics in a bid to make you spend more than you had planned to. From discount offers to careful product placement, there are plenty of supermarket tricks which you should keep in mind when you shop.
BOGOF Offers and Discounts
These buy-one, get-one-free (BOGOF ) offers can be difficult to resist and often make you buy two of something when you wouldn’t have normally bought one. Sometimes the prices of these items have been inflated beforehand to cover the expense of the free item. In other cases the BOGOF offer is for perishables with a short shelf life. Unless you are certain that you will use double the amount, you should steer clear of these offers to avoid throwing food away.
The same rules apply to offers which seem to give you a better price if you buy in bulk. These ‘buy three for £10’ deals are very tempting but very often the saving is only a few pence. Check out the other similar brands and you may find that they are selling for a much lower price without being included in the store’s discounts. Again, consider if you would usually buy that item if it wasn’t at a discount. Being persuaded to buy more than you need is very common when supermarket shopping.
Sometimes the supermarket will place the discounted items next to more expensive ones which aren’t on sale at a discount. This makes it easy for the shopper to accidentally pick up the wrong item at the higher price. Always double-check that the item on the shelf is the same one advertised at a discount. The supermarket can blame other shoppers for moving things around or blame shelf stackers for items being in the wrong place and it is usually the consumer who loses out.
As with all special offers, make sure you still get the discount at the till. The supermarket may have ‘accidentally’ forgotten to change the till to account for the lower price.
Quite often supermarkets will place their most expensive items at eye level so that they are more likely to be seen and picked up. Check the prices of similar products placed at the top and bottom of the shelves and you may find they are much cheaper.
You will always find tempting foods near the entrance of the store. Fresh cakes or luxury items which you probably do not need will often be the first things you see when you enter to make you more likely to buy them. Many supermarkets have bakeries and the smell of fresh bread and cakes will hit you as you walk around the shop, making you feel hungry and more likely to buy.
These tricks can be avoided by shopping after you have eaten a meal. Shopping when hungry will make you buy more snacks and treats than you really need.
Supermarkets also use bland and plain packaging on their cheaper own-brand products, allowing the more expensive products with brighter packaging to catch the eye. Other tricks, such as regularly changing the layout of the store, are designed to make you walk past as many other products as possible in the hope that you make an impulsive purchase. The most well known of these supermarket tricks is putting sweets next to the checkout, so that children in the queue will harass
their parents into buying them that extra treat.
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