Are you a good consumer? Do you buy even when an item isn’t truly necessary? Maybe it’s on sale. Maybe it’s pretty. Whatever the reason, it isn’t crucial to your life.
“But I might use it.”
“But I really like it.”
But, do you have space for it? How will it enhance your life?
We recently talked about tricks stores use to get you to buy. Here are four more methods stores use to lure consumers.
How it shows up: All sales, whether weekly or linked to a holiday, cease. An item might be on sale for a week, a month or until specific inventory is gone. Stores have sales because they know people like to buy items at a discounted rate. Stores count on the fact that a sale deadline encourages people to purchase now. Recently I was interested in buying a new cell phone. My current one was still in working order, albeit with the battery life of a flea. Because the store was having a sale, I was really looking for the savings more than a new phone.
When I ran into challenges at the store, I asked if the sale continued to the following month. While it wasn’t likely, it was worth asking the question. Then I asked when they generally had sales on cell phones. The answer was in November and December. Armed with this knowledge, I left the store and will go back at the end of the year.
How to avoid: Watch the ads. Some stores have consistent sales. A certain product might be on sale for a month or it might go on clearance every six weeks. Ask what time of the year the store is most likely to discount on a product you want. Some sales are cyclical.
Unless it is a unique item, it will most likely be on sale again. Here is something you can tell yourself, “I’ll wait. It will be on sale again.”
How it shows up: A new product is introduced with a sales price that is only guaranteed for a short period of time before the price changes to the “regular” dollar amount. Fear is being employed again as a method to get people to purchase.
How to avoid: Remember that this product will likely go on sale at some point. It may be some months down the road, but when something bigger and brighter comes out, the item will be discounted. Just like with time limitations, you can remind yourself that it won’t stay at this price forever.
How it shows up: Stores capitalize on your pain points and suggest products (or services) that will address that pain. One current product is the No!No!Pro which provides “painless and effective [hair removal] guaranteed or your money back!” This item can be used by men and women alike. Who wouldn’t want to decrease shaving? Just think of the time you’d save!
Full disclosure, I haven’t used No!No!Pro despite the bazillions of their commercials that I’ve seen. But I will confess that years ago I tried a different hair removal system. I was so excited to finally dispense with shaving. Unfortunately, that particular product didn’t live up to its claim. I have no knowledge of the effectiveness of the No!No!Pro. But here’s what I suggest:
How to avoid: If you don’t know about the product, do your research. Ask friends, family or colleagues. Check out Consumer Reports. When I can’t confirm the effectiveness of a product through a person that I know, I always prefer reviews from objective sources.
How it shows up: Just remember that ads are intended to get you to buy. Whether it is print, TV or internet, how an item looks, what it does and who it’s intended for has been crafted with the utmost care to get you to make a purchase.
How to avoid: Just avoid them! Immediately put newspaper ads in the recycle bin. If the print ads are in a magazine, just turn to the next article. Mute ads if you’re watching live TV or fast forward through them if you’re viewing something recorded. Click “close” on Internet ads. If you can’t eliminate them, teach yourself to find the next piece of content. I’d be hard pressed to tell you about the ads that come up in Facebook stream because I look past them.
Whew! That’s a lot of marketing tricks. I’m sure I haven’t even covered them all. At least I’ve equipped you with how to spot and avoid some of the tricks.
One of the best overall strategies is to have a list whenever you are in a store. Then empower yourself by saying, “I will see items I want and products on sale, but I will avoid them. It is my goal to leave the store only with the items on my list.”
Feeling overwhelmed with the current amount of stuff in your home or office? Check out our downloadable audio Stop Letting Stuff Overwhelm You!