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7 Ways to Avoid Retail Traps
by Andrea Woroch on April 1st, 2015

Today marks April Fool's Day, where all things silly and prankish are celebrated. While most of us reserve our sneakiest antics for April 1, retailers try every day to disguise their strategies as sales and fool us into spending more money.

Dodge the retail hoax by studying these sales traps and methods for escape!

The Trap: Try Me! Studies have found consumers who touch products are more likely to buy the product they tested and will spend more for those items than consumers who don't touch them in the first place. Retailers promote this strategy as helpful to the customer who wants to try before she buys.

The Escape: While keeping hands to yourself is key to combating this trickery, establish a 24-hour rule and avoid buying anything on impulse until you've had at least a day to think it over. The urge to buy the item will usually pass shortly after you exit the store.

The Trap: Buy Now or Never! Retailers tap into your deal-hunting prowess by offering limited-time and one-day only deals. This strategy creates an urgency to shop since you fear missing out on the discount.

The Escape: Despite retailers' claims, such sales are rarely fleeting and consumers can count on regular promotions with similar offers. Unsubscribe from store newsletters and social media pages to avoid the temptation to shop. Only look for deals when you need them and use online resources like CouponSherpa.comfor coupon codes and other offers to make the task easier.

The Trap: You Look Amazing! Retailers use various vanity-focused tricks to tap into your desire to look and feel good. For instance, dim lighting and a tilted mirror can make you appear slimmer and influence you to make a purchase. Some brands also use vanity sizing to make you think you're fitting into a smaller size than expected.

The Escape: Before you buy, check the mirror on the sales floor or take a picture using Snapchat to ask friends for their opinion on the potential new threads. And, always review return policies to make sure you can get your money back if you determine the fit isn't right for you when you try it on at home!

The Trap: Only $19.99! Prices ending in 9, 99, or 95 are called "charm prices," which are often associated with discounts and better deals. Stores round prices down instead of up since customers pay most attention to the number to the left of the decimal point.

The Escape: Training yourself to round up is a great way to avoid charm pricing, but you can also use theShopper Tally app to keep track of all the purchases you plan to make. Add them up before you check out to ensure you're staying in budget!

The Trap: This One is Just Right! A common sales tactic is to introduce a third, mid-range product when you're comparing the high and low-end options. This encourages shoppers who might have paid the lowest price to spend a little more for the perceived higher quality of the mid-range product.

The Escape: Don't let yourself get duped! Read reviews on the product and study specs online before you go to the store. That way you know exactly which product offers the best value for your purposes.

The Trap: Protect Your Purchase! Retailers push extended warranties by promoting the importance of protecting your big-ticket purchase. The truth is, retailers actually keep quite a cut of that extended warranty sale, sometimes over 50 percent!

The Escape: Most quality electronics and appliances rarely need coverage outside of the manufacturer's warranty, so you can often skip the pitch entirely. Otherwise, use a credit card that offers additional warranty coverage if you really want more.

The Trap: Do You Want to Save An Extra X-percent? Sales associates receive incentives for store credit card sign-ups, and their strongest tactic is the offer of a discount. The appeal of an unexpected 10 to 15 percent savings tempts many shoppers to bite, plus bring them back more often to accrue points.

The Escape: Maximize rewards by sticking with a single credit card that offers cash back and only buy what you can pay off in full each month to avoid interest charges. Use Wallaby to determine which credit card will yield the best rewards for specific purchases. 

About Andrea Woroch

​Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes and many more. For more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.


Posted in Money, Prosperity    Tagged with April Fool's Day, money, trap, escape, finance, Prosperity, sales, savings, electronics, appliances, extended warranty, purchases, shopping, bargain, perceptions, facts, rules, percent, studies, consumers, products, retailers, Andrea Woroch, Best Ever You


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