How to avoid marketing traps
Image by Josh Gosfield/Corbis
Many people enjoy shopping, for various reasons. Some people relax and de-stress while shopping, others like to collect certain items, or simply like buying something they can enjoy (a new book, video game, chocolate, etc).
Marketing gurus are vastly exploiting this consumerist trait in people. They know their customers are ready to spend money, they just need a little nudging. Now, from the customers’ point of view, money spending is not such a desirable thing, but the lure of the product, and the power of the marketing strategy are sometimes too strong.
Here are some marketing tricks you can spot miles away and should immediately translate them in your mind to what they really are, so that you can make the right decision about whether you should buy an item or not.
- The .99 disguise
Just look at the prices and you’ll be amazed at the percentage of prices that end with .99. When you see that apples are 2.99, your mind is focusing on the first figure, and it seems to you that 2 dollars for apples is not such a big deal. Whenever you see a price that ends with .99, you should immediately translate it to the next figure, so apples are no longer 2, but 3 dollars. Learn to view prices this way and it will help you plan out your budget a little better.
- The “Buy one, get one free” trick
This, technically, isn’t a trick, because the sellers really give you a free item once you buy one full price. However, it is a way to cajole you into buying something that you otherwise wouldn’t purchase. If you were thinking of buying jeans, and suddenly you run into a store or a website that offers a discount on jeans or a “buy one pair, get one pair free”, then you should shop away without feeling guilty. But how often does that happen? People often want to get a free item, and spend money on something they didn’t even plan buying. They see it as money saved (on that free item), when they should actually view it as money spent (on the item they didn’t really need).
- The “Buy now!” or “Sale ends today” directive to shop
A lot of marketers know that calling buyers to action with a strong, direct order to do something NOW often hits the target. Don’t be paralyzed by the urgency in their message. Go past it and carefully view the product, think about whether you really need it, and disregard the fact that sale ends. If you really need the item, you’ll buy it, and if you don’t need it, who cares if the sale ends?
Don’t think you need to buy something only because its price is reduced. Even if it costs 1 cent, that’s one cent too much for something you don’t need.
Author Bio: Ana Brady is a working mother who enjoys blogging about frugal living, healthy lifestyles, and her family. Check out her work project on beverage labels – very useful if you produce your own drinks.