4 Shopping Tricks to Beware Of

shopping tricks

16586310366_0e380da485_zIf there?s one thing to be thankful for when it comes to my shopaholic ways, it?s that I?ve learned a thing or two about ways to save money and tricks to watch out for when shopping.

Many retailers don?t use sneaky or deceitful ways to get you to spend more money, but unfortunately some of them do. Here are a few common shopping tricks to watch out for so you don?t spend more money.

Making You Want What You Can?t Afford

This shopping trick isn?t really deceitful or sneaky, but it can be quite cruel. Whenever you are shopping for a big purchase, watch out for salespeople who try to make you want things you can?t actually afford. The TLC show ?Say Yes to the Dress? is a great example of this. At the beginning of each wedding dress shopping appointment, the sales consultant asks the bride-to-be what her budget is for her wedding dress. Then the consultant goes to find dresses that fit with the bride?s style, but not always her budget.

Commonly, a family member, friend, or even the sales consultant, will pull a dress that the bride falls in love with that?s outside her budget. Once the bride has fallen in love, there?s no turning back. Almost every single one of them breaks her budget to buy the dress she?s fallen in love with.

Playing the Scarcity Card

Sometimes salespeople, usually car salesmen and real estate agents, will try to tell you ?ones like these are hard to come by? in an effort to make you think you must buy today in order to get what you want. It?s true that with cars and houses once they?re sold they?re sold and you?ll never find another one exactly like them (unless the exact same house goes up for sale again later).

But on the plus side, most houses and cars will have similar options available. So don?t feel rushed into making a buying decision when you aren?t really ready. Most of the time I decide that if I take the time to sleep on it and it truly is gone when I go back to buy it, then it just wasn’t meant to be.

Add on Purchases

Once you?ve decided to buy a product, no matter if it?s a dress, a pair of shoes, or a car, salespeople are trained to up-sell you on accessories. There?s always an add-on product that will help your main purchase last longer, wear better, or offer protection that, nine times out of ten, you don?t actually need.

There?s two ways around this, you either need to have enough willpower to say ?No? when they offer you these products, or you need to shop around the mid-point of your budget?rather than the top end so you are still within it after the add-ons are added.

Now is the Time to Buy

No matter when you talk to sales people, ?now? is always the best time to buy for one reason or another. ?Buy now before interest rates climb.? ?Buy now, before the end of the year for tax purposes.? ?Buy now while it?s on sale.?

There are hundreds of reasons why salespeople claim that ?now? is the best time to buy anything and everything.


What are some other common shopping tricks you?ve seen? Have you ever fallen for one of these? What’s one trick you use to avoid impulse purchases?



Photo courtesy of: Giuseppe Milo

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  1. “Playing the scarcity card” always gets to me! It’s like the marshmallow test, but adult version!

  2. Add-ons have gotten me in the past. I went in thinking I was spending a certain amount on a TV, then I needed the mount for the wall, the HDMI cable, etc. Suddenly I’ve overspent by a few hundred bucks.

    I’ve also seen the point in Say Yes To The Dress as well. My wife and I used to watch it and it always amazed me how many of the women went with the dress out of their budget. The salesperson knows that the situation is a highly emotional one and since we buy on emotion, takes advantage of this.

    • Kayla says:

      I couldn’t believe how many used emotion to make that huge financial decision too, though I’m sure I might have done the same thing in the past when I wasn’t educated on my finances.

  3. I really hate when you are in the store and they say that if you spend x dollars more you will get something for “free.” If you weren’t planning to spend the extra x dollars then the gift is definitely not free. I have been tempted by that draw in the past, but I am now good at avoiding it.

    • Kayla says:

      That is a tricky one and I have totally fallen for it in the past, but I’m better at saying “No” now. I try to just get what I came in for. It’s not really “saving” if you have to spend more to get something you don’t need anyway.

  4. We paid a tremendous sum for a good bed, only to find out we still needed a bed frame and a mattress topper. I mean, we *knew* they didn’t come with these things but… eesh. We ended up with a deal that gave us some store credit to spend. It just barely covered those two items.

    What’s worse is shopping for a mattress only to find that the box springs are extra. Box springs should be included in quoted prices.

    • Kayla says:

      You’d think the box springs should be included, but around here they never are. Beware of those offers and read the fine print. When I was bed shopping I made sure to always ask if the price was for a “set” or just the mattress. (The set includes the box spring.) Good tip!

  5. If I get one for example one pair of jeans, a saleslady would advise and keep talking to me to get another one while it’s sale. It’s like she would whatever it takes to make me encourage to get one.

    • Kayla says:

      Yes, I just try to say “No thank you. I only came in for 1 pair of jeans.” If that doesn’t work, just walk away. I don’t like pushy sales-people.

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