10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers


They’re out there and they’re doing their best to get more money out of you all the time. No, we’re not talking about politicians. Instead, we’re talking about companies who are using some pretty interesting tactics to make you spend your hard-earned cash. From visual tricks to straight up psychological warfare, pretty much anywhere you go today companies are employing all sorts of tactics to make you buy, buy, buy. Here are 10 tricks companies use to fool customers!

10: Snobby Staff

Snobby Staff - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

Have you ever had a run-in with a really arrogant or snobby sales person? Probably. Would it surprise you to know that in some instances this is done on purpose to boost sales? In some high-end and luxury retailers, they actually encourage this behavior from sales staff and it can work. It turns out we generally associate this type of behavior with higher status. So, if we’re looking at an item and the staff give off the right amount of arrogance? Then it’s proven to make us want the object even more. It’s strange but it’s true.

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9: Anchoring to Fool Customers

Anchoring - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

We’ve all seen this one. You go into a store and there are sale tags all over the place. Upon closer inspection, you see the tag has the original price crossed off and replaced with a much lower one. In shock at the massive difference you’re encouraged to buy and that is exactly what the store wants. The trick here? often that original price that is crossed off is totally made up. Or the item in question was never sold at that store for that original amount. However, the “new” price is so much lower than the original price that it grabs our attention and becomes an offer we simply can’t refuse.

8: Tugging on Heart Strings

Tugging on Heart Strings - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

Our emotions play a huge role in what we buy and companies know this. It’s why insurance companies always include children and charities always use sad music. However, one big tactic on the emotional front is the use of nostalgia, those fond memories we have from the past. It’s how Disney can sell us anything Star Wars or Nintendo can make the NES classic console sell-out across the nation. It’s why you are drawn to that retro t-shirt collection at Old Navy. Or why those throwback sodas garner so much interest. We associate many good memories with certain products. And when companies hit the right note we’re willing to pay out.

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7: Look… and Touch

Look… and Touch - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

At one time, it seemed like no store wanted you touching anything unless you were buying it. Now, everyone has displays of products out there that they want you to pick up and look at. Why? Well, it turns out studies have shown that you are more likely to buy a product if you can handle it first. That’s because you’re likely to develop a personal bond and sense of ownership with that object, making you more likely to open your wallet for it. From electronics to jewelry stores, they know this and that’s why they’re so eager to let you get your hands on their expensive goods.

6: New TVs

New TVs - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

A word of advice? never buy a new television based solely on what you see in the store. Why? in addition to the store lighting and the fact that many televisions have their brightness adjusted dramatically, the viewing distance is all wrong. After all, are you going to take the television home and sit with your face 3 feet from the screen? No…no you will not. The average person sits around 10 feet from their television. At that distance on similarly set-up televisions most people actually can’t tell the difference between 1080p and 4K resolution on a screen smaller than 90 inches. But your wallet sure can.

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5: Special Pricing to Fool Customers

Special Pricing - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

Have you ever noticed that stores price things just short of a whole number? for instance that movie is $12.95 or that television is $2799. Okay, so this isn’t new and we all know that’s because it makes the price seem a lot less than it actually is. In fact, our brains often round down, making that television seem closer to $2700 than $2800. However, there’s apparently more science to it than that. It is believed that fool customers are also more likely to buy something with a price that ends in an odd number. That’s why so many prices end in 99, 97 and 95.

4: Ambience

Ambience - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

That music in the electronic store, the smell in that home appliance shop or the colors in the clothing department all done to make you spend more money. One study showed that having even a slight smell of baked goods in an appliance store made people more likely to spend cash. Paint the walls green, blue or yellow and people are likely to stay longer, feel more comfortable and probably buy more as well. One study even demonstrated that music can set the pace at which you shop and even influence. Whether what you buy is new and innovative or more classic in design.

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3: Engineered Menus to Fool Customers

Engineered Menus - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

Ever gone out to a fancy restaurant and noticed how there’s always one item that is ridiculously expensive. It’s been done on purpose. By placing that insanely expensive item on the menu, the restaurant is making everything else look more appealing and affordable. Yes, suddenly that $24 Caesar salad isn’t looking so ridiculous next to the $89 steak. Add in pricing that often drops the dollar sign and only uses whole numbers and it tends to make us think things aren’t as expensive as they really are. Cha-Ching!

2: Urgency

Urgency - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

We’ve all been there. You’re online looking for a hotel room or the latest box-set of Game of Thrones? You notice that little message underneath stated there are only 5 left available. Oh no! you better get it before it’s gone. Well, that’s just what the company wants you to think. By advertising “limited time only” and how few of something is left? They’re trying to create a sense of urgency and panic that is likely to just make you spend. Just remember, in most cases, they have sales all the time. Thanks to the internet, you can find almost anything you’d want to buy whenever you want to buy it.

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1: Free Samples to Fool Customers

Free Samples - 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers

Oh! these seem free, but they aren’t. Heading to the grocery store you hear the staff offering you a free pizza bagel bite. They make you think it’s just about advertising that pizza bagel, but it isn’t. Stores know that 40% of people who take that free sample will go on to spend more money than they had originally planned. Why? Well, that sample gets your brain and stomach going and with your eyes seeing all sorts of food around it’s the trifecta for a massive grocery bill.

So, that was our list of 10 Tricks Companies Use to Fool Customers. Well is anyone else kind of hungry now? Well, we get some food you should check out these other lists. Be sure to comment on second thought maybe these lists are too good for you. Did it work? That was our time to be snobby and make you want to read our lists even more. In any event stay smart fellow consumers and we will see you next time, bye.

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