Grocery stores are the masters of shopping psychology. Unfortunately for us, they use this knowledge to get us to spend more than we need to. The more we understand their tricks and traps, the more money we’re able to keep in our pockets.
Be careful of sales circulars.
Flip through any grocery store sales circular and your natural tendency is to assume everything inside is on sale. Think again. Grocery stores frequently feature sale and non-sale items in the same circular. The next time you shop, be sure to double check circular prices with the product shelf sticker to make sure you’re actually purchasing something that’s on sale.
Get the best deals by searching high and low.
On any given grocery aisle, the products that create the greatest amount of profit for the supermarket are located on the middle shelves within easy reach of consumers. In order to find the better deals take a second to look at items near the bottom or the top of the shelf.
Don’t fall for handwritten price signs.
Supermarkets have been studying our buying behavior for decades. As a result, they’ve discovered that we frequently assume products with handwritten signs on them are on sale. Often, however, this is not the case at all. Whenever you come across a handwritten sales sign, proceed with caution. Always double check the handwritten sign price with the actual price on the store shelf tag.
Watch out for end-aisle traps.
The areas at the front of each grocery aisle are especially lucrative locations for supermarkets. Again, we commonly assume products displayed here are on sale, when, in fact, they may not be.
Worse yet, supermarkets sometimes purposefully place slow selling products on end-aisles in order to get rid of them. To avoid the end-aisle trap, simply take a walk down the aisle where the product is normally shelved to see if you’re getting a bargain.
Don’t let your nose mislead you.
Ever notice that the bakery is often one of the first sections you encounter when you enter the grocery store? This is not by accident. Supermarkets love to fill the air with the smell of freshly baked goodies. These delicious smells are enough to make any mouth water. And if you’re hungry, you’re much more likely to load up the shopping cart. Your best defense: Never enter a grocery store hungry. If you do, studies show that you’re likely to spend much more money.
BMWK, what sneaky supermarket tricks have you encountered recently?