Advertisers are good at getting you to spend your money. It’s their job to get you to part ways with your money. Advertising agencies have huge budgets that they spend on research to understand the human mind and emotions more so than you or I can ever imagine.
It comes as no surprise then that they are able to get us to buy things even when we had no plans on doing so in the first place. In order to beat them at their own game, you have to learn their tricks.
In this post, I show you 5 of their tricks and how to beat them at their own game.
5 Ways Advertisers Get You To Spend
#1. Buy More, Save More!
I see this trick everywhere and I see so many people fall for it. Heck, there are still times that I fall for it as well. Here is how it plays out: You are in a clothing store looking to buy a sweater. One costs $60. But if you buy two sweaters, you get 50% off the second one. Who can pass up this deal?
When we break it down, buying one sweater will cost you $60. Buying two sweaters will cost you $90. Yes, you saved $30 by getting the second one at half off, but you spent $30 more because you only need one sweater.
This is a deal if you are in the market for two sweaters, but for most of us, we just fall victim to the sales trick and buy a second sweater even though we don’t need one.
Always be on the lookout for the buy more and save trick! It gets you to buy because you want to be able to say you got a deal.
#2. Limited Time Sales
You see this one a lot as well. A retailer will put an item on sale and announce that the sale is “only for a limited time” or “this sale only happens once a year”.
There are many other imitations to this sale but they are all the same. They try to get you emotionally involved in the sale.
You see or hear these ads and you think it has to be a good deal if they can only afford to lower the price this much once a year or that it is only for a short period of time. This is especially true for Black Friday.
We’ve grown to believe that the best deals are on Black Friday. But most times they aren’t. I’ve even looked at the historical prices of items on Amazon and found that the prices are typically higher around Black Friday!
Advertisers know you think you are getting a deal on this day and take advantage of you because of it.
In most cases with the limited time sales, the retailer is still making a nice profit on the item in question. Don’t fall for the trap that the price is too good to pass up.
#3. 10 For 10 Sales
This one is usually at the grocery store. You’ll see a sign that Gatorade is on sale, 10 for $10. What a deal! You buy 10. The trick here is that you don’t need to buy 10 of the item. The first 10 you buy are $1 each. If you buy 2, you’ll pay $2. Buy 5 and you’ll pay $5.
Most people ignore this though and end up buying all 10 when they really don’t need 10 of the item in question. But they just can’t pass up a deal.
When you see this sale, take a moment to think things through. How many do you really need? If you use the item on a regular basis, then buying all 10 might be a bargain for you. But in many cases, most people are better off just buying the amount they need and walking away.
#4. Buy One, Get On Free
This is another classic sales trick. Retailers will mark items as buy one, get one free in hopes to simply get you to buy the item.
Again, we are wired to see sales as deals and don’t like passing up on the idea of saving money, even if we had no intention of buying the item in the first place.
To beat this sale, you have to ask yourself if you really need or use the item in question. If you do, then this might be a good deal for you. Otherwise, buying two of something you have no intention of using is just wasting your money.
#5. Missing Dollar Signs
Research has shown that consumers spend more money when the dollar sign is missing on a price. For example, to a consumers mind, $20 is a lot more than 20. This is because we associate the first example, $20 with money, whereas the 20 isn’t money in our minds.
It’s crazy to think this works but it actually does, and that is why it is done.
You’ll see this trick a lot in restaurants. I’ve personally been noticing it more and more lately.
Overall, there are countless ways advertisers get us to spend our money. In most cases we won’t be able to outsmart them since they are spending money on the latest tricks to exploit the ways our minds work.
The only defense we have is to understand how these tricks work. This won’t stop us completely from falling for the trick, but it will help us keep more of our hard earned money.
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Penny Thots. I blog about many personal finance topics, but my specialties lie in investing, paying off debt, and achieving your financial goals. You can learn more about me on the Author Page.