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Nobody wants to pay full price when they go shopping if they can find a great deal, discount or sale. Companies know this and have configured a number of tricks to make you think you’re getting the best price possible when you really might just be succumbing to clever psychology or staging. Tasha Holland-Kornegay, PhD, a mental health therapist and founder of Wellnessirl.com, a deals site for healthcare workers, said, “The key is to make consumers think they’re saving money often by giving them just enough evidence of these savings to justify the purchase.”
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Companies know that consumers aren’t likely to do the research to determine whether that discount or sale is actually a good deal. “With a bit of skepticism and vigilance, consumers can avoid deceptive pricing and feel a bit better about those great products they bring home,” she said.
But first, you have to know what tricks you’re up against.
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If a company can make you believe that there is a limited supply of something you want, you’re potentially more likely to buy it, and to believe you’re getting a good deal on it when you do purchase it, said Emily Cooper, founder of the luxury Italian menswear brand Oliver Wicks.
In fact, a relatively famous study in 1975 asked 200 participants to rate the value of cookies within identical cookie jars, one with 10 cookies and the other with only two. “Surprisingly the cookies in the empty container were deemed more valuable,” said Susan Melony, founder and editor-in-chief of ProductDiggers.com. “Today, airlines and other businesses frequently employ the scarcity concept–‘just a few seats remaining at this price!’”
Learn More: 15 Times You Should Splurge, Settle or Skip When Shopping
Loyalty Cards/Rewards Programs
You probably have one or more loyalty cards in your wallet right now, from Target to CVS and many in between, which either reward you with points for how often you shop or offer special members-only discounts. “This may be a good deal for you if you’re actually an avid fan of that store but know that this is also one of their tricks to keep you coming to their store even when you have other options,” said Robert Banks, founder of MrStocks. “You are subconsciously wired that you’ll …….