Alternatives,  Life


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“Hey we have to buy this…”

“But what?”


I looked around… sigh, yet ANOTHER item we must have.

Turns out this time, it’s a DeLonghi air purifier, heater and cooling fan. Ooo La La.

Yep, welcome to the one weekend where MrsFrugalSamurai turns into a possessed wheeler and dealer – hustling and bustling in the online Bazaar.

I am referring of course, to the Black Friday Sales, which leads into Cyber Monday.

As much as I love having my CO2 purified, I can’t help but feel my gullible yet still sexually attractive wife has been suckered by yet another tactical play from the retail powers-to-be.

So today’s post is a visual courtesy of our good friends at Visual Capitalist regarding 29 (yes twenty-friggin-nine) psychological tricks marketers use to try and get consumers to buy more.

What Marketers Use

Psychological Tricks Tactics Make People Buy More 2c

Furthermore, this isn’t even the whole list.

I am sure there’s a guidebook somewhere with further tricks to influence our subconscious mind.

Editor’s Note: This differs from MrsFrugalSamurai’s handbook, where she throws it at my head in an attempt to influence my conscious mind.

The Breakdown

To break it down, there seems to be 4 primary areas that these tactics roll into:

Visual Pricing – This is where the aim is to minimize the appearance of the price.

For example, stores will price at $9.99 instead of $10.00, or label a product as “buy-one-get-one free” rather than 50% off.

Intentional Language – This is where a good writer comes in handy, with words such as “exclusivity”, “premium”, “limited edition” typically used to position a product in a more appealing way.

E.g. My favourite word is free, flash the word free in front of me, and you have my attention.

Brick-and-Mortar – A store’s layout is more deliberately chosen than you realize.

Having bright and colourful entrances to entice you to come in, playing slow tempo music, or putting essential items at the back of the store (ahem, Woolies you sly bastards with your milk placement) are all tricks to try and influence consumer behaviour.

Urgency – A false sense of urgency and phase-out discounts are included in this category.

If we believe we might miss out on a deal, we’re more likely to buy. CUE “BLACK FRIDAY SALES” MRSFRUGALSAMURAI TAKE NOTE.


In Practice

Some of the most well-known brands employ these tactics.

IKEA – This Swedish Lego company for adults is best known for its confusing, maze-like layout.

This a deliberate ploy designed specifically to maximize product exposure, named after the Gruen effect, a proven method to convert browsers into buyers.

Editor’s Note: How many Swedes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? I have no IKEA.

Costco – You’d be surprised to learn that yours truly has only been inside Costco once… and I was accosted by the sight of Diamond rings, boxes (yes BOXES) of condoms and two-man fishing canoes hanging from the roof.

And there I was, just trying to find some fresh fruit.

Now I know why my visual senses were assaulted, because Costco is notorious for putting fresh produce at the back of the store… so you have to wade through the rings, condoms and canoes… just to get a banana.

Walmart – This little known American retailer is effective in their use of roll-back pricing.

Which is where they list an item’s previous price to compare with the current. E.g. “Was $10.99, now $7.99”.

Apparently this plays a trick on your mind that an item is automatically cheaper.

Not me though, I’m still scarred by my Costco experience.

Going forward

As we become more and more aware of certain marketing tactics, retailers are becoming more and more aware they need to find further ways to trick us.

With the internet age, influencer marketing is becoming more prominent.

You probably know it yourself, with your favourite Celebrities, Vloggers, Youtubers and Bloggers all endorsing different products.

Hey! Speaking of which, if you ever wanted to start up your own website…


Apparently these endorsements do work, with surveys conducted which show that 40% of people have purchased a product or service based on an influencer’s recommendation.


Ah the subtle mind games marketers use.

To be fair, we all know this one way or another, and I’m sure we’ve been influenced by some of these ourselves recently.

I just find it interesting how the day after Thanksgiving – which is meant for a time of peace, remembrance and reflection for the First American pilgrims, has turned into a global retail event for everyone to spend, spend, spend.

Oh well, at least there’s Christmas and Boxing Day to look forward to, no need to spend any money there… oh wait…

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