Tricks supermarkets use to get you to buy more

Supermarkets usually have tricks to make us buy more and often they make us fall into the trap of consuming what we don’t need. They usually attract us with low prices and special offers, but this applies to a few products, so we fall into their networks with strategies that we do not even notice.

It is clear that the objective of a supermarket is to sell the greatest number of products to raise a lot of money, so it will apply all the sales strategies at its disposal to persuade us to consume.

But we can be a little more careful with the following tips and thus we will avoid unnecessary purchases and wasting our money.


Huge shopping carts that seem empty

The normal thing would be that with a small car we solve the really necessary purchases. But supermarkets are worried about putting very big carts on hand and few baskets or small carts available.

Ten products look puny on a big cart, and the huge void makes us feel like we have to buy more to make it “worth it”. This may be true for shopping for a large family, but people who live alone are tempted to make unnecessary purchases.

Tip: Use your own shopping bag, keep it as small as possible. It is also advisable to make a list beforehand and buy only what is there.

A journey of long walks through the supermarket

In the small stalls of yesteryear, one asked for a kilo of flour and the merchant immediately put it on the counter. In today’s huge supermarkets, it is difficult to find even the cheapest staples, because they don’t want to sell that to us at all, but rather get rid of high-margin convenience foods.

Therefore, the supermarket paths intentionally lead us through as many shelves and offers as possible. In this way, we tend to fill our baskets.

Tip: If you’re shopping with another person, you won’t tend to walk around and be entertained. On the other hand, choose convenience stores or supermarkets that you know well to quickly find what you are looking for.

Fruits and vegetables are best purchased at the grocery store or market

Modern supermarkets tend to place fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) near the entrance. They are essential foods and they serve as bait for you to go to the supermarket, but the main objective is to sell you the rest of the packaged products, which are much more profitable. On the other hand, fresh products from supermarkets arrive thanks to multinational distributors and it is common to find fruits and vegetables that come from the other side of the planet, with a huge ecological footprint.

Tip: it is best to buy fruit and vegetables in neighborhood markets where there are stalls with local and seasonal products. Another option is weekend farmers markets and organic stores. On the other hand, take your bags to buy in bulk. Avoid trays and plastic wrap.

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Eye-catching colorful signs in supermarkets

Regular price tags appear small and white. They do not particularly attract attention. Instead, the products that earn the most in the supermarket appear under large red and yellow sale signs to grab our attention.

Tip: Check if it really is a reasonable offer or if the supermarket just wants to empty its shelves. Maybe a better and cheaper product is just around the corner. Try to memorize the prices of basic products and get used to looking at the price per kilogram or liter to compare better.

Look at the products of the lower gondolas

The most profitable products for the supermarket are placed on shelves at eye level. Branded products are also placed there, which have invested more in advertising and are easily recognizable. Instead, other commodities with less profit margin have to be found near the ground.

Tip: Always check the lower shelves, even in organic supermarkets, as the cheapest products are often found there.

Large packs are not always cheaper in supermarkets

Most people think the big container is cheaper, but that’s not always true. Because many customers believe in this type of savings, they buy bigger packages and end up paying more.

To keep the trick unnoticed, large packs are usually some distance from small packs, so it’s harder for us to compare prices in the fine print.

Tip: In principle, do not rely on such offers and pay special attention to whether the large package, converted into a smaller unit, is really cheaper.

Products soon to be “out of stock”

Advertising often works to create the feeling that a new product will soon sell out or suggests that the price will increase after it is launched. Neither is generally true. These are pure business strategies. They also serve to generate interest in products that we really don’t need.

Tip: Don’t fall for offers on products you’re not really looking for. Ask yourself if you really need the products on sale or if they just tempt you with an “incredibly attractive price”.

Shopping out of boredom in supermarkets

The psychology of selling also assumes that early in the purchase, customers make more rational decisions. Instead, towards the end, when they get to checkout, they are tired of making decisions and are more vulnerable to small purchases.

On the other hand, when you queue you get bored and have fun watching what you have nearby. This is why we find in line a panoply of useless products that we buy without thinking: chewing gum, batteries, chocolates, costume jewellery, small toys…

Advice: hold on, if only for a matter of principle. Take the opportunity to review your purchase, do you really need all this? Do you need it now? Won’t it expire before you consume it?

Show add-ons side by side

It is a typical strategy to combine related products so that since they are there, you will be tempted and buy them. For example, in summer, when there is a greater consumption of fruit, cream and dough are placed nearby, as if to prepare a dessert.

Tip: don’t stray from your list, it’s your guide.

Now that you know these supermarket hacks, you will surely be more careful with your next purchase and you will save a lot of money.


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