10 Sneaky Ways You’re Being Upsold By Retailers


Many people love to go shopping. Some people go shopping when they need things and some people go shopping because they want things. There are some people who go shopping to make themselves feel better. While you may not enjoy spending the money, you love coming home with new things. It is important, however, to understand that retailers will do many sneaky things to make you spend more money than you were hoping. When you know these tricks, you will be less likely to fall prey to them.

Layouts are Designed to Make You Buy

When you go shopping for one item, changes are you need to walk through the store to get it. As you walk, you see things that you don’t need, but you decide to buy them because you saw them. This is not a coincidence. Many store owners do this on purpose to get you to buy things that you hadn’t planned on. For example, the dairy aisle is often placed in the back of the store so you will buy more when you were just there to buy a gallon of milk. It is all strategic planning.

Offering Freebies

If you have ever gone shopping on a Saturday or a Sunday when the stores are packed, you may notice that there are people all over the store handing out free samples. These could be free samples of food, cosmetics, or anything else that the store is pushing that week. They do this so you can try something and find out you like it, which would lead to you buying it. Also, you could try the sample and then feel guilty not buying something after taking up the employee’s time. Either way, it is a great way for stores to get you to spend more.

Encouraging Employees to Be Especially Helpful

Many store owners will require that their employees stop you as soon as your walk into the store offering their help. While part of the reason that they do this is to provide excellent customer service, they also do it in hopes of making your spend more money. If you walk into the store with one product in mind, the “helpful employee” can talk you into buying something better and more expensive.

Retailers Make You Stop

You cannot buy something unless you stop long enough to put it in your carriage. Retailers understand this. They will set up flashy displays and free sample stations in areas where it can be difficult for more than one customer to walk past at a time. While you are stuck waiting for your turn to pass, you will see the items on the displays and purchase them. The more crowds form in the aisles, the more money the store will make.

Making Use of the Endcaps

When you are walking around shopping, you often see items on the endcap. You may also notice that each time your visit the store, the items on the endcaps change. Retailers often put their sale items on the endcaps so that you will see them when you turn to go down the next aisle. When the sale item is right in front of your face, you will be more likely to purchase it.

Keeping Things at Eye Level

When you are shopping, especially in the grocery store, look around. You will likely notice that the most expensive brands are right at eye level. This is so they get you to spend the most money on the product that you are buying. If there are cheaper brands, they will be closer to the floor so that they won’t catch your eye first. If you are shopping in the toy section with your children, you will notice that all of the best and most expensive toys are not at your eye level, but at your child’s eye level. The people who setup the stores and put the items on the shelf know what they are doing to make you spend the most money possible.

Careful Placement of Products

Most stores, specifically clothing stores know where to place their products so that you spend the most money. For example, if you walk into a store and see that there is a designer pair of jeans that you love right next to another pair that is $20 less, you will purchase the cheaper pair thinking that you got a great bargain. What you might not know is that around the corner are an even cheaper pair that the store intentionally kept away from the two more expensive pairs. You may think you got a deal, but actually, you may not have.

They Use Your Senses

Stores use not only your scent of sight to sell you things, they also use your sense of smell and your hearing. Many stores will play slow songs in their stores. They do this hoping that you will go along with the beat and walk slower. The slower you walk, the more things you have a chance to look at and buy. They also use your sense of smell. If a grocery store has rotisserie chicken on sale, they will make sure the cook it during peak business hours. If you smell it, you will want to buy it.

Extra Large Shopping Carts

Many supermarkets have traded in their smaller shopping carts for large ones. When you are shopping and your cart is full, you will be more likely to stop. If you are shopping with an extra large cart, you will have additional space, making you want to buy more.

Encouraging You to Buy Accessories

If you walk into a department store to buy a television, you may notice that right beside the televisions are television stands or surround sound units. When the salesperson is showing you the televisions, they won’t need to go far to show you other items that you should purchase. When the other items are right there, you are more likely to buy them.

Store owners know how to get you to spend more money. If you understand the tricks that they pull to get you to spend more, you are more likely to shop withing your budget.


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