9 Sneaky Ways Retailers Get You to Spend More
If you always leave a store having spent more than you planned, it’s not an accident. Learn how stores get you to part with your money.
A version of this article originally appeared on Learnvest.com.
Quick: Pop quiz!
When you go to your favorite grocery store, do you choose a cart instead of a basket? Hum along to the tune that’s playing? Or accept a sample of the new gouda cheese or pine nut hummus on offer?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you were likely seduced into spending more than you intended. And insidious ploys to get you to open your wallet are also going on at malls, in dressing rooms and on shopping websites across America.
In fact, one man has devoted his career to studying them: Martin Lindstrom—author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy—is a marketing guru turned consumer advocate, and the foremost expert on the new, nefarious field of neuromarketing.
Think: Consumers hooked up to fMRIs, which detect activity in the brain, reveal not only why we say we buy, but the areas of our brain that light up when we do. In other words, the hidden motivators brands prey on to get us to spend. In the book, Lindstrom explores the results of many studies—including the largest neuromarketing study ever conducted, which he organized.
LearnVest sat down with him to pick his brain on nine common retailer tricks—and how not to get trapped.