Money Saving Tips – Avoid These Impulse Buying Triggers

money saving tipsHave you ever made a purchase without really thinking about it?  Why do you think retail stores place all those items just before you get to the checkout register? They know this is the last opportunity they have to get you to spend more money!

Because It's On Sale!

88% of all impulse buying is because the items is “on sale”.  Let's be honest folks, not all “sales” are sales.   Retailers create the impression that you are getting a good value by inflating retail prices so that mark-downs create the intended perception of value.  Retailers also employ loss aversion which means that individuals want to avoid feeling bad in the future.  Have you ever made a purchase because you didn't want to pass up such a good deal? Bingo! That's exactly why the retailer placed the sale tag on the item in the first place.  They know that most customers won't pay the retail price and will only buy when they feel they are getting a good value.

Please! Please! Please!

Guilt is one of the most powerful human emotions and retailers are very skilled at using it to get you to spend money. Commercials and advertisements in general are designed to tie their product or service to a potential customers emotional needs.  If they are successful, you are much more likely to identify with their product over a competitor's product and buy their product come decision time.  The holiday shopping season is the most profitable time of the year for most retailers because many shoppers will spend more than originally budgeted for friends and family due to the emotional need for humans to please others and be accepted.

 If 2 is Good 3 is Even Better!

Purchasing in bulk is a phenomenon that has grown over the years and is very popular with Americans.  Retailers like Costco and Sam's Club have made packaging items in bulk and selling them for bigger profits a science.  Again, these retailers create the perception of value to convince their customers to buy.  Do you really need a gallon of ketchup or can you buy a smaller amount and avoid wasting food with a bulk purchase?

You Have Saved Blah..Blah Today!

I secretly laugh inside each time a cashier hands me my receipt and tells me how much money I saved by shopping with them today.  We all want to feel good about ourselves and that goes for our purchasing decisions as well. The grocery store manager wants you to leave their store feeling good about your purchase today so that shop there again.

The Science of Feeling Good

Starbucks has perfected the concept of buying an experience and has parleyed that into one of the most successful businesses around. Starbucks creates powerful emotional feelings via interior design and customer interactions.  How else can you explain paying $4.50 for a cup of coffee?

By understanding what influences your purchasing decision and how retailers try to influence those decisions, you can avoid making impulsive purchases.

Readers: What goes into your decision to buy something?  Have you ever bought something on impulse?

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16 Responses to Money Saving Tips – Avoid These Impulse Buying Triggers

  1. Richard Hicks 04/17/2015 at 9:49 pm #

    Very good advice for shoppers. I am so glad that I am not an impulse shopper

    • Paul 04/18/2015 at 10:36 am #

      Making a shopping list and sticking to it is one of the easiest ways to eliminate unplanned buys. I use this technique all the time when I grocery shop!

  2. Rosanne 04/13/2015 at 10:11 pm #

    It seems that I impulse buy just about every time I shop. I wish I had shopped less and saved more not that my husband is semi retired.

  3. James Robert 04/10/2015 at 11:16 am #

    I do tend to look for things on sale for my kids, usually end of year clearance though that really have great mark downs. Otherwise, I see exactly what you are talking about and I like shopping for grocderies and buying sale items then using my coupons.Then I know I am really saving

    • Paul 04/11/2015 at 8:17 am #

      The key is that the purchase is unplanned. Like you James, I try to plan my purchases around sales, no the other way around!

  4. Natalie 04/03/2015 at 10:52 am #

    I am a penny pincher so price is very important to me. I am good at resisting luring technique from marketers.

  5. Lyndsey 04/01/2015 at 1:46 pm #

    It happens to the best of us, but make a list and stick to it works well for me most of the time!

  6. PuffyBiggler 03/29/2015 at 11:36 pm #

    I’ve bought things many times on impulse. I find that what helps most is creating a budget and tracking (writing down) every single cent you spend.

  7. Cynthia C 03/29/2015 at 12:42 pm #

    While shopping sales, my husband once quipped, “We can’t afford to save any more money.” You do have to know what your limits are.

  8. Mary Happymommy 03/28/2015 at 2:13 pm #

    I definitely resist impulse buys. I make a list and stick to it!

  9. Kate @ Money Propeller 03/26/2015 at 4:08 am #

    Because it’s on sale, I just bought a 2 pair of rubber shoes! 🙁 Oh, I should try to control my buying temper next time!

  10. Nunzio 03/25/2015 at 4:06 pm #

    I loved this post because it’s exactly what I tell my economics students (I’m a professor) when we talk about elasticity, utility and motivation. I get so excited when I come across great posts like this because I know there are more people out in the world trying to help make savvier consumers of information, goods and services out of people. Heck, I even give a similar chat to the businesses I consult about the silly things they allocate funds for in their budgets!

    • Paul 03/25/2015 at 9:12 pm #

      I think understanding how you decide to spend/save money is as important if not more important than having a budget! It does no good to have a budget if you continue to make poor financial decisions. Thanks for stopping by Nunzio!

  11. Kerri 03/24/2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Due to my obsession with fashion I am a huge sucker for impulse purchases – it’s something I’m always working on!

    Kerri
    Cinch Financial

  12. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank 03/21/2015 at 4:07 am #

    Buying impulsively leaves me in regret later on. So I don’t practice it anymore or think twice or more to determine the value of things whenever I am about to buy something.

    • Paul 03/21/2015 at 6:30 am #

      One of the best ways I have found to avoid impulse buys while shopping is to make a list ahead of time. If it’s not on the list I don’t buy it!

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