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 Shopping is a battle between company and consumer. You want to spend less, the stores want you to spend more, and they usually get what they want.

That's not all on you, though. Corporations have a whole bag of tricks up their sleeves to get you to drop more of your hard-earned cash than you planned. From the tiles on their floors to the font size they use to purposefully rude salespeople, here are the top ten sneaky, secret tricks they're using without us even knowing it.


10 Decoy Pricing

10 欺诈定价



Think of the last time you went to the movies. Maybe you bought some popcorn. We all know it's overpriced, but did you ever wonder why the price gap between the small (say, $3) and the medium (say, $7) is bigger than the gap between the medium and the large ($8)? Well, it's because people are more likely to buy the large, thinking they're getting a bargain since it's only a dollar more than the medium. This is called the decoy effect. Essentially, companies introduce a slightly cheaper "decoy" option to make it seem like the most expensive option is a bargain.

MIT professor Dan Ariely conducted a study which illustrates the power of the effect. Using his students as test subjects, he split them into two groups. Both groups were offered subscriptions to the magazine The Economist. Group A was offered a web subscription for $59 and a combined web and print subscription for $125. 68 percent of his students chose the cheaper web subscription.
He switched things up for Group B. He offered them a web subscription for $59, a print subscription for $125, and a combined web and print subscription also for $125. This time, 84 percent of his students chose the more expensive web and print subscription, thinking they were getting a great deal. By simply introducing a decoy option, sales increased by a whopping 30 percent!
So think about the decoy option next time you hear the cashier say, "Do you want the large for just 50 cents more?"


9 Dropping The Dollar Sign

9 去掉美元符号



We've all seen those chic menus at hip restaurants that drop the dollar sign in front of prices. But that's not just a stylistic choice. It's meant to make you spend more.

According to researchers at Cornell University, diners spent roughly eight percent more at a restaurant when the menu did not include the dollar sign. Explaining the findings, Professor Sheryl E. Kimes noted, "References to dollars, in words or symbol, reminds people of the 'pain of paying.' "
据康乃尔大学的研究人员说,当餐馆的菜单中不包含美元符号时,人们晚餐会多消费大约8%。在解释该发现时,Sheryl E. Kimes 教授指出,提到美元,不管是在言语上还是在符号上,都在提醒人们“付款的痛苦”。


8 Using Small Tiles On The Floor

8 在地板上使用小瓷砖



The recent increase in online shopping has sent traditional stores scrambling to maintain their profits. As a result, retailers have gotten . . . creative.

A recent study of over 4,000 shoppers by Professor Nico Heuvinck of the IESEG School of Management in France found that "closely spaced, horizontal lines on the floor slow the pace at which shoppers walk down an aisle, encouraging them to browse and buy more. Widen the gaps between the lines and shoppers move more quickly and spend less."
在法国IESEG管理学院的Nico Heuvinck 教授最近的一项超过4000名消费者的研究中发现,“密集的水平线地板,可以放慢消费者在走道上的脚步,激励消费者慢慢浏览商品然后消费更多。增大线条之间的间隙会使消费者移动更快从而花费更少”。
He noted that retailers tend to use smaller tiles in aisles that housed more expensive products while using bigger tiles in areas where they try to minimize congestion, like the entrance.
Take a look next time you are in a store to see if there's a difference in tile spacing.


7 '.99' Pricing

7 “.99”的价格



Okay, no one seriously thinks that $4.99 is any different than $5.00, right? Wrong!

In a 2005 study by researchers from New York University, investigators found that ending prices in ".99," had an incredible impact, which they call the "left-digit effect in price cognition." "Nine-ending prices will be perceived to be smaller than a price one cent higher," they wrote. They explain that, because we read from left to right, the first digit in a price resonates with us the most. Unconsciously, our brains perceive $2.99 to be closer to $2 than to $3. Additionally, they added, ending a price in ".99" makes us think that the item is on sale, even if it's not.


6 '10 for $10'

6 10样10元


price's sign

How many of us have seen a "10 for $10" sign at the supermarket and loaded up our cart? It's safe to say that many of us have. But did you know that oftentimes, you did not have to buy ten items in order to get the deal?

In many cases, "10 for $10" is just another way of saying "1 for $1." Still, many people end up buying much more product than they really need, according to William Poundstone, author of Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value and How to Take Advantage of It.


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