12 Sneaky Tricks Companies Use to Make You Open Your Wallet

There are plenty of tricks that companies both big and small use to get you to drop more dough on their products. These tricks range from simple — like training service staff to be more personable so you feel at home — to complex — like altering the products on the end of the rows to trick you into thinking they’re sale items.

Whether you realize it or not, these tricks have definitely worked on you in the past, and will continue to convince you to spend money in the future. Here’s how you’re getting played:

Switching up items on the ends of the rows

Based on our past experiences, we tend to believe that the products on the ends of the rows are on sale because they’re singled out. Actually, this isn’t usually the case. These items may be products that the store is being paid to feature that week, or just something they need to get rid of.

Beware of picking something off the end of the row just because it looks like a good deal — these are simply the items the store wants to convince you to buy this week.

a katz / Shutterstock.com

a katz / Shutterstock.com

Training their retail personnel to be chummier with customers

People tend to want to spend more money when they feel comfortable. A shopping experience should be enjoyable — not just because the products are beautiful, useful, or even necessary.


Shoppers enjoy themselves more in a store when the sales associates are friendly, but not overly cloying. Everyone who has ever walked through a department store knows how aggravating it can be to walk through the perfume section, with aggressive salespeople spraying you with scent before they even ask if you’re interested in the product. The ideal sales associate is someone who can help you without being asked, but who knows when to leave you alone.

LuckyImages / Shutterstock.com

LuckyImages / Shutterstock.com

Offering free shipping

This usually applies to online retailers, but this tactic is also used in grocery stores that offer home delivery. This service is so helpful to consumers, but it’s only worth it for the stores if they can impose a threshold in order for a customer to qualify for free shipping. For some online retailers like Amazon, the threshold is pretty low — only $25. But other stores set it as high as $100 or even $150, which encourages consumers to fill up their shopping carts in order to qualify for the convenience of free home delivery.

A. and I. Kruk / Shutterstock.com

A. and I. Kruk / Shutterstock.com

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