12 Sneaky Tricks Companies Use to Make You Open Your Wallet
Pricing items one cent short of the full dollar amount
It seems insane, but often people are convinced that items are cheaper than they actually are because they’re priced at $2.99 instead of $3.00. This trick is called the left-digit effect, and it’s been an industry trick for years.
In 2009, a study found that 44% of customers chose a more expensive pen just because it was priced as $3.99 instead of $2.00. Even if it seems like a tactic that wouldn’t trick a third-grader, it surprisingly seems to work on most people.
Promoting bargain hunting as a competitive sport
Many people love Apple because of the high quality of their items, as well as their minimalist brand aesthetic. However, when it comes to straight up consumer satisfaction post-shopping, consumer reports have shown that more people enjoy the bargain hunting in larger, more chaotic big box stores like JC Penney or Target. Whenever shoppers find a bargain here, they feel a sense of victory, as opposed to somewhere like the Apple store, where there are no sales or bargains to be found.
They add on a bunch of accessories — for a price
Have you ever purchased an electronic item like a toy or tool only to find that the batteries aren’t included? That annoyance that you feel is a by-product of the company making a couple of extra bucks. They know that you have to buy the batteries to make the product work, so they don’t feel the need to help you out by including them. This tactic also works for products like the Sodastream — every time you want an extra flavor, you have to go back to the store and buy another one of their products. It’s definitely a smart move — they get you hooked on one item, then price every little add-on separately so they know that they’ll continue making money on you in the future.