Every time you're shopping, and even sometimes when you aren't, companies are attempting to influence your behavior. A lot of the time, you may not even realize you're being manipulated. That's part of what allows it to work so effectively. Saving money is hard enough without being constantly tricked by store tactics. How you spend your money should be your decision and nobody else's. Since knowing is half the battle, here are some techniques they use to control–and increase–your spending.


What makes most people spend more than they earn is because they have expenses awaiting whenever their salaries hit their accounts. You need to assign value to each dollar you earn and prioritize your expenses according to needs, wants, and luxuries.

While all of these tactics have a necessary psychological component simply due to the fact that their goal is to control your thoughts and actions, some of them take it to a whole other level.

  1. Free Samples–They make you more likely to pay for something to reciprocate.
  2. Price Tags-They drop the dollar sign so you don't associate it with money & say $4.99 so you think it's closer to 4.
  3. Median Pricing–A lower and higher-priced item makes you buy the middle one.
  4. Nostalgia-Evoking happy memories to recreate with purchase.
  5. Targeted Ads–Uses prior information to drive sales.
  6. "Social Proof"-Basically, peer pressure.
  7. Urgency-Encourages a fear of missing out (FOMO).
  8. Upselling–Getting you to "add to purchase."
  9. The Power Of Touch-Touching an item makes you feel like it's yours.
  10. Rude Sales Associates-We want what we can't have, like their acceptance. (Only works in high-end stores)


People can be easily led astray by aspects of design. We are drawn to what we like and follow patterns in everyday life. They often use this to their advantage.

  1. Aesthetics–Things like colors and music are used to manipulate you.
  2. Confusing Layouts–Things not being where you thought cause you to stay longer.
  3. Smaller "Vanity" Sizes–You're more likely to buy clothes with lower sizes that flatter your ego.
  4. Product Placement-Things at eye level or by checkout sell more.


People love convenience, so stores try to use it against you.

  1. One-Click Ordering-Making it easier to buy makes you more likely to buy.
  2. Subscriptions–Not only do you get what you like every month by acting once, but it's more inconvenient to cancel.
  3. Return Policies–Generous return policies take the pressure off so you'll buy and give you more time to forget to return it.

Unreal Deals

Everyone loves a deal. The problem is, you aren't always getting one!

  1. Faking A Deal–Sometimes the sticker says sale, but the price doesn't change.
  2. 10 for $10 deals–You don't always need to buy 10 to get the better price and you aren't saving unless you need that many.
  3. Loyalty Programs–This is just another way to convince you that spending more means getting more, even though it never evens out in your favor.

How To Fight Them

These are only some ways retailers seek to control you but knowing these tactics ahead of time can help you combat them. Go in with a list and ignore sale prices, just buy what you need. Make sure any savings are real and look above and below eye level for real deals. Doing these things should help keep you on track.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a free financial analysis.

Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs. You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.

Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website https://timberlinefinancial.com.