Hopefully you or no one in your family had a credit or debit card hacked during the holiday season!
Sometimes it seems like technology isn’t so great after all! We all try to be sensible when shopping and
we would like to think that no one is going to catch us in a weak moment when shopping. But wait! The
retail market is loaded with clever little tricks to separate you from the contents of your wallet. And…
they are not scams. Before we clue you in to some of those tricks, here are 4 basic rules to try to follow
when you go shopping:

1. Don’t bring the kids. You will spend an average of 29% more when they are with you!

2. Leave your partner at home unless this is a shopping trip for a major item or event.

3. Don’t use a shopping cart. You might end up spending 8% more than planned.

4. If you can, carry larger bills, like $50s or $100s.Breaking a larger bill seems to require a little
more thought.

So with that in mind, here are some of the tricks that you probably aren’t aware of:

1. The clerk suddenly acts like he or she is your best friend and shares all kinds of helpful little hints
about the item you are looking at. “The color of the garment brings out the color of your eyes.”
“You look like *famous person* with the cut of that jacket.” “That fragrance is simply made for YOU!”

2. Shopping bags with the store logo are appearing at the door the minute you walk in. So easy to
load it up with merchandise! And it usually has a very low price. Hint: bring your own bag when you go shopping.

3. Have you noticed those handy little seats or benches conveniently placed around stores? 
And the displays conveniently placed next to those seating areas? The store is probably trying to
unload merchandise and making it so easy to add to your purchases!

4. Look closely at how comparatively pricey luxury items are displayed. Same for items with close
prices. The one that is $20 or $40 less is the one the store wants to move. Its okay if you don’t buy
the higher priced item.

5. Do you know the ‘left-digit effect?” Will it be easier to spend $24.99 or $25.00? If you buy or
sell on eBay or one of the other auction sites, you already know the answer to this one!

6. Free shipping. Is it really free? Do a little research and likely the selling price is just a little
higher with free shipping than paying the sales price plus shipping. If you go with the added shipping, 
in a lot of cases you can choose the shipping method and at least break even if not save a little. Several major
sales sites offer a two day free shipping option with an annual membership.Think twice about this if you do not buy
a lot from one company.

7. 50% items so conveniently placed near the door you enter to the store. Sometimes called ‘loss
leaders’ or ‘open the wallet’ items. They are designed to get you into a shopping mood.

8. Deal hunting - treasure hunt shopping - super bargains. Some of our ‘senior’ clients still
remember shopping in Penney’s or Sears or Woolworth’s bargain basement departments. It was fun and in many cases the best way to shop. These days, there are stores that only have bargain bins. And in a lot of cases, the quality of the item is not worth the digging. Again, think twice before buying.

9. So many electronics and so many add-ons. Does the phone or game or other gadget come with everything needed to operate? Research first and be prepared to spend a lot more to be able to use that gadget or phone.