Lead us not into temptation: Smart tips for outsmarting retailers

Unlocking the secrets
Little drops of water they say make a mighty ocean, a kobo here and there saved adds up in the end. Do not be the fool who is soon parted from his or her money. Retailers use many taccs to induce shoppers to buy products they may not really want or need, or that might not be the best value. With a bit of planning, awareness and self- discipline, however, consumers determined to sck to their budgets can avoid these costly temptaons.

Note the lile secrets the stores and supermarkets use in loosening your wallet and see the strategies shoppers can use to keep more money in their own pockets. Remember what Eneke the bird said about shoong, missing and perching (read a copy of Things Fall Apart)

Sck to the basics. Stores tend to put low-margin staples like milk and eggs in the back of the store, says a retailing expert. What they’re trying to do is make consumers look at all of the merchandise on the way to get to the staple items. If a shopper needs only those basics, they should move directly to the back of the store so that they’re not tempted by all the merchandise in between.

Reach for savings.

In stores, consumers who want lower prices should be willing to bend down or reach up. Retailers generally put the priciest, high-margin packaged consumer goods at eye level while stocking lower-priced generic or -brand alternaves on the lower and upper shelves.

Add it up.

The largest packages don’t always give shoppers the lowest price per unit, according to the expert. Consumers would be wise to compute the cost per usage, per serving, to figure out what will be the best package for them. Have a calculator to figure unit prices, or use the unit-price shelf tags that retailers provide to compare true costs.

They’ll get you in the end.

Items at the end of store aisles—or “ends caps”—aren’t necessarily the best-priced merchandise. Retailers oen work with vendors to promote products in this high-value space, so do a comparison with similar items elsewhere in the store.

Check your list.

Use cauon with the “loss leaders” that grocers and other retailers offer to draw customers into the store. You might be enced by a very good deal on a six- pack of so drinks, but you won’t necessarily get a great deal on other items, says the expert. A store might have other appealing promoons as well, and consumers will get caught up and buy items they don’t really need. To resist such impulse buys, make a list before you go shopping and sck to it.

Bargains in the back.

Supermarket store layouts are designed with varying hard and so flooring, and the hard flooring is usually the path they want shoppers to follow. “There are a lot of layout design strategies that retailers use to get you to navigate the enre store,” says the expert. Stores oen place sale merchandise in the back so that shoppers have to pass other products on the way. If you’re looking for sale items, make a beeline for the rear of the store.

Killing you with kindness.

High-end specialty stores “will look for opportunies to help consumers stay in the store,” says the expert. I remember my cousin telling me of shops in Abuja that serve Champagne. Jewelry stores, for example, may offer to clean a customer’s rings. In doing so, the retailer gets the shopper to linger for longer than she may have planned, giving her more me to look around.

In addion, salespeople providing such a service or offering to bring a shopper water or coffee may create “a psychological sense of obligaon” or loyalty in the hope that you’ll make a


Taking stock.

Whether shopping for school or vacaon, prepare by making a list for each child of what’s needed. Then take an inventory of what you already have and shop for what you don’t have, looking for the best value by compari- son shopping. Shoppers must exert financial discipline to walk past all the promoons and must remember that people have needs, wants and wishes.

Take care of the needs,

When we’re out spending money we’re always making a decision to give up something that we value less for something we value more, says the expert. People need to value their money more and more, in my view.

Be on a mission.

Through their promoons and product offerings, retailers try to influence or even prevent comparison-shopping. Regardless of the approach or type of retailer, shoppers can use their own strategy to avoid buying what they don’t need. It starts with having a very clear idea of what you want before you go shopping.

If you know what you want before you hit the store or the website, when you’re there you can just focus on buying that item.

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