8 Ways Stores Encourage You To Buy

8 Ways Stores Encourage You to Buy and How to Avoid Them.

Have you ever went into a store for just an item or two and end up purchasing a lot more? Do you go into a store for just your coupon items but you purchase more? There is a reason for extra purchases. Here are 8 ways stores encourage you to purchase more and how to avoid them.

1. The layout of the store

  • The most purchased items are at the back of the store. You just need some milk or meat to make for your dinner. You enter the store but have to go passed all the other items to get to them. There are displays that stick out into the aisle to catch your attention(or your cart wheel) to get you to purchase them.
Solution Idea:

  • Make a list of what you need to get and just stick to what is on the list. If you keep focused on your list and getting those items you are less likely to get sidetracked into purchasing something you never intended to buy. I find by knowing my “buy price” I can avoid impulse purchases because I can be too cheap to spend the extra money. It doesn’t work every time but having a set   price to buy at can help.
photo credit 

2. Music played in the store

  • The music that is played in the store is there to help set the mood and the tempo of your movement through the store. The longer you linger in a store the more you tend to spend.

Solution Idea:

  • Keep moving through the store at a good pace. Get to know your store so you can find what you need quickly. You can enjoy the music but keep your pace quick and see how fast you can get in and out.

3. The great smells in the store

  • Some stores will pipe the smell of their fresh baking bread or cookies through the store. The smells wafting through the store help to make you feel hungry and in turn you tend to buy more.
photo credit 

Solution Idea:

  • Try to avoid shopping when hungry. Also by knowing that this is used to encourage you to buy more then you can be aware and avoid the impulse purchases.

4. Lighting

  • Stores use lighting to make produce more appealing. They also put produce and flowers at the front of the store for a beautiful entrance. Drawing you in with the beauty.

Solution Idea:

  • Even if produce looks appealing and produce is good for you, but if you over purchase more than you can eat it will just go to waste. So just make sure you can use all you purchase.

5. Shoppers Favorite or Managers Special

  • Stores will put on end caps or in other areas of the store their special deals. They may group like items together to encourage you to not just purchase one item but all the items that also can go with it. Such as the pasta noodles are on sale but they also add the pasta sauce and parmesan cheese with it on the same shelf to encourage you to purchase all the items not just the sales items. The stores know using these ideas will increase their sales.
photo credit 

Solution Idea:

  • If you find a deal on an end cap check to see if it is the best deal on that item. You might take a little walk down the aisle with that item to make sure there is not a better deal on a different brand. Just don’t take it for granted that just because it is on special it is a good deal.

6. Lots of items at the checkout that beckon you to buy

  • While you are waiting in line you look over and see some candy or gum. There are also magazines and other items at the checkout. This is a prime spot for stores to sell impulse items.

Solution Idea:

  • I would say if you feel the pull to purchase items at the checkout line just look away. Try to concentrate on other things like checking your list or coupons one last time. Looking around to see what is going on or just people watch as you are waiting.

7. Higher priced items placed on shelf at eye level

  • Stores will put their higher priced items or the items they want to sell the most of at eye level. They do this because most shoppers will not reach or lean down to get an item. Also the lower shelves are harder to read the price per unit prices.
photo credit 

Solution Idea:

  • Stretch and bend to get the best deals. The best deals seem to be up high or down low. Because we don’t tend to look high or low these items will be overlooked more often. Give a glance to the upper shelves and lower shelves to check for the best buy.

8. Using Coupons 

  • Stores and companies spend money to put out coupons. They would like you to use them the very next visit. This helps them move their more expensive items and they make more profit. There is a right time and a wrong time to use coupons.
                                                 Photo Credit

Solution Idea:

  • Combine sale items with coupons. By using a coupon with a sale price you can get items for free or for pennies. I only use  a coupon when it will save me money over the lowest priced item. At some stores the store brand is less than the national brand with a coupon. So just use your coupons wisely.

I hope these ideas with help you save money the next time you go shopping. Just knowing about them helps me to be aware of the tricks the stores use to get me to purchase items I never intended to buy.

What tricks have you noticed stores use to get you to purchase more? Have you fallen for any of these recently? How do you avoid impulse purchases? Leave us a comment and let us know.

A big thanks to Blogelina. If you are looking for information on how to succeed at blogging visit her blog at the link above. 🙂

105 thoughts on “8 Ways Stores Encourage You To Buy”

  1. Jaime @ Busy Mom on the Go.com

    I am a list maker to the extreme! I have started getting in a good rhythm with meal planning and so every two weeks I write out a list of meals for that period and then I go to the store to get precisely the items I need. There are occasional trips in between for bread, luncheon meat, milk, fresh produce, etc., but your first solution was spot on. Sticking to the list has proven to save me time, money and it keeps our family healthier by avoinding the impulse purchases!!

    1. I make a list too but I do meal planning for 5 weeks at a time. Then like you I only shop for what I need each week in fruits and veggies and other perishable items. I also pick up each week my coupon sales. Most of the time I don’t stray from my list on these shopping trip. But at our closeout grocery store I tend to purchase items not on my list as I don’t always know what they will have in and sometimes it is a very good deal and somtimes I give in to junk food. But at least it is always a great price at this store.

  2. I need my hubby to read this he falls victim to a few of these things lol. But he hates it when i shop cause i buy the “cheaper” things not necessarily the brand names he is in love with lol. Gets me out of grocery shopping though lol!

  3. I make a list on an envelope a used one works perfect and slip the coupons I want to use inside. If I do not have a list I tend to buy more items I might not really need. I notice some stores (Safeway) have two or even three sales with coupons within a week wanting you to come back several times. I do not like having to return twice in a week to shop sales how much can you really save with gas being so high now.

    1. I hate going back just to get one item too. I will either shop the day the special sale has the most important item I want or just skip the sale altogether. With gas prices getting so high unless I am going by the store on another errand I won’t make a special trip.

  4. I dread shopping. It’s so stressful with all the price wars and coupons. I think I need to hire a personal shopper to do my grocery shopping so my husband and kids can’t sneak junk food into the cart.

    1. I try not to purchase junk food but there always seems to be some in our home. Maybe that will be one of my new goals to work on no junk foo.

  5. I am such a sucker for these tricks! Especially at Target. Somehow I go in for a prescription and come out with that and a whole bag full of $1 items. They are only $1, how can I resist? I’m actually trying to be more aware of this and so far it is helping a little… last time I went I left with only my prescription! Progress!

  6. I’m a sucker for manager specials. WHOA, it’s bad. I do use coupons paired with sales so hopefully that makes up for it?

  7. If I want to save money at the grocery store, I have to leave my hubby at home. He’s like a kid with money. He’s very impulsive and won’t stick to a list – plus he has to go up and down every aisle instead of just getting straight to what he wants.

    1. See all the items you can buy at the store makes you want to buy something else you don’t really need. If it is a really good deal it makes me think well maybe I need that, but if it is pricey I can just walk away.

  8. My favorite way to avoid impulse purchases is to limit my time in the store to once a week. The less time I’m in the store, the less temptations. I have been aware of most of the ones you mention for quite awhile. When my children were young one of the stores we shopped had a special aisle with no candy just for parents with children. I thought that was very accommodating of the store manager to think of that.

  9. Corinne Rodrigues

    I am shopper who goes by the list, but sometimes find it difficult to pass up on some offers. These are great ideas. Hadn’t thought of the music that way before!

  10. I have learned to double check the per unit price. Alot of times theirs is wrong. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times not so. Also, the bigger size was always the best deal. Not anymore.

  11. Eleni Poulakou

    The list, definitely. Keeping a good pace is important too: the “you know what you want, go and get it” kind of thinking.

  12. Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom

    I love your solution ideas! I’ve seen several of these tricks before, on TV or in women’s magazines, but I haven’t seen how to avoid them. Thanks for looking out for us!

  13. I definitely follow each of those. I try and avoid going to the store for anything unless I’ve already looked at the ads for the week and made a list to stick to. Having kids with me actually helps me avoid impulse purchases. I can’t very well tell them no to cookies and then grab a candy bar at the checkout!

  14. I hate when I am checking out and the candy is at the register as it makes the kids want it and most of the time instead of arguing with them I end up buying it. Plus I hate when the cashier trys to get me to make another purchase as I fell guilty when I say not to something they want me to buy.

    1. I don’t have to worry about my kids asking for candy bars. They are allergic to milk so can’t eat most of them. But I know I begged my mom when I was a kid for the candy bars often.

  15. I’m such a sucker for all this. It is so true! Especially #3 great smells! I’m 20 weeks preggers so it’s hard to go shopping when I’m not hungry as I seem to be hungry all the time…

  16. Absolutely. I have an Advanced Penny Pinching class that talks about store marketing techniques. One of them recently showed up at my local Walmart. They painted the grocery side yellow. Supposedly, yellow increases appetite. Hmmm… not sure if it worked on me but WOW… OREOS! LOL

  17. They totally lose me on the music, mostly because I’m really picky about it and theirs doesn’t appeal to me. I did know about the items placed on the shelf in a way that get you to buy the most expensive, so I always look up or down first.

  18. I dislike how stores place milk in the very back– because yes I am then tempted to purchase more! I know their reasoning behind it and yes they are there to make money….but I have started going to another store where yes the milk it towards the back but the store is smaller– and there is less for me to be tempted by! As an added bonus- the milk is less expensive!

    1. Kerry,
      That is great you were able to find a store that better suited your needs. I hate to have to walk all the way back when I just need one item. I can usually avoid purchasing other items because I am so cheap.

  19. Stephanie @ One Sleepy Mom

    Very informative post. Thanks for sharing such useful information! The only one I’ve heard before is to never shop hungry. Something that I do all the time. Our store even has a little cafe in it!

  20. This is a great list, thanks for compiling! It’s so important to be aware of marketing techniques so that you don’t let yourself get drawn in.
    -Viva recently posted Homemade Pizza Dough

  21. Some of these ways I never considered, but now that you mentioned them, I see them used in stores all the time. I will definitely keep your solutions in mind from now on!

    1. Our Fred Meyer has a family friendly checkout lanes but I don’t really see the difference. There is still candy and the like to sell on those checkout lanes too but maybe the magazine are better suited for younger eyes. I don’t really know. I will have to pay more attention next time.

  22. Great tips Shelly! Our local grocery store offers samples in a lot of its different departments…berries in produce, cake in the bakery, cheese in the deli…my kids love to go around and get all the samples. I’m careful, however, to just get them a sample and keep walking 🙂

  23. I avoid impulse purchases by sticking to a list that I’ve written before I walk into the store. Unfortunately my husband does most of the shopping and he is a very impulsive shopper. Although he does try to buy everything on sale so he does try to save money.

  24. We all know how hard it is to avoid all the tricky sales techniques employed in stores! Thanks for all the tips – I’ll certainly be using them to try and save myself giving into temptation on my next shopping trip!

    1. I know the prices always seem high and the candy bars are just right there so you can grab one. It is probably the hardest area for me.

  25. Britni @ Our Eventual Homestead

    I have noticed that most coupons coincide with a store sale about 4-6 weeks after the coupon insert is released. I guess they are hoping by then everyone will have already used their coupons!

  26. Thanks for the tips! I am so bad about going when I am hungry. I like the idea of timing myself and seeing how fast I can get in and out.

    Printable Decor
    Saved By Love Creations

    1. Sometimes my husband and kids will just wait in the car if I am running in to get my coupons items on our way from somewhere else. They like to see how fast or slow I am.

  27. My best money tip is to shop early like at 8 am. I am ready to get in and out. No one hold me up and I can grocery shop for the week in 20 minutes!

  28. Approachable salesman that can assist you with your needs is also a way to attract people to keep on coming. Or may I say in brief words – “good service”

  29. Oh yes, I recognise all these attempts to lure us to buy more! I usually have a list and I never linger much. I’m not easily tempted by special offers, unless it’s something I’d buy anyway.

    And I’ll buy a special offer on a more expensive brand if it means it’s the same price or cheaper than what I usually buy.

  30. I am a total impulse shopper and a perfect target for devious marketers. I have a diploma in Business Marketing and know all the gimmicks, but still love them!

  31. Becca@CreatingFamilyConnections

    Was $___ Now $___
    That attracts me, even if I’m not attracted to the item. I’m just curious how much I would be saving.
    Great list, btw. 🙂

  32. The never shop when hungry advice resonates with me. When I was pregnant and having cravings, I used to come home from the grocery store with all sorts of weird things—that I promptly lost interest in eating. I used to make my husband do the shopping when I felt like that 🙂

  33. Wow! You have one very fantastic post with amazing tips! I am a super cheapie so thankfully, I will do all kinds of stretching and reaching to get the lowest price, but your tips were super helpful for even me! It’s almost pathetic to learn some of the things companies will go through for sales. In some ways it’s deceitful. Restaraunts also do this and even the lighting and colors they use strangely tend to have an affect on people, making them buy more or buy more expensive items. I always joke when my partner and our family go out to eat somewhere and the lighting is very dim, I say “these guys MUST be expensive if they keep it so dark that you can’t see their prices on the menu!” Lol.

    Thanks so much for sharing these great tips! I’ll remember them and pass them on to family and friends 🙂

    Warm wishes,

  34. I am horrible about sticking to my lists! I love your comments about using coupons at the right time! It is sooo true!

  35. Ah…everything on this list is so true. I’m a stick to the list shopper indeed! One thing though – the Walmart near my smells awful! I fully avoided it when I was preggo. They need to work on that! LOL

    1. One of the supermarkets years ago when I went to it smelled like rotten meat. Ever since then I can’t go into that store without thinking about it. I try to avoid that store and go to a different one just because of that memory.

  36. Wow you are so right. It is all about the gimmicks any more. What ever happened to the days of customer service????

  37. Great post! Sam Walton is the master of the impulse buy.

    They always have those racks/bins of specials as you walk in and throughout the store. These are killer for my husband who loves the specials.

  38. Love these tips! It is good to be aware of the ploys that the stores use to sell their higher end products. I’m a couponer and I love to hold onto my coupons so that I can get double savings on a sale.


  39. There’s a book out now called “Buyology.” It offers a rather fascinating view of the consumer’s brain while shopping. It’s funny- listening to music isn’t something I’d initially think of, but now that you mention it, I can see why.

  40. See You In the Garden

    Thanks for highlighting these 8 ways. Sometimes it is easy to forget, but these really are some basic ways to save money – know how the store thinks.

  41. Another ploy is the pricing – 10 for $10. Just because they are only $1 does not mean you need 10 of them.

  42. Adelina Priddis

    I used to buy those “specials” until I realized if I went to where they are normally sold, I can find off brands for much cheaper. It’s saved me tons of money!

  43. I’m enjoying your blogging comments. I love to read others opinions! I have come from Blogelinas 100 comment hop, and now continue to hop!! Now that we met come follow me…… on my….. GFC….Oh! My Heartsie
    @Oh! My Heartsie

  44. Good ideas. It is amazing the subtle things done to impact our shopping! It almost seems wrong, but I guess it is just business. Outsmarting their techniques is the way to go!!! One thing I do at the checkouts when I have to wait in line is use my phone to play a game or check facebook or something so I’m not tempted to”shop” those items. If you have phone, I recommend using it at that time. It helps anytime you have to wait in line!

  45. Thanks for the heads up! Some of these things I never really thought about (placement of milk, music, etc). I almost always go with a list and very rarely go when I’m hungry. Now that I’ve been using coupons for a while, I do find myself saying that their “deals” aren’t really all that great! 🙂

  46. Kathy (Kangaroo Mama)

    I did know a lot of those store tactics but because always still seem to fall for them! I do check prices and look high and low before settling on an item. However, I fall prey to shopping when hungry, lingering too long, buying other unneeded items on my way to the needed items. Thanks for the tips, I will have to remember them for my trip to the store tonight…but I’m already hungry!

  47. I find that when we go to the grocery store for just one thing, we leave with lots of other things but actually forget to buy the one thing we went in for! I’ll have to remember your suggestions for next time. 🙂

  48. Thanks for these tips. I had not thought about some of these before. And, yes we don’t like to shop hungry either. We always buy too much! LOL! 🙂

  49. Ahh… I love this post. I love couponing and doing it makes you so much more aware of all these tactics. I love how nice and precise you have laid out your post as well. I’ll be following your blog from now on:)

  50. I have heard of those tricks. My tips: Never have enough money to buy anything more than you need and go on a super restricted diet so you cant buy the junk. LOL. 🙂 That’s what helps me save money when grocery shopping.

  51. You wrote some really good tips. I know that a list has saved my pocketbook more than once, it’s so hard to NOT buy the fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies!

  52. When I worked retail, I remember having to do “markups” for “sale” day. The prices would always get raised before “sale day” so customers really weren’t saving any money by buying sale items. You have to be careful of things like that. Also, they get people that aren’t good at math by putting items on sale that can get confusing and end up costing them more than they think the items will. Great post!! Never thought about music. 🙂

    1. At some our local stores they will raise the price of an item for the buy one get one free sale. People will buy more because they assume it is a good price but in reality it is the same or more than the regular price.

  53. Jessica, The Debt Princess

    This is a great list of tips. I work at grocery stores on the weekends as a product demonstrator, another way they get you to buy. Sampling products works for selling. The marketing strategies that they employ in the stores are so effective! It’s almost like subliminal messages.

  54. jenivieve.elly@gmail.com

    a list is the only way to go…stickin to brands you are used to or looking for the cheapest alternative.

  55. Heather @ Keep It Thimble

    Wow, this post is a real eye-opener. I knew about the impulse purchases placed near the check-out. But I never made the connection as to why meat and dairy are always located at the back. I always assumed this had something to do with the refrigeration units. Thanks for this information, I am better prepared for my next shopping trip.

  56. Allie | Ramblings of a WAHM

    I never thought of the music as a way to get you to buy. I guess it makes sense now. It’s nice and pleasant in order for you to feel relaxed and hopefully buy more. I rarely hear the music, I think I am not paying attention cuz I’m at the market so much during the week, lol.


  57. Allie | Ramblings of a WAHM

    Oh! I forgot and clicked “post”.

    I was laughing when you mentioned all the goodies at the checkout. I rarely fall for them but hubby doesn’t. He is a sucker probably for all of their tricks, lol.


  58. Amber--JadeLouise Designs

    that is SO True! The other way that I find grocery stores trick us, is by constantly moving the shelved items around! IF you are used to going right to your wanted items, they try to shake you up adn get you to see new stuff, so they move the grocery items every few months. At least our grocery stores do. It drives me nuts!

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