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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute. Today, money guru Sheila Conway gives some tips on how to outsmart all those Madison Avenue tricks employed by supermarkets that want you to spend, spend, spend. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any of you that supermarkets have been stepping up their marketing campaigns over the last few years in an effort to get consumers to spend more than they need to each week. They do this by employing experts who use psychology as a marketing tool. A savvy consumer aware of the tricks they employ will not become one of P.T. Barnum’s suckers.

So here are some things to look for:

1. Ambience. Don’t be suckered in by the food court, books and magazines, coffee bars, and lovely décor. All of this creates a desire to browse. Make a list. Get in. Get out.

2. End caps. Many people think end caps (those sections at the end of each aisle) are for sales merchandise. Not necessarily. This is prime real estate. Manufacturers pay for it. Compare the unit price of the merchandise on the end cap to the unit prices of the merchandise on the aisles. Often the end cap products are more expensive.

3.  Unit pricing. Since I mentioned it above, let’s talk a little more about it. The giant size or sale product is not always the cheapest. Check the unit pricing on the little tags at the front of the shelves. Bigger does not always equate to cheaper.

4.  Look up. Look down. We’re programmed to zoom in on the products at eye level. Again, this is prime retail real estate. Check out the brands on the upper and lower shelves. You might save money by reaching higher or stooping.

5. Un-sales flyers. Check out those weekly flyers. Read the fine print. Not everything publicized in the flyer is necessarily on sale. Manufacturers pay for this space as well.

Great tips, Sheila! I’m sure our readers will become more savvy supermarket shoppers thanks to these tips.  Our Book Club Friday guest author has a very crafty giveaway this week. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing. -- AP 

1 comment:

petite said...

Thanks for these great pointers. I am careful and watch for what I need and don't get enticed. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com