The streets are lit up with bright signboards, tempting recovering shopaholics to give in to one final splurge before it’s time for the new year resolutions to kick in. You aren’t any safer at home with the online shopping giants pinging your phone with reminders of the great discounts you’re missing out on.

We try to reason with our conscience that we’re saving big money with these end of the year sales and discounts. But are we really? Your favourite shopping store might be fooling you with its glamorous claims of half-price reduction sales.

Stores may be fooling us with fake discounts

Fret not, we’re here to bust some common tricks stores use to deceive you into thinking you got a real deal.

1. Projected Discounts

This method is commonly used by online shopping stores. It takes advantage of the fact that most of us weigh discounts based on the percentage displayed. In some online stores, the discount percentage for a product is the discount on MRP or even on an older MRP. Traditional shops may be offering the product for the same rate without claims of discounts. So basically, you are paying the full price of the product under the illusion that you just got a good deal.

Some retail shops hike prices just before the sale season so that the projected discount will be higher, without compromising on store profits.

2. Decoy Pricing

Have you noticed that some stores have really expensive brands displayed in their windows under “Best Buy” and more reasonably-priced models on the inside?

Electronics and jewellery shops are known to do this. A high-end electronic gadget will be on display that stores know most consumers can’t afford. However, affordable models of the same look like a real steal in comparison to the exorbitantly priced “best buy”, and this ensures a steady flow of business.

Decoy Price Strategy

3. Combo Deals

It’s easy to assume that we’re saving money when opting to buy goods that come in a bundle with a “special price”. In reality, the bundle may have a few things you don’t require but you buy them anyway. “Value packs” are more focused on convenience to avoid the hassle of adding the cost of individual items. But if you really want to tighten the belt, you’re better off without them.

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4. Misleading Catchphrases

Stores choose the right phrases that can psychologically persuade consumers to purchase things they might not even need. A product labelled with an “All-New Low Price” might simply be the introductory price of the product. “Clearance Sales” are just one last attempt to get rid of dead stocks before they permanently retire to the warehouse.

 End of the year sales - Clearance sales

How To Shop Smart

For online shopping expeditions, the smartest way to prevent yourself from burning a hole in your pocket during the end of the year sales season would be to use a Price Comparison engine. They compare prices for the same product across different online stores to give you the best deal. Junglee, MySmartPrice and Price Dekho are some of the top recommended engines for Indian consumers.

In retail shops, the only way to be a wary shopper is to be clear about your needs. Refuse to digress from your list, no matter how tempting the offers may sound, and you’re good.

Happy Shopping!

Image Credits: Google Images


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