Wednesday 29 March 2017

Black Friday: The five tricks retailers will use to make you buy more

Black Friday
Black Friday
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Big trolleys, small spaces, seemingly massive discounts and just 24 hours to buy... there are more than a few shopping tricks to influence consumers to spend big, especially on Black Friday.

Irish retailers are expected to spend a whopping €128m today as the shopping fever grips the country.

But how much of it do we plan to spend.. and how much of it are last-minute decisions as we get swept up in the bargain bonanza?

If you're shopping online or in stores this Black Friday, here are the retail tricks to watch out for.

1. Watch out for seemingly massive discounts

Some retailers are known for using historic sales prices in advertising their 'Black Friday' deals. Independent.ie Technology Editor Adrian Weckler warns that customers are being told of discounts that are sometimes months out of date.

For example, PC World says it has cut €200 off the price of Canon's S200 camera to a new seasonal sale price of €150.

However, the outlet has listed the camera in recent weeks for €199, making the difference €50 instead of €200.

A man cleans Arnotts shop windows on Henry Street, Dublin, as retailers open their doors early to a relatively slow start on Black Friday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A man cleans Arnotts shop windows on Henry Street, Dublin, as retailers open their doors early to a relatively slow start on Black Friday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A spokesman for PC World declined to comment on the discrepancies. Other retailers have similarly overstated discounts on their seasonal sales offers.

2. Don't go for the big trolley

The queue outside the Tesco Extra in Newcastle's Kingston Park before the doors opened on Black Friday. Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire
The queue outside the Tesco Extra in Newcastle's Kingston Park before the doors opened on Black Friday. Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire

It may seem like the simplest thing in the world but if you've popped into your local electronics store and you have a new laptop and a coffee maker on your list, don't opt for the massive heavy-load trolley out at the front of the shop.

You will fill it.

3. Don't fall foul to the 24-hour panic

Black Friday is just one day of the year, but don't fall foul to the 24-hour panic. It is akin to a salesman calling to your door and offering you a 'one-off price'. Don't panic-buy because you think you will never see the likes of that deal again. You will see a similar discount again in the future.

Consumer psychologist Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos explains how the time limit can cloud your judgment.

“Brain studies have shown that when we are excited by a bargain, this interferes with your ability to clearly judge whether it is actually a good offer or not,” he told the BBC.

4. Ask what's in the store-room

Just because there are only two smart TVs left on the shelf, it doesn't mean that there aren't more in the store. Some stores are known for using the element of scarcity to influence shoppers to buy.

Of course we will be more likely to pick up the television if we think it's one of the last two left in the county.

5. Avoid the shopping maze

Unless you are someone who would choose to calmly browse through a store while hundreds around you grab the best deals and run, have a plan going into the store. Know what's on your list and make your way to those aisles.

The 'maze effect' in shops can influence shoppers to walk down aisles they weren't planning on visiting and, in turn, loading more into that giant shopping trolley (the one we warned you not to pick up!).

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