Frugal Living: How Online Retailers Get You To Overspend
Author: Melissa Cohen
With only a few days before Christmas, stay frugal by being aware of online retailers’ last attempts to get you overspend.
The worst time to be in a shopping mall is during the festive season. And yet, every year people still flock to the large, air-conditioned, retail havens. Whether it’s bad planning during the year, a tradition of year-end splurging, or the clever Woolworths specials that get mailed out every evening, it works.For the more frugal, and strong-willed among us, there’s the option of shopping exclusively online before Christmas. You think, “If I can stay out of the malls, I won’t fall for any of their tricks to get at my money.” But, it’s this thinking that inspired Cyber Monday after Black Friday. Online retailers are equally adept at getting into our heads, and at our festive season budget.
Three Ways Online Retailers Are Getting You To Overspend
With only a few days to Christmas, retailers (both online and traditional) are under pressure to capitalise on holiday shoppers before the inevitable slump in sales. It might not seem like it, but they need us more than we need that 3-for-2, one-day-only deal. Be prepared for an onslaught of ‘unmissable’ savings, and these crafty last attempts to get you to spend.
FOMO is a real thing and retail giants know it. That’s why you’ll often see a display of how many sale items they have left in stock. And it’s usually in red. This creates feelings of urgency around these ‘last chance’ items. Before you have a chance to really think about it, you’ve added it to your cart.Don’t fall for it. Large online retailers restock items before, or within days of selling out. You can also easily check if the same item is available in store, or elsewhere online, to overcome the panic.
2. Adverts Of Recently Browsed Products
When an advert of an item you’ve just recently browsed pops up in the sidebar of a different site, it’s not a sign. It’s a strategy. Online retailers pay for their products to follow you around the internet to get you to reconsider buying. This is called re-targeting.Get rid of these sneaky ads by clicking on the little ‘x’ in the corner and tell Google why you don’t want to see it. You should also clear your internet history, and your web browser’s cache of cookies, which store your browsing habits.If this is too much admin, shop online using private mode on your browser so no information is stored about which products you momentarily considered buying.
Websites will place very expensive products next to reasonably priced products. It’s called anchor pricing, and it’s a ploy. What it does is make the cheaper product seem like a great deal. Even if it isn’t.The same thinking goes into marking up certain items, and then adding ridiculous discounts. To avoid, always try and gauge if the item’s original price is the correct price, and if it really is the best value for money. Shop around for the same product, or use a comparison site like PriceCheck to find the best deal. It’s the frugal thing to do.