Carefully Calculated Layout
It’s no coincidence that popular items are located at the back in big-box stores. Retailers often create a winding or convoluted layout to steer you toward more expensive and appealing items that weren’t on your list.
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Strategic Shelf Placement
When perusing the shelves, consumers instinctively look at eye level, which explains why the most expensive household products are displayed there. Strategic shelf placement works for children as well: The next time you’re shopping, notice how your little ones have easy access to toys, games, and candy on the lower shelves.
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Savvy shoppers often think they’re getting unbeatable deals at big-box stores, but looks can be deceiving. A store’s “discounted price” may actually be the retail price, so you really aren’t scoring a bargain after all.
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Big-box stores sell many household staples, but they also offer seasonal and bargain items throughout the year. This tricks consumers into buying limited-edition products ASAP in the belief that they'll sell out.
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Everyone loves free samples at big-box stores, but the bite-size pieces of crackers or deli turkey may come at a cost. Not only do samples let people “test” new products, they also make some consumers feel obligated to buy them.
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Giant Shopping Cart
Did you ever notice that it’s more difficult to find a basket than a shopping cart at a big-box store? This isn’t a coincidence. Shopping carts are larger than baskets, and retailers know consumers will be tempted to toss more items into them.
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Store Credit Cards
Store credit cards save you money on big-ticket items, but they can end up costing more in the long run. Because stores receive your personal information during the card application process, they can send you enticing, customized offers that may trigger another shopping trip. What’s more, these cards usually have high APRs and other terms that aren’t consumer-friendly.
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The Odds and Ends at the Checkout Stand
Maybe you’re able to resist strategic product placements and deep-discount sales throughout the store—but can you turn down the hand sanitizers, candy bars, and breath mints at the registers? Retailers place these items near the checkout to cash in on impulse purchases.
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Enticing End Caps
While you're searching for household staples, you walk past plenty of expertly designed end caps filled with appealing products. These displays are valuable real estate in a big-box store, and retailers know how to draw in customers with lavish layouts and alluring signage.
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Stores carefully choose signage and colors to evoke emotional responses in shoppers. For example, bright red clearance signs capture attention quickly, while colorful displays of fruit in the grocery aisles look extremely appetizing.
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