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Holiday shoppers, be wary of these sales pitches

 Likely you have already visited a mall or discount store last weekend, or you plan on doing so preparing for the holidays. Here are several sales pitches aimed at tricking us to buy more (SmartMoney.com)

  • Spend $50 today; get $10 off later--This now-and-later technique is geared to bring you back into the store to see the newest merchandise and overspend your budget. Think twice before heading to checkout. Perhaps you can hold off on a few items until your next trip.


  • Limit two--This brings out the competitor in us all. If the store is setting limits, it must be a great deal. Or is it? Before scooping up one for Uncle Juan and another for cousin Pedro, compare to ensure it's really worth the asking price.


  • 5-hour only sale--Yes, some retailers are aiming to scare you into buying. Limited-time sales are meant to move you now on the fear that all the bargains will be gone tomorrow. While this may be a great sale, it's clearly not the last and may not even be the best.


  • Get 23% off--What happened to "save 20%"? It became invisible. Odd numbers grab our attention, suggesting a bargain that has already been marked down. This is just an attention-getting device, so go ahead and give it your attention-then your scrutiny.


  • Save $150!--Who doesn't want to save $150? By drawing our attention to the savings (rather than the price), a retailer creates the illusion that the actual price is more reasonable. So if you're shopping for a Blu-ray player and find one you like for $99, stick to your guns-even if you can save $60 on another model for $119.

Published 11-19-2012



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