Jedi en-US 7 Shopping Jedi Mind Tricks and How to Spot Them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-shopping-jedi-mind-tricks-and-how-to-spot-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Jedi" title="Jedi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retailers are students of human behavior. It's an experiment on a grand scale and as consumers, we're the guinea pigs. For years, adept retailers have been tweaking all sorts of methods to help us part with our money. With the advent of the Internet, data analytics, and complex algorithms to tailor offerings to your profile, retailers have become complete marketing gurus, sometimes knowing our shopping behavior better than we know it ourselves. We all need to consume goods and services, and when we can score a great deal on something we needed anyway, that's a big win for the budget. But the moment you set foot in a store (online or physically), you are subjecting yourself to subtle retailer Jedi Mind Tricks &mdash; and you may not even know it.&nbsp; Here are a few tricks retailers routinely employ in order to increase their bottom line.</p> <h2>Loss Leader</h2> <p>Using a loss leader is a common tactic where a product is sold at a loss or substantial discount in order to generate sales elsewhere. Grocery stores commonly employ this tactic with goods that are perishable so you can't stockpile them or exploit their system. They may also limit the purchase to a small number of units per customer. While it's admirable to plan your weekly meals around these discounted food classifications, people are often lured into other higher-margin parts of the store by the initial lure of the loss leader, and they spend more money than they planned.</p> <h2>Location, Location, Location</h2> <p>Once they reel you in with a loss leader, a common tactic is to house popular items you need far away from the entrance or bury them at the center of an aisle so you have to walk past many other alluring items to get there. Once you're in that aisle, stores often place higher-margin items at eye level and less-profitable wares lower &mdash; they make you work for it. Additionally, you can't help but notice all the seemingly cheap (but high-margin) items at the checkout counter. A whiny child or a candy craving often gives way to these unplanned candy purchases.</p> <h2>The Upsell</h2> <p>Upselling is a somewhat related technique employed by salespeople where you are initially lured into a store or discussion for a particular item and end up buying something much more profitable.&nbsp; Some common examples include the &quot;supersize&quot; option at the drive-through or selling warranties on common appliances and electronics. These warranties are highly profitable to stores and often, employees are compensated handsomely for selling them. With that end of the equation in mind, it's no surprise that warranties are almost always a bad deal for consumers.</p> <h2>Hard Sell</h2> <p>The hard sell is frustrating to experience, yet effective against unprepared or timid consumers. An example would be a very aggressive sales pitch that includes an ultimatum. For instance, one major retailer tells first-time walk-ins that they have to sign up for an expensive membership fee on the spot to join their discount chain or else they're not allowed to enter a store again for several years. As outrageous as this sounds, my best friend fell for this and spent several thousand dollars up front, &nbsp;saving very little over the following few years due to exhorbitant shipping fees and other add-ons that rendered the &quot;benefits&quot; of the membership rather moot. The reason this hard sell was employed was that if he was afforded the time and resources to research the opportunity further, he would have found it wasn't such a great deal. Multi-level marketers (MLMs) often employ hard-sell techniques as well, imploring you to join their &quot;network&quot; quickly before everybody else jumps on board and ends up on the top of the pyramid. Sometimes, the fear of missing out on an incredible &quot;passive income&quot; opportunity is too great to bear. Meanwhile, the vast majority of all MLM participants actually lose money and don't stay with the programs once they realize they've been had.</p> <h2>Going Out of Business Sale</h2> <p>I used to see the same &quot;Going Out of Business&quot; signs up for a furniture store in town for months on end. I started to wonder about whether they were really going out of business. On a couple occasions, my wife said, &quot;Hey, maybe we can get some furniture for the kids at a great discount,&quot; but I reminded her that the guy in the chicken suit holding the sign has been out there for months. It appeared to just be a ploy to get people into the store. Some states are now enacting laws limiting the amount of time a store can advertise that they're going out of business. Depending on where you live, you may fall prey to this gimmick only to find the same owner happily advertising another liquidation sale a couple years later.</p> <h2>Discount Gimmicks</h2> <p>Stores will often offer something like $10 off a $50 purchase or take it a step further and offer a $25 gift card for a $100 purchase with the caveat that the gift card can't be used until a future visit.&nbsp; If it's a high-end clothing store where that $25 can barely get you an accessory like a belt or some socks, you'll end up spending another $25 over the gift card amount just to get what you really wanted like pants or a shirt, and this is on top of the extra money you'd spent the last time to reach the $100. Another one I love is when a store offers something at 2 for $5. You can buy the one that you actually need for $2.50, but for whatever reason, this labeling entices consumers to buy 2 for twice the price. It doesn't make sense to me, but it's effective.</p> <h2>Black Friday Switcheroo</h2> <p>Black Friday is just around the corner. It's very common to see thousands of shoppers lined up for hours outside an electronics store trying to get their hands on that $500 flat-screen only to find that the store only stocked four of them. After standing on line for an hour in the cold and seeing that there are other seemingly attractive discounts, the impulse to buy these other items is often overwhelming. Somehow, this monstrosity has become an American tradition. My wife makes the trek each year with her girlfriends. They claim to enjoy it. I don't get the allure of subjecting oneself to the madness for questionable deals, but the stores seem to have it pretty well figured out.</p> <p>The message here isn't that all retailers are evil and they shouldn't be trying to increase their sales. They should &mdash; as you would too as a business owner. However, knowing what you're up against and spotting a Jedi Mind Trick in the works goes a long way in ensuring you're not tricked into buying something you didn't need or paying more for something than you should.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Darwins Money</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Behold: The Secrets of the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Get You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Items You Should Never Buy Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping black friday sales grocery stores Jedi Shopping Tricks Wed, 10 Nov 2010 12:00:15 +0000 Darwins Money 289638 at 9 ways Star Wars can inspire you to save money. <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-star-wars-can-inspire-you-to-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Yoda Euro" title="Yoda Euro" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="133" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ok, so I admit it; I’m a Star Wars geek (although I’m certainly not alone). I was watching my favorite of the original trilogy last night, The Empire Strikes Back, when I had an epiphany. A moment of clarity, if you will. These Star Wars Jedi and rebels know a thing or three about frugality. And now I’m going to let you in on my fairly pointless, but fun, revelation. </p> <p>The astute amongst you will notice I’m referring only to the good guys. The Empire is anti-frugality in almost every way. They build enormous, no-expense-spared Death Stars; they have fancy shiny uniforms; they own the latest technology; they’re not exactly thrifty. But the good guys, well, that’s another story. </p> <p>Of course, this is all to be taken with an enormous grain of salt, but here’s where I found my inspiration (and if you’re not a Star Wars fan, some of this will sound really odd):</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Xwing" title="Xwing" width="500" height="375" /><br /><strong>1) They do their own maintenance and repairs. </strong><br />Rebels don’t take the x-wing into the local Space Lube Garage. They do their own repairs. Chewbacca can fix a light-speed drive with his own two hairy hands. Next time you’re ready to hand over $30 for an oil-change, consider doing it yourself for less than half the price.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="C3P0" title="C3P0" width="500" height="375" /><br /><strong>2) They build things from scratch.</strong><br />Anakin built his own droid and pod racer from scratch. Luke made his own lightsaber; probably because he couldn’t pop down to Jedi-Mart for an off-the-shelf number, but still, it’s a good lesson. My dad would build things for our home instead of buying them; we were never short of a coffee-table or shelf-system. It’s not ideal for everyone, but if you’re handy, get busy. You’ll save lots of cash.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Saber" title="Saber" width="500" height="375" /> <br /><strong>3) They find multiple uses for objects.</strong><br />A lightsaber is not just a defensive weapon; it’s also a handy tool for heating water, melting metal doors, killing bugs (they love that blue light) and even chopping wood. Alton Brown from Good Eats won’t buy anything for his kitchen unless it has multiple uses. Consider that next time you buy a one-use item; could something else, maybe something you already own, do the job just as well?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Falcon" title="Falcon" width="500" height="375" /><br /><strong>4) They share.</strong><br />Han Solo was happy(ish) to let Lando Calrissian take the Falcon into battle. The Jedi share their knowledge and their training…there’s never a charge to learn Jedi skills. I think that’s more than applicable in this day and age. Become a mentor to someone who needs your help, or get involved in ride-sharing and save some gas, money and the environment. It may sound all old and hippie-like, but so what. It’s good for everyone. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="R2" title="R2" width="500" height="333" /><br /><strong>5) They recycle.</strong><br />How many owners did C3PO and R2D2 have? They just kept getting handed down through the years. Old droids were ravaged for parts and turned into new droids. Lightsabers were kept in the family. And even the Star Wars storylines were recycled from ancient myths and legends. One easy way to get into recycling is to check out <a href=""></a> , it’s a great resource. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Wookie" title="Wookie" width="474" height="327" /></p> <p><strong>6) They barter.</strong><br />One of the best ways to be frugal is to barter; don’t take face value for anything, and don’t be satisfied with a good deal when you can get a great deal. Han Solo did his fair share of bartering; Chewbacca just had to growl to make people reconsider the terms; Kenobi was great at playing the haggling game (but then again he was using the Force, something you won’t have access to just yet.) Still, there’s nothing to stop you negotiating next time you’re at a local flea market or even a regular retail store. You’d be surprised at what the manager will throw in for free if you’re buying a big box item like a new TV or washing machine. And always try for free shipping.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Cloak" title="Cloak" width="333" height="500" /><br /><strong>7) They don’t give a hoot about costly fashions.</strong><br />The bad guys have it going on. Slick black or white outfits, shiny shoes, cool helmets. They know how to be evil in style. But the rebels? C’mon, most of the Jedi knights dress in brown sack-cloths with hoods because, well, they have risen far above fashion. “Care not do we for such trivial pursuits” as Yoda might say. It’s said that Einstein had 12 sets of identical outfits so that he didn’t have to expend any thought on fashion. I buy all of my clothes in the sales, I buy out of season styles and I’ve bought clothes at charity stores. I’m not quite ready for brown cloaks just yet though.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Rebel" title="Rebel" width="375" height="500" /><br /><strong>8) They protest.</strong><br />If the Empire represents big corporate interests, the rebels are out there protesting in every movie. They’re not ready to lie down and take any of the Empire’s BS. Similarly, protesting is another great aspect of frugality. When consumers get together and raise a stink over bad customer service, wrongful charges, poor products or deceptive advertising, good things can happen; Just ask <a href="">The Consumerist</a> .</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Chess" title="Chess" width="500" height="375" /><br /><strong>9) They don’t need expensive entertainment.</strong><br />There’s nothing wrong with game or two of a Dejarik Holochess (don’t play with a Wookie, he may pull your arms off). Sitting around a campfire or chatting with friends over a bubbling drink is also popular. And why not? I think we often get caught up in wanting bigger, better nights out but I still like the simple forms of entertainment. I just found a great deal on Deluxe Scrabble…add a bottle of $10 wine and my wife and I will spend a few hours enjoying the game and the company. </p> <p>By the way, Amazon has Dejarik Holochess (kind of) for under $50. A nice collectible for any Star Wars geek…like me. </p> <p><img src="" alt="Chess2" title="Chess2" width="213" height="213" /></p> <p><a href=";tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000QUROUI">Star Wars Dejarik Holochess Set Sideshow Toys Expansion Pack</a><img src=";l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000QUROUI" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p>So, there you have it. A bit of fun, but with a point I think. Saving money is not just confined to our humble planet…it’s in every corner of the galaxy. May the savings be with you.</p> <p><em>This post is dedicated to Greg Go (thanks for the Star Wars gift my fine fellow). </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">What&#039;s your frugal obsession?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Suze Orman Tells Us To Pay ONLY The Minimum On Credit Cards. Wait, What?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Do You Really Need “Soft” Water?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">15 Smart Things You Can Do With Your Finances, Even if You&#039;re Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Force frugal Jedi Kenobi Rebel savings star wars Tue, 05 Feb 2008 19:02:56 +0000 Paul Michael 1748 at