It’s that time of year when it starts to get cooler and the fall/winter fashions come back in style. I love this time of year. My wallet however does not love this time of year. If you are anything like me, I love to spend money on clothes and shoes for the fall and winter styles. I always want to keep up with the trends and sometimes it gets me in trouble with my husband’s and I’s budget.
Companies know that they can get suckers like me to purchase things by the way they advertise their new fashions. As consumers we are constantly being pestered by outside forces to try and get us to spend money. Have you searched for a certain type of article of clothing and then noticed your Facebook ads all of a sudden match what you searched? For example, I am on the hunt for a winter dress for a wedding in February, and now my Facebook ads are all about dresses. Companies will pay money to know what you have been searching to then in return have that ad show up on your Facebook.
If you think about it, it is a great strategy. Back to my dress example, I am shopping around, but I have found some things that I really like. The more I see a dress, the more I am going to think about purchasing it. Even if it isn’t good for my body type, I will still want to purchase it after seeing it for the 4th time because each time I look at it, I start to think “Oh yes, I can pull that off.” In my head I will start to justify the purchase and the next thing I will know it will be on my door step!
Other ways retailers can “get” your money is by signing up for a credit card or turning in this rebate to save money. For example, if you sign up for this rebate to save $25, then you do the rebate and they will send you a $30 gift card in the mail that can only be spent at their store. In the end you will return to the store and your probability of spending MORE than $30 is really high; making that retailer more money in the end! Same concept with the store credit card! The idea is to get the consumer back in the store to either see what they were debating or to find another product that they probably don’t need.
How do you get around these tactics? The only way is to become a smart consumer. Pay attention to the “to good to be true” moments and read the fine print. Are you really saving, or is the company using it as a way to get you back in the door? If you online shop, know that they are using your history to provide ads to put that product back in your face. Remember to scroll past it and not think about it. Companies make their money off of you spending money. They want to make it seem like you are getting the deal of a life time. Keep these in mind while you are out shopping for the holiday season!