How are we manipulated to buy more

Whether we realize it or not, there are a bunch of manipulation techniques that make commercial stores (both online and local) or malls make us buy more at exorbitantly high prices.


Although it seems to us that we get very good prices on the products we want, we do not have to look at the discounts displayed, but be patient. Below we will show some of the techniques used for mass manipulation by retailers.


1. Manipulate through massive Discounts


Nowadays, i feel like all products have discounts. I’ve never seen products with normal prices without being cut or red(discounted). For the most part, all online stores have a black price and cut from the very beginning (when added on the website) and kept this way until they sell all the stock.


What is this Manipulation?

We live in the age of information, and that’s occupy all the time (especially as we live in Romania – we do not have time to breathe). As all stores have a discount for the same product, because of the convenience we look on average on 5-6 websites to compare, and we usually look at the first websites that appear on Google. On the first page of Google, the most powerful websites are displayed, and suppliers with cheap, but low-priced products are positioned after page 2 or 3.

Due to the multitude of products, the various discounts and the excessive number of websites you can easily dazzle, and this is the ultimate goal. Very much information for so little time. At one point, you quit searching for alternatives or comparing the price of the same product on other websites, and you think that if you give $ 10 extra, that’s it. In-depth search, even if you believe me or not, requires a lot time and energy.


Now there are price comparators, why search for myself?

Price comparators are good up to a certain point. These comparators display online stores that pay rent or pay for each click that goes to their website. Moreover, they accept any store, as long as they pay their bills. It is possible to go over a “ghost” store and order the payment in installments without your products being delivered.


How do I avoid the Discount Manipulation?

The best way is to search for the product you want on pages 2-3 on Google. Google offers first 3 page positions only to trusted stores.


Conclusion on Discounts

Do not let yourself be manipulated and dizzy with the “-50%”, “-70%” discounts, etc. In fact, that’s the real price! So do not rush to buy at that time, when the price of the product is reduced by 70%. That price will remain so until the stock runs out.



2. Manipulation technique “Front view


To make you buy more products for children (whether toys or surprise food), supermarkets place this merchandise in front and as visible as possible (usually at the bottom of the stand). Children see those products for them and start crying after them. Thus, whether you buy or not, this manipulation technique is used successfully in 70% of cases. It is hard to refuse the child, especially if he/she begins to cry and you are seen by the rest of the buyers.



Insufficient Products” -Manipulating the feeling of shame!

This technique is successfully used if you have children. A good example would be that aggresive advertising with various figurines or dolls on all children’s stations is taking place near holidays. Children see these products and want from (for example) Santa Claus. Prior to Christmas, all toy stores (including those online) will display “no stock” next to these figures. Although you promised your child that you would talk to Santa Claus to bring that figurine, you will not find it anymore, so you have to take something else instead! You will hardly bear the tears of your child on Christmas day because he did not get what he wanted … After 2-3 days after Christmas, the figurine appears on the store shelves at a higher price than before Christmas. With feelings of mercy, to which we add the broken heart of Christmas, you will go quickly to buy that figurine. So the store did not sell only one toy, but two! I’m not saying that the much-wanted figurine will buy at a double price. The “insufficient products” handling technique is applied every time around a holiday in the month of the gifts (December).


Manipulation by “concealing products”

 Also included in the parent category “FRONT VIEW”, this manipulation technique is one we see in every supermarket. This implies the removal of products with increased utility such as bread, water, meat, detergent or cleaning products from store’s entrance. Through this technique you are “forced” to walk inside the shop, so you will find other products to buy also. Normally, this technique is successful among women.


Manipulating by “pop-up technique”

Pop-up is something that slips in your eyes, so this technique is used by stores that stand in your way. These stands are meant to stop or slow down your way from ‘to buy list’, so seeing other products (besides that pop-up stand) you may need. Going slower through the store, you’ll buy more! Do not think that the stands are put there to jump in your eyes to buy them off … not at all!


3. Manipulating with colors


It seems to you true or not, through colors we are manipulated, and how! Although colors often help us to guard against certain situations, they can still be used to trick us. Below we will list some colors as they are used for:


Manipulation with RED color

The red color is the first color we noticed, whether a stand is full of other colors. It is said that red is a feminine color, but it is quite wrong. In fact, the red color is a masculine color, both positive and negative, it is associated with our needs and emanates a powerful energy when it is used.

This color refers rather to sexuality and the craving to have, rather than love (love is expressed in pink color). At the same time, it can also be used negatively to express some rage or aggression.

The red color is used to elicit appetite (this is used in restaurants) to attract attention (for example, shop discounts or the “buy” button) for something passionate (it is mainly used for Sex- shop) or for strong motivational speeches.


Manipulation with BLUE color

Blue color is used to create trust, honesty, accountability or loyalty. Those who use this color make you more confident and give you security to buy (subconsciously speaking). Unlike the red color that is generally used for aggressiveness, the blue color is used for calmness.

 At the same time, this color is also used for communication. Companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or Twitter have understood the importance of blue color in communication, and have formed logos based on this hue.


Manipulation with GREEN color

With the growing obsession for healthy eating, nutrition, or sports, this color is very suitable for everything that means balance in life and harmony. At the same time, greens signify development and prosperity, or, in other words, good fortune. Going on the premise “not everything flying, eating”, if you see the green color and you are tempted to invest or pay something, think twice!


4. Manipulating with “Contrast Principle


The principle of contrasts affects the way we see the difference between two things that are presented one after the other.

Here I will give you an example, through which I hope you will know what the principle of contrasts is and how it is applied in stores. You will understand that EXPENSIVE = GOOD is wrong and not all clothes or other expensive products are necessarily “high quality”.


Cialdini has an example of deliberate exploitation of the “expensive = good” rule. The Drubeck brothers, Sid and Harry, had, in the 1930s, a tailor shop in America. Whenever a customer looked interested in a suit, Sid pretended not to be hearing too well, asking his client to speak louder. As soon as the customer asks for the cost of the costume, Sid yell at Harry, who is in the back room: “Harry, how much does that costume cost?” Exaggerating the price, Harry answered in a loud voice, “For that gorgeous pure wool suit , $ 42 “. Pretending to have not heard, Sid again asked: “How much did you say?” Then Harry repeats “$ 42 !!”. Sid turned to the client: “Harry says $ 22”. Most of the customers rushed to buy the suit and leave the shop, excited by the bargain, before poor Sid discovered the “mistake.”


The contrast principle shows that if you see a price of 500 RON for a blouse, but it has a discount and you can buy it at 150 RON, it must give you some thought. In fact, in the 150 RON, the store’s profit is also included. If the store allows you to buy that product with 150 RON, think with what price has left the factory! Does it still seem to be of good quality? I say not !!


5. Low price does not sell products. “Giant” manipulation technique


In this point I will give you another example by which you will see that expensive does not necessarily mean good! The example is also from Cialdini’s book of persuasion, a book that slightly changes your shopping concept and makes you more attentive in the Mall.


Nina is the manager of a Jewelry store and something fascinating happened to her. She bought some Jade products which, after two months of trying, could not sell them. It was high season, the store was “assaulted” by customers but nobody was buying Jades. She tried to get the attention by placing them in a central zone, at the entrance, made some flyers, asked the clients directly if they are interested to buy some and a lot more, but… not even one sold.

One night, before closing up, Nina wrote a note for her employee to sell the Jades at half price, even if that means it would have sold cheaper than the price she bought them. The note looked like this: “Sell Jade X 1/2 Price”. Fortunately for Nina, her employee thought she wanted to sell the Jades for 2 x Initial Price(double). When Nina came back at the store in the afternoon, she had a surprise: all Jades were sold out, at a double price than initial one.


According to the above story, the lower price for jewels triggered a low-quality perception to all customers. Because the Jades cannot be searched online for unique prices due to different shape, weight or color, in the people’s minds the quality is given by price. When you sell unique products or services, the higher (but not the highest) price will always win.



Manipulation Techniques are many, the idea is to figure out when to buy and when not. We hope that this article helped you and we will return with other handling techniques soon.