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Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need

Published on
09 January 2024
Chef Silvano
Chef Silvano

Clever marketing strategies are designed to tap into our impulses, creating a perceived need for items we might not actually require. Here are some tactics that companies use to encourage consumers to make unnecessary purchases.

Scarcity Principle

Marketers often suggest that a product is in limited supply or available for a limited time. This can create a sense of urgency, prompting consumers to buy out of fear of missing out (FOMO).
The Urgency Illusion
Ever felt the rush to buy something because it’s only available for a “limited time”? That’s the scarcity principle at work, a strategy designed to make you act fast for fear of missing out on a great deal.


Retailers may show a higher “original” price next to the sale price to make the deal look better than it is. This can trick consumers into thinking they’re getting a significant discount when the product may have never been sold at the original price.
The Price Game
Discover how anchoring can make you believe you’re getting a steal. Retailers show a higher “original” price next to the sale price, creating an illusion of immense savings that’s hard to resist.

Decoy Pricing

Sometimes, a third, less attractive option is added to make one of the other two options seem more reasonable. For example, a small size priced high can make the medium size look like a better deal, even if the large size is the best value.
The Decoy Effect
Ever noticed how a third, less attractive option can make the other two seem better? This decoy pricing is a clever ploy to steer your choice towards the option that offers the seller the highest profit margin.


Companies often bundle products together, selling them as a package at a seemingly lower rate. This encourages customers to buy more than they intended under the guise of saving money.
The Bundle Trap
Bundles can be tempting—more items for a seemingly lower price. But are you actually saving, or just buying more than you need? We’ll help you decode the true value of bundled deals.

Free Offers

The promise of something “free” with a purchase can be very enticing. However, the cost of the “free” item is often included in the price of the purchasing item.
The Allure of “Free”
Nothing grabs attention like the promise of something “free.” However, the cost of the “free” item is often cleverly included in the price of the purchasing item. We’ll show you how to spot when “free” isn’t really free.

Lifestyle Marketing

Advertisements that depict an aspirational lifestyle can persuade consumers to buy products in hopes of achieving the lifestyle portrayed, regardless of whether they need the product.
The Lifestyle Lure
Advertisements sell you a dream, a glimpse into an aspirational lifestyle that seems just a purchase away. Learn how to separate your genuine needs from the glossy images that promise happiness in a product.

Social Proof

Using testimonials, customer reviews, and influencer endorsements creates trust and the impression that everyone else is buying the product, so it must be good.
The Power of the Crowd
Social proof is a powerful influencer. When everyone else seems to be buying a product, it’s tempting to follow suit. But is it popularity or just a perception created by savvy marketers?


Salespeople often suggest premium products or additional features that can increase the price of the original purchase. While these may seem like “upgrades,” they’re often unnecessary.
The Upsell Enticement
When a salesperson suggests a more expensive item or additional features, it’s often more about increasing their bottom line than enhancing your satisfaction. We’ll give you tips on how to stick to your original needs and budget.

False Sense of Value

Marketers might inflate a product’s features or benefits to give a false sense of added value, leading consumers to believe they’re getting more for their money.
The Value Illusion
Sometimes, products come with exaggerated features or benefits that aren’t as groundbreaking as they seem. We’ll teach you how to see past the hype and assess the real value of a product.

Strategic Product Placement

In stores, high-margin products or impulse buys are placed at eye level or near the checkout to grab your attention when you’re most likely to make a quick decision.
The Placement Strategy
Ever wonder why certain products catch your eye in a store? Strategic product placement is designed to entice impulse buys, especially when you’re waiting in line or browsing high-traffic areas.

Being aware of these tactics can help consumers make more informed decisions and resist the temptation to buy things they don’t really need. Always consider whether a product is truly necessary and valuable to your life before making a purchase.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to shop smarter and make purchases that truly benefit you, not just the retailers. Stay tuned for our full post to master the art of shopping with confidence and clarity.