Did you know that most of our shopping decisions (95%!) are subconscious, making us vulnerable to retailers' tricks.  To outsmart them and save money, learn these 14 subtle psychological tactics stores use to influence you.

Supermarket shelves are designed to grab your eye, with pricier brands at eye level to tempt you into skipping the cheaper options below.

1. Clever product placement

2. Visual pricing tactics

Stores use sneaky pricing tricks like odd-number endings (e.g., $9.99 instead of £10) and prices with fewer syllables (£27.82 vs. £28.16) to make you think things are cheaper than they are.

Retailers use cross-selling to tempt you to buy extras that match or complement your initial choice, like displaying matching clothes or Amazon's "frequently bought together" suggestions.

3. Cross selling

4. Sneaky store layout

Supermarkets use sneaky layouts and frequent changes to keep you browsing and buying more (think: milk at the back, rearranged displays).

Retailers exploit our fear of missing out with "limited-time offers" and dwindling stock to pressure impulse purchases.

5. False sense of urgency

6. Buy one, get one free

BOGO deals trick our brains' love of bargains, often inflating prices to cover the "free" item.

Stores leverage social proof, like seeing a crowded restaurant or positive reviews, to make you feel their products are more desirable.

7. Social proof

8. Big shopping carts

Supermarkets use oversized carts to trick you into feeling like you haven't shopped enough.

Retailers craft a multi-sensory experience (sight, touch, smell, sound) to trigger emotions and encourage impulsive purchases.

9. Appeal to senses

10. Liberal return policies

Easy return policies exploit the "Endowment Effect," making you buy more because giving something back feels like a loss.

Stores use "speed bumps" like displays to slow you down and expose you to more products, increasing the chance of a purchase.

11. Speed bumps

12. Strategic placement of sales items 

Stores lure you in with sale items near the entrance and by the checkout, hoping to snag impulse buys.

Free samples exploit reciprocity, making you feel obligated to buy something after enjoying a complimentary bite.

13. "Free" samples

14. Carefully chosen colors

Stores use color psychology: warm colors (red, orange) grab you in, while cool colors (blue, green) subtly make you spend more.