Right now, many Americans are working from home. Many stores are closed or have reduced hours and they are losing business. Management recognizes this and tries combating this by producing online sales to draw you back in. One of the ways they reach out to you is through your email.
Email marketers send you notifications via email giving you updates on the current sales at your favorite stores. Usually, you become subscribed to these emails by entering your personal email either on the store’s website after purchasing a product or in person at the register while checking out. Once you are subscribed and begin to receive these emails, you are likely to follow their links to see how good the deals are and to see if maybe there is something you need. Be careful. Online shopping commonly results in overspending. How so?
Here are some tricks to watch out for:
- The products on top aren’t necessarily the best-selling items, they may just be products the company needs to get rid of.
- Free shipping has a motive. Most of the time to earn free shipping you have to buy more causing you to spend more than you planned.
- Ease of checkout. These websites are designed to make checking out incredibly simple. The quicker you make your purchase the less time you have to consider how much you actually need them or if you can afford them.
- Discounts! Again you receive a perk if you spend a certain amount of money causing you to spend more than you planned.
- Anchor pricing. Slashes through “beginning” prices in red with new lower prices underneath to make you think that you are getting a great deal.
Now that you are aware of the marketing tricks these companies play on you, here are some ways to avoid them!
- Cancel your subscriptions. This is as easy as opening an email and scrolling to the bottom, clicking on the unsubscribe link, and select “unsubscribe”. If you don’t receive these emails you likely won’t be tempted to go online and shop.
- Use website filters to sort the products to what you are looking for.
- Plan ahead and make a list of what you need and what you are willing to spend.
- Take a moment to think before checking out. Do you really need this? Can you afford this?
- Look to see if there will be bigger discounts in the nearby future.
- Don’t be fooled by anchor pricing. Only buy the item if you think it is worth the price you will pay, regardless of the slashed/red number.
Right now, many of us are working reduced hours, or not working at all. It may feel like you are saving money by buying items at a discount, but in reality, you are not saving money at all if you did not plan to buy the product before getting online. Shopping may be a way to ease your boredom, but it can impact your finances greatly. Make sure that you are planning ahead, buying only what you need, and stick to your budget!
Need help reduce your spending? Request a free appointment at Powercat Financial today with one of our counselors at https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/.
Peer Counselor I