7 tricks used by brands so that you end up buying things you don't need.


It's common for you to buy things you don't need. The truth is that this is a practice that many of us have carried out, especially because we fall into the tricks that brands have to make us fall into consumerism.

Do you want to know what these tricks are? Well, in this article I'll talk to you about the 7 tricks that brands use to induce you to buy things you don't really need and make you spend more money.

7 tricks brands use to get you to buy things you don't need

Here are the tricks that companies often apply. Take note of them so you don't fall for any of them.

1. Limited time offer

One of the main tricks that brands often pull off is offering limited-time deals. When they do this, they do so as a strategy to create the urgent need in the customer.

It is normal that you see special promotions "for a limited time" in the various stores or brands. And what's the first thing you think of when you see this? That you have to "take advantage".

Usually there are very few times where people really need these products. In fact, one of the main reasons why cyberday or blackfriday are very lucrative events, is because of it. Because you show customers or potential customers an "offer" (which in many cases really only has an inflated price) and they set a limit to be able to enjoy said promotion.

I'm not saying that in many cases these offers are real, of course they are! But without a doubt, this encourages consumerism as people are tempted to buy things they don't really need; solely because they believe that by not buying at that time they would be wasting an opportunity.

This happens in any sector, be it in supermarkets, in clothing stores, with appliances, electronic items, and stop counting. This marketing practice has been carried out in all sectors for many years, and will continue to do so.

In general I can tell you that this trick is one of the most effective and has been practiced for many years, in order to obtain more sales.

2. 2x1 promotions

This trick is really a classic and I can't stop mentioning it. Really, 2x1 promotions or the classic "take 3 and pay for two" are one of the tricks most used by all brands in any industry.

Surely when you see one of these “offers” as a consumer you will think: “what a must! I can't miss this promotion!” and well, it really is valid since the title and the promotion draw a lot of attention by themselves. What you don't know is that it's just another strategy to get you to buy things you don't need.

Coming back to a classic example, you are in the supermarket and in the cleaning section you see a 3 for 2 promotion, where they offer you a disinfectant, chlorine and soap powder, and you only pay the price of two specific products … interesting, right? But do you really need those three products when you were only going for a disinfectant?

And let me tell you that this does not happen only with the example that I mentioned, when you realize at the moment of paying at the register you are carrying products that you had not contemplated buying; either for offers, 2x1 promotions, among others.

This makes you practice consumerism. Perhaps you will think "well it's not that serious, I would need those products at some point".Sure, this is normal to think about with the example I gave you of soap and disinfectant, but it's still a trick that led you to buy things that you really didn't need now

The worst of all is that this can not only happen to you in a supermarket, but anywhere you go. Clothing stores, shoe stores, hardware stores and any other type of business will apply these techniques at some point to make you spend more money buying things that you had not planned to buy.

That is why you should be aware of these promotions and really determine if you need the product or not, so as not to fall into consumerism.

3. The strategy of “.99”

Another trick that often makes us buy things we don't need is a strategy used when pricing products.

Mentally we are programmed to think that 9.99 euros is very different from 10 euros. In fact, we will be much more tempted to buy the product when it costs 9.99 because we feel that it does not reach 10 euros.

The false idea that we are saving money is created in our subconscious. However, the difference between 9.99 euros and 10 euros is only 0.01 euros, nothing right?

Many times they apply this strategy in conjunction with others, for example, in offers. They usually offer you an unmissable offer where the product cost 16 euros and now with the discount it costs 14.99 euros. You will automatically think that you have a discount of 2 euros or something similar, when really it is only 1 euro.

This technique is also applied when they sell products at 0.99 euros. This makes you think “wow! It does not reach the euro!” and you automatically feel like buying said product because it gives you the impression that it is on sale or that it is very cheap.

Undoubtedly this is a widely used trick, especially when it is accompanied by some other trick such as an offer at a certain time.

4. The most expensive is at eye level

Another aspect that you should consider so as not to fall for the tricks offered by brands so that you buy things you don't need, is that they will place everything on the eye level.

When you are in a supermarket or store, all the most flashy things, the most expensive, or the offers they want you to see, will be at your eye level. That is, they will worry about placing those things that interest them to see and buy within your reach.

So many times people go to the store to buy something and end up taking a lot more things that they don't really need.

If you look at supermarkets or stores, you can find cheaper products if you look at the bottom of the shelves or at the top. That's where the real deals hide.

Normally this trick is usually accompanied by other tricks, such as the fact of applying 2x1 offers or promotions.

5. Discount coupons for a limited time

Coupons with discounts for a limited time are another of the ways or tricks that brands have to make us buy things we don't need and thus fall into consumerism.

Have you ever received a discount coupon from a store or brand? Surely yes, and it is that more and more brands have applications or means to send you offers.

Now then, I would like to know… What do you think when you get a discount coupon? Most people automatically feel the need to use it, because they "can't pass up the opportunity."However, what are they going to use it for? Do they really need what they are going to buy? And the best question of all: if you had not had the coupon, would you buy what you are going to buy? Most likely not

And this is very common and is a total practice of consumerism. When you have that coupon, your brain automatically starts creating needs that you didn't have until a few minutes ago. This is certainly very detrimental because the only thing that is happening is that you are considering buying things that you do not really need.

When using these coupons it is very important to be smart and determine if the purchase is really necessary. Surely you ask yourself “and how do I realize that?” Well, very simply, you must answer these questions:

  • Did you plan to buy something in that store during the week or month?
  • Do you really need that something you want to buy?
  • Even if you didn't have the discount coupon... would you still buy the product?

When the answer to all these questions is “yes” then it can be said that it really was something you needed and that sooner or later you were going to buy it. So the fact that you have a coupon then means that you would be saving real money; and not that you would be making an impulse purchase.

6. Decoy effect

The decoy effect is a technique used by many brands so that you end up buying products that are more expensive and larger in size or quantity, than what you were really going to buy and that you probably don't need.

First of all, I want you to know what I mean when I mention the decoy effect. It is a marketing technique or strategy that consists of directing the consumer's attention to a particular product, using a third product as a decoy.

This could be a basic or technical definition of what the decoy effect is. However, I want you to have it totally clear, so I will give you some examples.

When you are in a coffee shop and you go to buy coffee, for example, it is normal for you to see 3 types of glasses: the small glass, the medium glass and the large glass. Suppose that the small glass is sold for 2 euros, the medium one for 4 euros and the large one for 5 euros, what goes through your head when you see this?

Usually the difference of 1 euro between the medium coffee and the large coffee will make you think that the large one is cheap. Normally your thought will be something similar to this: “for 1 euro more I can buy the big one? What a deal!"

In this case, the lure is medium brown. The brand is not really interested in you buying the medium coffee, its intention is that you spend more than you would have spent normally; that is, their intention is that you buy the large coffee.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most common tricks in the world of marketing and one that is most often carried out by companies. Generally, food companies are the ones that apply this technique the most, however, it is also used by multiple brands that seek to make you spend more money.

7. Second product at half price

Another technique that, if we analyze it rationally, also makes us spend more money and buy things we don't need.

How many times have you seen the promotion that says “get the second product at half price”? I personally have seen it many times and on many occasions I fell into that trap.

Well, at first when you tell yourself you're getting a second product for half price, you're saying “wow! An offer of 50%” and our brain automatically thinks that. However, what if I told you that this is not the case?

Let's take an example: you buy a product that has a real cost of 10 euros and in the promotion they tell you that, if you take a second product, you will pay half the price of this one. Okay, that is to say that the second product instead of leaving you at 10 euros, it will cost you 5 euros. This makes a total of 15 euros, which would be what you would spend at the time of making your purchase.

If you analyze this case, you must make this assumption: how much would you spend having bought both products, without discount? You would have spent 20 euros. So the discount is 5 euros and at the percentage level it represents 25% discount of your total purchase; unlike the 50% that our brain automatically associates when hearing the phrase “second product at half price”.


To finish, I hope these tricks have been useful to you and that you have learned so that you don't fall for them again. Remember that you should take care of your money and avoid falling into consumerism by buying things you don't need.

So, without further ado, take note of the tricks and don't be fooled! See you in the next article.