Even if there are a few leftover Black Friday sales here and there, this is simply bait to get you in the store, where you'll likely buy non-sale items.
There's also a reason they're red, besides the holiday factor: People react faster and more forcefully when they see the color red.
Stores not only entice you with sales, but they also use limited-time offers to increase your sense of urgency in making a purchase — and it doesn't help that the holiday season already exudes urgency.
Oftentimes, stores are simply creating the illusion of an unbeatable sale. While these items may be tempting to buy on the spot — especially with a looming gift giving deadline — you're better off putting the item on hold, thinking through the purchase, and making sure it's really worth opening your wallet for. Keep in mind that to be a thorough shopper over the holiday season you'll have to plan ahead and start your shopping early.
Source: US News and World Report
Anything a store really wants customers to buy is placed at eye level so it's easiest to find, and particularly favored items are highlighted at the end of aisles.
Look above and below for similar items with lower prices and fewer markups.
This trick not only slows you down and gets you to spend more time in the store, but it exposes you to new products. It also increases the odds that you'll buy that new product — trying something for free makes you feel more obligated to buy it.
Particularly over the holiday season, retailers and markets will try to bait you with samples of irresistible sweets and chocolates.
Stores draw customers in with warm hues like reds, oranges, and yellows, but once inside, cool colors like blues and greens encourage them to spend more.
There's bound to be even more red adorning storefronts during the holiday season.
Source: ?Bellizzi et al. (1983).
The holidays are a heartwarming and special time of the year — retailers are aware of this and tug on your emotions even more with charming decorations, cheerful holiday music, and aromatic displays.
We tend to forget to think about money logically even more so during this time of the year, and as a result, overspend.
Store size matters. In crowded places, people spend less time shopping, make fewer purchases — planned and impulsive — and feel less comfortable?.
Source: Harrell and Hunt (1976); Gillis et al. (1986).
The most profitable area of the store is the checkout line. By the time you've made the rounds through the grocery or department store, your self-control is effectively exhausted.
Over the holidays, the checkout line is bound to be surrounded with various stocking stuffers and holiday candy, and stores bank on you succumbing to these temptations while waiting.
Source: Business Insider
Tagging a product with $0.99 causes consumers to automatically round down. If an item is priced at $1.99, we tend to think of the product as costing $1 rather than $2, making us more likely to purchase it.
Look out for this trick when it comes to stocking stuffers and other items in the checkout line.
Source: Fast Company
Sometimes stores offer free shipping when they're out of stock in a size or low on inventory of a particular item, which is not uncommon during the busy holiday season, but this is often just to get you to make the purchase that day. You may be better off shopping around and finding a better deal with a competitor.
Plus, you could end up waiting seven to 10 business days for your purchase, and by that time, you may have reconsidered how much you actually need it, or your gift deadline may have passed.
The last minute holiday shopper is lucky in a way that online shopping and overnight shipping exist — but this alternative comes with financial consequences.
Last minute shipping can turn a dream bargain into a costly endeavor, and you may not realize it until you're about to submit your credit card information and the shipping and handling cost appears.
The moral of the story: Plan ahead, do your shopping as early as possible, and don't spend on unnecessary expenses like accelerated shipping.