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Most luxury clothing stores are carpeted with extra padding. "If you’re walking around, you tend to stay longer because it's more comfortable on your feet," said Zyla. Look for this specifically at designer shoe salons, where comfort is key to a sale.

Carpeting also functions to slow you down since the slower you go, the more you notice merchandise around you.

7. Anchoring and discounting

Stores will sometimes use a concept known as anchoring, where two similar items with different price tags are placed next to each other, making you believe you’re getting a great deal.

"Anchoring is part of our relationship with numbers that no one can explain," Ellwood said. "When you see a product in a store that's weirdly expensive, it’s there for one reason: to make everything else look cheaper!"

Ellwood offered J. Crew Collection boutique as an example. Instead of isolating the merchandise into a specific section, J. Crew sprinkles items throughout the store. For instance, a $900 blouse and $150 blouse that are pretty similar may be placed next to one another, helping you anchor the reference price at $900, which makes $150 look like a steal.

Electronics companies similarly employ the Goldilocks principle where they display items in trios since customers instinctively gravitate to the middle option. In fact, retailers buy most stock of the middle price point planning for this phenomenon, and it's typically the merchandise with the best margin.

"If you check the features between the cheapest versus the middle one, you'll find they are basically the same," Ellwood pointed out.

8. It's a numbers game

There's a reason prices typically end in 7, 8, 9 and 0.

"Culturally, we have learned that nine is a standard ending and we don’t notice it much," said Ellwood. When it doesn’t end in nine, we pay attention in a different way.

Prices that end in zero have become equated with quality. Nordstrom tends to price with round numbers, Ellwood said, and this suggests higher quality and a better value.

When we see an odd price, like $18.93, we assume that there was some formula used to calculate the price, that the retailer has cut it to the absolute minimum.

Never let yourself be duped, warned Ellwood. Try this trick: Round the price up to 99 cents. Do you still have the same reaction? If not, it's not a bargain.

Source :

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