It's common knowledge that the sales industry sometimes uses sneaky tactics to lure customers to buy more.
What is not so common knowledge are the tactics used by some major retail chains to get more of your money (even if you don't actually buy more).
I stated this before, but if this is the first time you've read my blog, I was in the retail field for over 10 years, shipping and receiving, customer service and department management.
Over those years, I learned a lot of tactics used to drive sales. Aside from marking up prices, more than 400%, retail chains also mark up the prices of "lesser quality" items.
I won't state the retail chains that I worked for, but I will say that these chains of stores are either in the mall or they're parked in the middle of huge parking lots.
During my shipping and receiving days, I worked in a major retail chain where we would get items that were discontinued at a big-box store, we removed the price and re-tagged the item with a shiny new mall sticker. To speak of one situation particularly, we marked up a discontinued $6.99 item from a big-box store up to $19.99 for the mall location.
Needless to say, retail prices get my side eye.
Another example of a hidden mark up in retail is perceived quality.
It is perceived or even assumed that items that come from major retailers are of better quality and therefore are granted a higher price tag.
In reality, a lot of clothing in those retail stores come from the same factories as the items going to the big-box stores.
Another shipping and receiving experience of mine is the fun of opening boxes from the distributor. I got a first hand look at the items before they hit the sales floor and as an employee, I also got first dibs on shopping.
With that being said, during my time with an outlet store, we would open boxes that had name brands and not-so name brand items. The name brands got re-directed and sent to the mall, the not-so name brands went on the discount sales floor.
What I'm saying is some of your favorite brands come from the same factories where big-box clothing is made. Not only is it the same factory, same seamstress and same fabric, in a lot of cases the biggest difference is only the name tag in the clothing.
It would be nice to believe that if I pay $75 for a blouse, it is of better quality than the $9.99 blouse, in actuality - they're probably the exact same or at the very least, similar. In many cases, the only way to tell them apart is if one of those garments has a brand name that you've seen on TV before.
My third and final example of a sneaky sales trick is large percentage discounts. Items on sale or clearance are of course my go-to's, but understand, just because something's on clearance, doesn't mean you're not still paying for a huge mark-up.
Think about it, if an item is marked-up 600%, what is a 75% off deal....really?
By doing this article, I don't want to turn you away from your favorite brands, but I do want to bring to attention that fact that our perceptions are being used against us when we shop. I am a lover of a good deal and a bargain - the only thing I love more, is sharing what I've learned with my fellow bargain hunters.