Table of contents:
- Bargaining Is Appropriate
- "Imaginary" price
- Insidious restrictions
- Magic number
- This is my prey
- Not for long
- Internal accountant
- EXPERT OPINION
Video: Take And Buy An Elephant - Society
The illusory world of coupons and promotions attracts us, and now the magic word "Freebie!" Begins to pulsate in my head. How to learn to save money without harming yourself? The answer is simple - recognize and avoid traps set by salespeople, and remember that many of them rely on our minds.
Bargaining Is Appropriate
If the teacher asks the children to solve the problem: “Tolya has 50 apples in his basket. Tell me, how old am I? " - then, despite the anecdotal nature of the situation, the children will name a greater age than if, according to the condition of the problem, Tolya had only 25 apples in the basket. The so-called "anchoring and fitting heuristic" will work: the number 50 will become a kind of anchor, under which children will involuntarily adjust their response.
Similarly, when a seller in the market answers the question "How much does it cost?" names a high price, he expects that your counter offer will not be very different from her. Indeed, many will agree that, for example, asking for 100 thousand rubles for a fur coat when the seller named the price of 300 thousand rubles is not very convenient. This inconvenience, of course, is due to many factors, but the contribution of the anchoring and fitting heuristic is obvious here. Therefore, people who have been given a price of 300 thousand will end up paying more for a fur coat than those who have been given a price of 250 thousand.
What to do?
In a bargaining situation, try to proceed not from the price that you are told, but from an objective analysis of the market. It can be carried out at least in the form of Internet surfing on the sites of different stores.
The classics of the genre in the reliance of sellers on the heuristics of anchoring and fitting is, of course, the so-called "old price" When the old price is written on the price tag (as a rule, it is crossed out), then we evaluate whether the discount is a discount, starting from the old price. Although if you think about it, you can understand that we cannot be sure whether the price of the goods was really the one that was crossed out before, or whether it did not change, but simply cunning sellers wrote an imaginary "old" price.
What to do?
Don't pay attention to the old price. It is better to look at a new one and analyze whether it suits you, or is it worth looking for other suggestions.
Casting an anchor to enable the corresponding heuristic can be done in a more tricky way. Have you come across colorful ads “Special price! No more than 3 pieces per hand”?
Research shows that people buy more when they see messages like these than when there are no quantity limits. The number "3" in our example is precisely the anchor - the number from which we unconsciously start when deciding how much to buy.
What to do?
When assessing whether the price is fair, always pay attention to whether there are any anchors nearby that could influence your decision.
It is interesting to note that even without the "old-new" price gimmicks and restrictions on the quantity of goods in the price itself, there can be a trap. Research shows that people buy more when the price of a product ends in nines. Why it happens? It turns out that we perceive the price of 1,599 rubles as a discount from 1,600 rubles. And mentally we round the sum up to 1,500 (when we say this price in our mind, we hear “one thousand five hundred” and do not make an amendment for the tail “99”), although it would be worth rounding it up to 1,600.
What to do?
It is worth turning on critical thinking whenever you see a fractional price, especially if this price is something remarkable (1234.56 rubles) or looks beautiful (7747.74 rubles).
This is my prey
Our minds have limitations not only when comparing numbers. Have you come across how the seller tries to give you the goods in your hands in the market? Was it psychologically difficult for you to give it back?
Experienced traders have established empirically what is well known to modern science. Once you pick up the product, it will be difficult for you to hand it over because cognitive biases such as the "possession effect" and "loss aversion" are triggered.
The so-called free trial versions, for example, of computer programs, as well as the provision of goods free of charge for a certain period of time, rely on this same feature of our mind. For the same reason, you should not believe the loud statements of sellers “if you don’t like our product, we will refund your money”: studies show that you don’t want to give back what you already consider yours.
Our aversion to losses is exploited by sellers when they exclaim: "Hurry up to buy goods at a reduced price!" In this case, the buyer begins to experience fear: if he does not buy the product immediately, he will miss out on his profit and spend more than he could.
What to do?
If you are afraid of missing out on a great offer, then take your time, think about whether this purchase is inevitable. Sound decisions take time.
Not for long
Remember the parable about Khoja Nasreddin, in which Nasreddin promised to one padishah to teach his donkey to read the Koran in 20 years? The situation was a win-win, because during this period either the donkey, or the padishah, or Nasreddin himself would die.
By offering to pay in advance, sellers also find themselves in a profitable situation. “On the shore” we cannot accurately estimate how often we will resort to the service we paid for. Let's remember the purchase of a club card in a fitness club. Studies show that a person will visit a fitness club about half as often as they planned when buying a club card. This means that you will pay the club twice as much as you could.
Perhaps that is why fitness clubs prefer to sell only ready-made subscriptions and do not allow one-time visits, each of which can be paid for separately.
What to do?
When paying for a service, the provision of which is stretched out for a long time, you should not give in to the desire to get a discount and save money, it is better to pay for a one-time service.
Our mind has a feature that leads to systematic errors when buying goods and paying for services - this is the so-called "mental accounting."
Under the influence of this peculiarity, 1,000 rubles, which we pay extra for lunch in a restaurant, look more significant to us than the same amount that we pay extra for some accessory when buying a car. Mental accounting is similar in its essence to the effect of contrast: 1,000 rubles compared to 2,000 rubles that we already paid for lunch looks much more significant than 1,000 rubles compared to, say, 500,000 rubles, which we paid for a new or used car. However, this amount always remains the same no matter what you buy.
It is on mental bookkeeping that the “catch-up” technique is based. An experienced salesperson will always offer you to buy something else that is not very expensive compared to what you just bought: an additional guarantee when buying household appliances, accessories when buying a car.
What to do?
Drive away the thought that rushes through your mind: “I have already spent a certain amount of money, so why not spend a little more” - and the amount of your check will not increase.
Now you have a "map" with which you can easily bypass the cunning traps of sellers. Be aware of your inherent heuristics and cognitive biases, and be especially careful in situations of sales, discounts, and other “good” deals.
Overtake and throw away
We live in an era of consumption, when the value becomes not only the achievement of the desired thing or service, but the acquisition process itself. Marketers are constantly coming up with special promotions and offers that are "valid only today." And we see an interesting trend: a person is not chasing a low cost of goods or services, but the very principle of “buy at a discount” or at a sale. That is, a person enjoys the feeling of savings (“in time”, “found”, “overtook other, less quick buyers”). In this case, positive emotions prevail over the real value of the product and its need for it. Universal advice in the season of sales: buy with discounts only what you would buy without a special price list. This will help you really save money and save you from the rubble of unnecessary things that you might havenever use it.
General Director of the Paleon Center, PhD in Psychology