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No one likes to feel taken advantage of, and knowing that you’re being preyed on is one of the worst feelings ever.

But when you know what to look out for you can save yourself a lot of trouble and effectively defend yourself against predatory salespeople. Journeytobillions wants to share with you six of the more popular tricks used to get you to buy.

1. Scarcity Illusion

Get it while it’s hot! Don’t miss your chance to have the vacation of your life. There’s only 10 spots left. Whether or not there is actually a limited supply, the goal of this tactic is to prey on your fear of missing out on a great thing.

2. Decoys

Sometimes salespeople will quote you a lot of irrelevant information or decoy information to get you to choose the pricier option that puts more money in their pockets. For example, a streaming service will offer online and mobile access for $9.99 monthly, online access for $7.99 monthly and mobile access for $9.99 monthly. Most  subscribers will choose the online and mobile option because it seems like a better value, whether or not they prefer mobile over online.

3. Reciprocity

You scratch my back, I scratch yours. That’s the principle of reciprocity. Salespeople will offer you something for free, or something that appears to be free, with your purchase. Often the freebie will be attached to an upgraded model or a specific purchase amount. When people feel like they’re getting more than expected or added value, they’re more likely to make the purchase.

4. Group Think

When people see that lots of other people are doing it, they are more willing to do it too. When a salesperson starts in on who is driving this car or wearing this fragrance or using this product, they’re playing on your ego. They’re hoping that you want to appear affluent as so and so or wanting to “keep up with the Joneses.”

5. Anecdote

Businesses know that people like to buy from people and not a faceless company. Salespersons become the face of the company and will often create a persona that pulls you in. They share stories that they know will resonate with you and pull at your emotions. A good story, testimonial or anecdote helps you envision what could be true for you too.

6. Anchoring

Have you ever looked at a price tag and seen two prices? One is the sales price and the other is the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price). The MSRP is always higher than the actual selling price. This gives buyers the illusion of savings, because the retailer could be selling it for $34.50 but is instead selling it for $27.99. It is also what drives us to purchase items on sale, regardless of the value we get from a service or product.

There are tons of businesses out here vying for your attention and patronage. Many of these are using persuasive tactics to earn your business, and plenty others are using these same tactics to trick you into spending more than something is worth or more than you can afford to responsibly. Keep an eye our for these sneak attacks and you’ll be a more informed shopper.

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