10 Subtle Supermarket Scams That People Still Fall For

Just about every single grocery store has a similar layout as the next. The produce is near the entrance, the cereal is somewhere in the center aisles, and the milk and eggs are tucked in the back corner. This design is no accident.

In fact, this is done as a means to give shoppers a sense of familiarity, no matter where they are shopping—and to get you to spend more money than you’d anticipated as a result. These layouts are so smartly planned that you might never have noticed how they’re tricking you.

Just take these 10 examples of subtle tricks supermarkets use to get people to spend more money…

1. The slow music: If you ever stop to pay attention to the mellow music playing in the supermarket, you’ll hear laid-back tunes more often than not. Experts suggest that people respond to the music subconsciously. If you hear slow music, you tend to move more slowly through the store—and see more products you could buy.

2. The delicatessen: There’s a good chance that when you approach the meat counter, you’re there for an individual, pre-sliced cut of meat. In all actuality, though, it’s typically much cheaper to purchase a bigger meat cut, and to have the person behind the counter slice it up for you.

3. The cereal aisle: Ever notice how the sugary cereals are placed at eye-level, while the healthy choices tend to be on the top or bottom shelves? This is done as a means to draw your attention to the more popular brands. These also happen to be the more expensive ones!

4. Shelf organization: Looking further into the way supermarket shelves are organized, you might have noticed that certain staples suddenly move around the store. This is done as a means to encourage shoppers to search around the store in hopes that you’ll find something else you want to purchase along the way.

5. The design of the products at the end of an aisle: The way items are placed in the aisles’ end caps tricks the shopper into thinking they’re on sale because of their prominence. The truth, however, is that these companies are paying more money to have their items so prominently displayed.

6. The size of the shopping cart: While shopping carts used to be much smaller, over the years, they’ve grown to hold many more items. This has happened because the designers believe the bigger the cart, the more likely you are to fill it with products.

7. The layout of the fruits and vegetables: One of the greatest hassles of cooking is having to cut and slice vegetables. The only problem is that the pre-packaged ones tend to be much more expensive. If you’re looking to save some money, buy the large, uncut versions and do the chopping yourself. Your wallet will thank you later.

8. Placing the bakery near the front of the store: When you enter the supermarket, you might realize that you’re often greeted by the scent of fresh baked goods. This is because grocery stores often place the bakery at the front of the store so the sweet aromas will put many people in a good mood, which, in turn, makes them want to stay and buy more products.

9. Purchasing bulk items: While you’ve likely been trained to believe that buying in bulk is the way to go, that’s not always the case. This is because many people waste the items that they purchase. Unless you’re buying for a large family or party or buying something non-perishable, it’s best to stick with normally sized products at the grocery store.

10. The impulse buy items near checkout: Even when you think you’ve crossed off everything from your shopping list, you likely haven’t accounted for the checkout lane. That’s where you’ll be barraged with an assortment of last-minute temptations while you wait. These products are typically pretty cheap, so it’s easy to grab a handful of candy bars and gum—and end up spending a lot more than you planned to.

Knowing these tricks is sure to help you save a lot of money the next time you’re at the supermarket. Just do your best to remember all of them, and your wallet will thank you later.

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