15 Consumerism Scams That Trick You Into Spending Money

Published 2023-09-29
Companies use a wide variety of psychological tricks to get you to spend money without you noticing. In this video, I expose 15 of these scams.

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00:00 Start Here
01:06 Dropping The Dollar Sign
01:43 Adding An Expensive Item On The Menu
02:27 Listing Highest Prices On The Top Of The Menu
03:18 Tiny Price Differences Between Larger Sizes
04:42 Shinkflation
05:36 Giant Grocery Carts
06:20 The Number 9 Trick
06:45 Random Price Numbers
07:45 Outlet Malls
08:30 Decoy Price Tags
09:08 Store Credit Cards
10:01 Fake Online Product Reviews
11:22 One Click Checkout
11:55 Buy Now Pay Later
12:56 Subscription Services

Companies go to great lengths to trick you into spending money without you noticing. In this video, I share 15 common tricks used to get you to spend more money.

1. Dropping The Dollar Sign

In most full service restaurants nowadays, they do not use dollar signs on their menu. And this is because when you see an amount without a dollar sign, it makes the price seem more friendly, making you focus on the experience rather than the price.

2. Adding An Expensive Item On The Menu

Many restaurants will add one item on the menu that is a lot more expensive than the other items to make the other items seem less in comparison.

3. Listing Highest Prices On The Top Of The Menu

Many self service restaurants will make their menus have the most expensive items on top and the cheaper items at the bottom. And this is because we always read from top to bottom, so we'll make our decision at the top where the items are more expensive before reaching the bottom.

4. Tiny Price Differences Between Larger Sizes

Oftentimes when you get a drink or a small item, the price difference between a small and a large is not that much and this is because restaurants can get customers to spend a dollar more by getting a larger size.

5. Shinkflation

Instead of raising prices, companies are lowering the size of their products, which is called "Shrinkflation." This is because customers are more focused on price rather than weight of the product.

6. Giant Grocery Carts

Grocery stores use giant grocery carts rather than small sized because the giant ones can fit more things in them and you don't notice when you have a bunch of things in them. This makes you spend more money without you realizing.

7. The Number 9 Trick

Grocery stores often use the number 9 at the end of the price to trick customers into thinking they are paying one dollar less for the products.

8. Random Price Numbers

Companies like Walmart will use random price numbers rather than the "9 trick" because it makes you think it is the cheapest price for the item and not want to compare prices as much.

9. Outlet Malls

Outlet malls are often located in really rural areas far from the cities. The reason they do this is because since it requires more effort to get to the store, people view it as more of an experience and spend more money.

10. Decoy Price Tags

Especially at outlet mall, they will use price tags that are three times what the real price is to make you think that you are getting a good deal.

11. Store Credit Cards

Most retail stores have their own credit card that offer discounts and benefits for their members; however, these cards are designed to get you to spend more at the store and shop specifically at the store.

12. Fake Online Product Reviews

Most online reviews are fake and written by AI to convince you that a product is good and you should buy the product.

13. One Click Checkout

Often in online shopping, you can save your card and address information and place orders with just a click of a button. This is designed to take away the feeling that you are spending money, which makes you spend more.

14. Buy Now Pay Later

Overtime, credit keeps changing names and the newest form of credit is buy now, pay later where you can buy a product and pay it off in payments. Companies offer this because their know people don't have the money to buy it, but if given the option to purchase on credit, they'll do it.

15. Subscription Services

Ownership is quickly becoming a thing of the past where instead of buying something, you subscribe to a service. This is because it is a never ending stream of revenue for companies because the payments never stop.

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All Comments (21)
  • @ElAgustin
    What's another way companies trick you into spending more money?
  • @johnfern
    My old man always used to say, "That's how they getcha!"
  • @mindbuilder9507
    "Ownership" is a scam too. Once you own most things they are worthless and they take up valuable space. Cars depreciate, homes have never ending repairs, taxes and insurance, not to mention clothes, DVDs etc. etc. Pay to use makes more sense.
  • @juliem.3936
    LOL. Love these: "Capitalism is making us fat" and, "Ain't no company looking out for you". How true!!
  • @DavidDavisDH
    I'm proud of myself, I went to Walmart yesterday and got the one thing I came in for, thats actually hard for most people. I don't fall for the impulse buys! Nice video as always!
  • @justinmolsal5613
    This is wisdom. Most consumers are not very smart and get suckered, unfortunately.
  • Buying online is the worst. Forget Amazon. Great way to buy junk and invite thieves to visit your door step. Good idea to use the hands on approach when shopping.
  • @mashort07
    The funny thing about the dollar sign “scam” is that it has the opposite effect on me. You go to enough restaurants, you start realizing the most expensive ones are the ones that don’t use the dollar signs. I run in the other direction when I see that. 😂
  • @joshpembers
    The goal of successful retail stores is to leave the customer feeling/believing/&/telling their friends ... "... it's not how much I spent, it's how much I SAVED (on my multiple purchases bought ON SALE today) ... "
  • @eddiestilll
    These videos just get better and better El Augustin! Some of these scams like "adding an expensive item on the menu" is something that I've overlooked for years but now I realize it's so scary unless you're aware.
  • @videomgs
    Very creative - so awesome to have special guests join you like your Walmart shopper friend. lol
  • Another example of a consumerism scam is car leasing. It’s similar to subscription services in that you never own but just keep paying.
  • @gemnilocs
    I have noticed the smaller sizes but same prices….2) I love the smaller carts but what I try to do is grab the basket or just use my hands and therefore, if I can’t carry it, I don’t buy it.
  • @briancates4758
    I always felt sorry for the Target clerks who were forced to say “Are we saving 10% on our Red Card today?”
  • @85jongo
    You nailed it sir on so many of these scams. I hate those huge carts. They trick you into making you feel like a weirdo if you just walk up to the checkout with a moderate amount of items. The smaller carts are always so hard to find.
  • @An-ng7fd
    Recently I’ve read that supermarkets/ grocery stores have upgraded theirs prices tag and can now be updated in real time. So now they will increase the price for different items during the time people have lunch breaks or after work, when you’re hungry and you want to get something to cook.
  • @noreenn6976
    Excellent video Augustin! Shrinkflation is running rampant in recent years. Some companies will ever call out how they're saving the environment by using less packaging; failing to call out that there is less product in the package.
  • @papaschlumpf68
    I don't know why your channel was suggested to me a few days ago. But your tips are really great and support the frugal lifestyle.

    Warm greetings from Germany.
  • Do you know what's funny... because of my dyslexia, in college I started to look at all numbers as currency and once I started doing that I was able to understand everything in my statistics, calculus, and later all my accounting classes. Once I started looking at all numbers as money $$ that helped me understand it in my brain and I was able to complete my masters in accounting with a 3.8 GPA. So now that companies are taking $$ sings off everything, it never bugs me cause I don't notice it. 😅
  • @dpayne1943
    I know it’s an old one, but…car leases. Sure it’s cheaper per month, but you never own it (unless you chose to buy out the lease for a lot more than you would have paid purchasing it) and there are so many restrictions. You can only drive it so many miles and when you go over you start paying per mile. When you return the car every little ding or scratch will cost you a lot. And then you still need to get your next car….. forever paying. And then there is car financing, the standard terms used to be 3 to 5 years (and you were considered silly if you had a 5 year loan), now most finance 6 to 7 years.

    This was great video! Have a great weekend!