If you are shopping for the holidays or for everyday items, you could be the victim of simple pricing tricks. The price tag is the key to unlocking these tricks.
Big name retailers probably don't want you to know these five ways to spot pricing tricks. But MoneyWatch breaks it all down for us.
You'll want to watch for prices ending in 9, 99 or 95. Those are known as "charm prices" making it appear cheaper than they really are. Since people read from left to right they are more likely to register the first number and decide if the price is reasonable.
You should also watch for prices without dollar signs. When items are marked without the symbol, retailers hope you won't associate the amount with money and are you'll be less likely to keep a running tally of your purchases.
Keep an eye out for the 10 for $10 trick where shoppers buy items in bulk. Most of the time you don't have 10 boxes of cereal to get the deal.
Watch out for per-customer limits. When stores add limits to the products, it can trick us into thinking the product is limited and the price is low.
Lastly, the word “free” is like magic to shoppers. When you see the buy-one-get-one free sale, watch out. Retailers hope this will persuade us into buying things we normally wouldn't purchase.