5 Ways You're Being Set Up by Your Supermarket

These sneaky tactics help supermarkets have consumers do their bidding.

1. FIFO: Or, rather, the rule of First In, First Out. Retailers stock perishables so older items are pushed to the front, where consumers will reach them first. When shopping for items like ground beef or milk, check the back of the stack for later sell-by dates — and a fresher product.

2. Samples: The more time consumers spend with a product, the more likely they are to spend. Samples awaken the senses, triggering the impulse to consume.

3. Eye-level positioning: Take note of options above and below eye level, as the items consumers spot first on shelves are likely expensive brands that can afford the costly real-estate location afforded to premium pricing. Bulk items tend to be positioned along the lower shelves of an aisle, out of the line of sight.

4. Extra-large shopping carts: Buying more than we need has been made possible by our ability to easily contain it.

5. Store soundtracks: The music heard in a store is designed to trigger positive associations and encourage more time spent in the store — retailers know that more time in a store means more time to spend money.

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