It’s a magical place — and I don’t mean Disney World — I’m talking about retail stores. It turns out there is more magic involved than you would like to believe as a consumer. A part of us might enjoy this enchanting experience — the hypnotic feeling we get when we go shopping — only to wake from it when we get home with numerous shopping bags in our hands.  But, it’s time that we reveal this magic trick to prevent us from doing any more damage to our bank accounts.


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Retailers use psychological “magic” to manipulate how we shop and what we buy. Just like a magician, they work hard to perfect these sleight-of-mind techniques and embed them all throughout the store in hopes of making you spend more.

So what makes us so susceptible to these traps? The first reason lies in human physiology. Our brains are just wired to perceive things in a certain way. It happens almost instantly. Therefore, in the absence of our willingness to combat it, we’ll inevitably fall prey to it. This reason might leave us feeling hopeless, but as long as you are well-informed, you can pick up on these small pitfalls that you’ll face during your shopping trips. As long as you’re mentally prepared to take those biases into account, it may prevent you from succumbing to those schemes.

In addition to restaurants and supermarkets, I will complete the trifecta by introducing ways retailers makes consumers spend more while shopping.

Come with me as I go shopping at a department store in New York City and try hard not fall under the spell of this retailer’s “magic” tricks.

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