(a lauts)

The Costco Effect: Science Says We Choose Less Variety When Buying In Bulk

When you go to a convenience store to grab a few cold drinks and some snacks, you’re probably going to make different shopping choices than you would at the supermarket or warehouse store. And a new study claims that we tend to go for more variety when we’re not buying in bulk — even if the bulk packages offer variety. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Army Of Consumers Get Paid To Snap Smartphone Pics In Stores

Sure, companies might pay retailers for favorable placement or fancy displays for their products, but how do they know whether those ads are working or the displays are set up as requested? Every day, there’s a flood of customers walking past those displays carrying tiny computers with good quality cameras on them. What do those two things have to do with each other? [More]

(smohundro)

Retail Experts: Sorry, But Stores Will Open Even Earlier This Thanksgiving

In 2013, we were scandalized that retailers rolled back their opening times, kicking off the Black Friday festivities as early as 6 A.M. on Thanksgiving Day. Not everyone found this idea horrifying, though, because retailers reported record Thanksgiving weekend sales last year. In their desperation to boost sales somehow by the end of 2014, experts in the industry say that America’s retailers are going to ignore that whole idea of a Thanksgiving holiday again this year. [More]

(nathanmac87)

Snobby Store Employees Only Make Us Want To Spend More

Is being sneered at an important part of the luxury shopping experience? Maybe. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that high-end retailers take advantage of our human need to belong and seek approval in order to vacuum more money out of our non-designer purses. [More]

Going Shopping? Here’s Where You’ll Find September Deals

Do you plan to spend your Labor Day weekend shopping? If so, there are certain things that you’ll find great deals on as the calendar flips from August to September. Our power-shopping colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports recommend looking for gas grills, digital cameras, bicycles, and small electronics. Our friends over at Rather-Be-Shopping would add mattresses, baseball equipment, pool toys, and model year 2014 cars to that list. [Rather-Be-Shopping] [Consumer Reports]

Woman Says Anthropologie Manager Sent Her To Breastfeed On The Toilet

Woman Says Anthropologie Manager Sent Her To Breastfeed On The Toilet

A woman in California says that Anthropologie used to be her favorite store, but she gave serious thought to boycotting the chain after a store manager asked her to please feed her six-week-old son in the bathroom, not in the back of the store. The goal? To make everyone more “comfortable.” [More]

Target App Allows Customers To Take Pictures Of Ads, Have Product Delivered To Their Door

Target App Allows Customers To Take Pictures Of Ads, Have Product Delivered To Their Door

Have you ever seen a product in an ad that you just had to have but couldn’t make it to the actual store? Sure, you could try to find it online, but who has time to wade through search results all day? A new app from Target hopes to connect customers and their sought-after items more easily. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Abandon Your Online Shopping Cart, Get Coaxed Back With Coupon Codes

When you’re shopping in a real-life store, fill up a cart, and then abandon it, that makes you kind of a terrible consumer. Store employees will secretly hate you. More importantly, no one will chase after you and hand over a coupon in order to encourage you to come back and finish your transaction. That’s where online shopping is very different. [More]

Sears Ships Tiny Wrench To Store In Giant Box

Sears Ships Tiny Wrench To Store In Giant Box

You would think that when ordering an item online for in-store pickup, a retailer would package the item in an efficient way, perhaps putting it in a box with other tools being shipped to the store. No. Not at Victor’s local Sears. [More]

Markdown At Lands’ End Means You Pay $20 More

Markdown At Lands’ End Means You Pay $20 More

Reader Beth was browsing the markdown rack at Lands’ End, in the space that the retailer now leases from Sears, when she noticed something strange. A sweater she wanted was on markdown, but somehow the price was going up. How did that work? [More]

Here’s What Happens When A Dead Mall Has A Fake Facebook Account

Here’s What Happens When A Dead Mall Has A Fake Facebook Account

Today, there was a festive groundbreaking ceremony at the Latham Circle Mall near Albany, NY. A dead enclosed mall was demolished and will be replaced with a strip center of big-box stores in Nowheresville, USA: why is that interesting? It gives us an excuse to highlight the mall’s very unofficial Facebook account, a funny local prank that transcends its region. [More]

(Erica Smith)

Here’s What You Should And Shouldn’t Buy In June

Every store and every industry has its own cycle of sales, and by timing your purchases just right, you can take advantage of them. There are two different things to keep track of: the ways that sales cycle every year, and also current trends in retail. [More]

Webrooming Is Showrooming In Reverse, Marketers Pretend That It’s A Thing

Webrooming Is Showrooming In Reverse, Marketers Pretend That It’s A Thing

Showrooming, as many people who walk into Best Buy stores know, is when customers check out an item in a local store, then turn around and purchase it online at a lower price. What happens if you do the opposite of showrooming, though? What about when you check out a product online, then buy it locally because they have the best price or you’re impatient? One marketing firm thinks that we should call that “Webrooming.” [More]

9 Bad Consumers Who Make Things Worse For The Rest Of Us

(Photos, from l-r: Steve R.; Enokson; frankieleon)

Anyone who has worked in just about any job knows that this idea that “The customer is always right” is a bit of an overstatement; more of an ethos than a statement of fact. Most of the time the customer is simply mistaken and it’s a matter of finding the best way to set the record straight. But sometimes the customer is just a bullheaded jerk, or an egotistical ignoramus, or a scammer, and it’s these bad consumers who make it harder for the rest of us to get good service. [More]

7 Items You’ll Find The Best Prices On During May

7 Items You’ll Find The Best Prices On During May

Our price-tracking colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports keep track of when the best discounts appear on a variety of items. As we get ready to flip over the calendar page to celebrate May, what will you be able to find the best deals on in the coming month? [More]

Big mistake? Vivian would've probably liked these meanies according to this study.

Study: Salesperson’s Rude Attitude Can Put Customers In The Buying Mood

Walking into the rarefied air of a fancy boutique might take your breath away if you’re not used to staring at price tags with more zeroes tacked on than you’ve ever held in your hands, but add in a hoity toity salesperson and and you’ve got shopping magic, says a new study looking at snobby sales staff. [More]

Coach Responds To Falling Profits By Offering Pricier Handbags

Coach Responds To Falling Profits By Offering Pricier Handbags

There’s a limited number of women who are interested in spending between $200 and $400 for a purse, and that market is becoming more crowded. What’s a company like Coach to do in the face of falling sales and falling profits? Sell more expensive bags targeted at more affluent customers, of course. [More]

(Pam)

Quit Wasting Money On Internet Impulse Purchases

The Internet has brought an amazing array of merchandise into our lives and onto our doorsteps. However, being able to order a crate of hamburger-shaped cookies from Japan or a complete DVD box set of “Friends” episodes at 3 A.M. during a spell of insomnia isn’t always a good thing. Especially when you’re trying to eliminate debt and/or cut down on spending. [More]