Warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club attract an unqualified devotion of hardcore devotees, myself included. They provide havens that sap away your frugality and coax you to happily part with large sums of money and buy more food and supplies than you’ll logically go through in any imaginable length of time.
DealNews spoke to a psychotherapist, who opines about seven tricky tactics the clubs use to lull you into a sometimes false sense of security:
No music. Supermarkets are said to pipe music over speakers in order to get you moving quickly and avoid clogged aisles and lines. Warehouses often ditch the soundtrack, subconsciously coaxing you to hang around as long as you like. The thinking goes that the longer you’re in the store, the more stuff you’ll be tempted to buy.
Large sizes and quantities that seem like better deals. When confronted with abnormally large packages, it’s tougher to do the math on your feet and calculate whether you’re actually getting a better deal than you would at another store.
Ubiquitous samples. The warehouses work hard to get you to taste its wares. If you like a sample — or better yet for the warehouse — if your kid likes a sample and nags you, you’re more likely to make an unplanned purchase.
If you have a warehouse club membership, what do you do to make sure you aren’t snookered?