Supermarket expert shares ‘hidden basket trick’ shops use to boost your spending

Supermarkets are full of ways to encourage shoppers to buy extra items that aren’t on the grocery list – and one subtle trick involves the standard shopping basket.

Promotions and signs advertising stock are easy to spot, but one consumer psychologist has said that there are many crafty methods retailers use to tempt you in to spending more. These can range from pumping out tasty bakery scents to item arrangement on shelves.

You are reading: Supermarket expert shares ‘hidden basket trick’ shops use to boost your spending

Dr. Cathrine Jansson-Boyd from Anglia Ruskin University has explained how strategically placing shopping baskets in the store can alter your spending habits, which many won’t even notice.

As reported by the Mirror, she explained: “People used to find that if they put too much in a basket that you hold they got too heavy and that was a sign they should stop shopping, as they couldn’t carry it. That’s why you often see the baskets on wheels these days.”

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However, what many people don’t realise is that these wheelie baskets are actually much bigger than the old handheld ones. “They can almost hold the same amount as a small trolley, but because it’s a basket, you have the perception that you’re buying less,” added Dr. Jansson-Boyd.

“So when you’re trying to save money, using one of these baskets is not necessarily a good thing to do, because you do tend to fill them up.”

But according to the expert, supermarkets may also use basket placement tricks by the entrance of the shop to encourage you to use a bigger basket or trolley, over a smaller one.

Dr. Cathrine Jansson-Boyd
Dr. Cathrine Jansson-Boyd has been sharing supermarket ‘tricks (Image: Dr. Cathrine Jansson-Boyd/Mirror Online)

She said: “You often find that the smaller shopping trolleys are placed on the opposite side to the shop entrance and the bigger trolleys are on the entrance side,” she said.

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“If you want the smaller one you have to walk all the way round to get it, so it’s usually just easier to grab the bigger one when you walk through as it’s near the door.”

Dr. Jansson-Boyd adds that they also do something similar with baskets, as supermarkets will stack the smaller baskets at the end of the tills and place the bigger baskets near the doorway.

“It looks like people have dropped the baskets by the tills while shopping, but often that’s not the case, they put them there because it means it will be easy to grab the bigger basket on wheels as you come in than go all the way up to the tills to get the smaller one.”

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