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Beware! 5 Traps That Supermarkets Use To Get You To Spend More

Impulse buying again. It’s not your fault, really.

We have all experienced this at some point in our lives. A quick trip to the supermarket for some basic essentials turns out to be longer and more expensive than expected as we end up buying more than what we originally intended to.

It is not our fault, really.

Here’s how supermarkets are designed to make us buy more.

1. Essentials Are Hidden All Over The Store.

Want a loaf of bread? Here. A tray of eggs? There. A carton of milk? At the end of the store. Essentials are spread across the whole store, forcing you to walk more and to potentially pick up more things along the way.

Observe this: Most stores have their dairy products at the far end of the store. It’s no coincidence.

2. What You See In The Supermarket Is What The Supermarket Wanted You To See.


The individual cleanser are placed at eye level while the discounted bundle is placed that the top row. That’s a whopping $9 difference!

Supermarkets placed what they wished you would buy at your eye level. House brands or cheaper alternatives are often placed out of your sight (extreme bottom or extreme top).

Observe this: Cartoon selection cereal are usually placed at children’s eye level while diet cereal are usually at adult’s eye level.

3. Good Buy. Best Buy. Must Buy. Think Again.

Supermarket Deals

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. 

Many supermarkets use bulk purchase discount to trick us into buying more than what we need. Once in a while, they make a mistake by forgetting to remove an old price tag (just like the photo above)

Here are some other examples.

If you are walking into Cold Storage and you see the Pokka Green Tea, it states that it is on bulk purchase discount. However, notice the difference if you were to compare it to other stores.

So is Sheng SIong always the cheapest? Not necessarily. Sheng Siong is selling CP Golden Crispy at a bundle price of $7.90 while NTUC is selling it at a much cheaper price.

Sheng Siong NTUC Cold Storage
Pokka Green Tea 24 packs (Bulk Purchase Special) $9.40 $9.60 $11.05
CP Golden Crispy 2 for $7.90 (300g x 2)



$10.20 (1kg)



$4.60 (300g)


4. The Right-Hand Rule. (Physics Students, Nope. Not Fleming’s Right Hand Rule)

Many supermarket make you move from right to left (or anti-clockwise). This is because most of us are right handed, so we can push or trolley using our left hand while picking up our stuffs using our right hand.

5. Temptations While Queueing. Chocolates And Sweets Near The Check-Out Point.

It is not the end. While queuing at the checkout point, your child may glance at the sweets and chocolates on offer at the exit counter and make an impulse decision to just reach out for one. Supermarkets are smart in that they know it is easier to target children towards the end of a grocery shopping trip.

Let’s hope to be wiser the next time we visit the grocery store! Do share with us what other tricks you have noticed on our Facebook page!

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