Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Math of Shopping


You probably do not realize how much math is involved in your everyday life. Mathematics principles include not only numbers, but logic and probability. That's where retailers get you. They use math to entice you to buy what they want you to buy.

When you enter a store, you may notice you cannot walk straight through to the back. You are interrupted with obstacles that you must move around. There's a reason for that. They want you to run into tables and merchandise that they are promoting and want you to buy. You probably know that most people are right handed. This also causes them to turn to their right more often if given a choice. So, where do you think stores and shops are most likely to put the items they want you to buy or are pushing? On the right hand side of the store, of course!

Taking a penny or a dollar off the price tag has been common for years. Even at gas stations. 99 cents sounds so much cheaper than $1, right? Even though you are essentially paying a dollar anyway. Even a little more sounds like a bigger bargain. $5.89 as opposed to $6 or even $5.99. Retailers are using math to trick you into buying an item and thinking you are getting a bargain.

How about shelving items? What products do you think are at eye level? Most likely, the most expensive. Shop owners are betting you won't bend down or stretch way up to find the cheaper one.

And let's not forget to mention those impulse items at the cash register. A candy bar sounds great about now, right? You may have shopped for bargains, but now the store has used your urges to make a better sale!

Coupons are great, right? But only if they are really bargains. A store is going to make 3 times the money on 3 items than it would with one. So a coupon that gives a dollar off for buying three, is a great way to get you to buy 3 items, when you really only need one!

The math of shopping. Watch out for it!

Read about The Top 10 Women in Math History