Watch the hidden advertising tricks


I find it easy these days to get a little annoyed at the hidden tricks that advertisers use that squeeze every dollar they can from the unsuspecting public. It’s not just the trick to make television ads louder to get your attention but the subtle things they do to misdirect your attentions. Let me give you an example:

There is a television ad doing the rounds in my town that advertises hiring a running machine for just ten dollars a week. However, what the actor says is “Just ten dollars a week, plus some change”.  Okay wouldn’t ten dollars plus some change add up to MORE than ten dollars? Let’s see:

$10 per week + $3.50 (0.88 cents per week) monthly account keeping fee + $2.95 payment processing fee which if you pay weekly equates to around  $12.68 extra per week. I would say $12.68 would equal the PLUS CHANGE tag, would you?

And they also want you to pay a once off fee of $35 just set up your account. Not so cheap now huh?

Their own small print tells you that the full price goes from $1295 to $1704.90.

How about the telemarketing or infomercials you see on the television advertising the latest fad for healthy living or weight loss etc.? Buy a product and be assured that you will get a FULL refund if you are not satisfied or the product breaks. What you don’t see is the small print that tells you that you won’t be refunded the postage and handling amount. That’s because what they paid to deliver the product to you is less than what you paid to have it delivered. No matter what, they still make a profit. Better still if you can’t be bothered to send the product back. That’s what they are counting on.

Other things that come to mind are buying items that are not entirely complete such as buying a printer with no ink (or very little ink) or a mower without a catcher. And then there is the $9.99 trick. Did you just see nine dollars or ten? Our brain is programed to see first and think second. Most of us only see the nine.

Here’s a good one. You want to buy a house and property and you set your limit at three hundred thousand. The real estate sales person shows you the worse houses around that price range then miraculously shows you the one property that leaps ahead of the others that just happens to be a little more above your budget.

There are so many subtleties in advertising that keep the purchaser unaware of the extra money they must spend. Most of us won’t change our mind once we hear what the EXTRA really is because we want to save face and not look foolish.

Have you discovered any tricks?