CLEVELAND — Each year people flock to the stores to line up for the best holiday shopping deals, but are they really the best bargain or marketing ploys?
"There are sales all year long and we focus so much on this particular day," said Dr. Susan Albers.
Albers is a clinical psychologist with the Cleveland Clinic and said strategic marketing plays into our natural instinct to respond to scarcity.
"When we feel like there is a resource that is limited in some nature it taps into our basic biology, we want to get whatever's out there and we will do whatever it takes to get it," Albers said.
Add the big bargain deals and doorbuster sales she said it's amplified, with marketers using big bold fonts in red that tap into the sense of urgency.
"Studies have shown that when our brains are scanned and we hear the words deal or sale or bargain our brains light up because we like to get a deal, or feel like we are getting a sense of value," Albers said.
So how can you avoid breaking the bank this Black Friday?
"Take a moment to be mindful, pause, ask yourself is this an item that really is scarce or are they playing into my fear of missing out?" Albers said.
She also suggested shopping with someone else to slow yourself down and sticking to your list so you don't pick up the extras.
"Marketers also use what is known as the foot-in-door technique, they get you in the door with an item they price very low but really they want you to buy a lot of the other items around," Albers said. "And once you're there you start looking around so you can become very vulnerable to some of these items you had no intention of buying."
As for online shoppers, she recommends the same technique, pause and weigh if you really need the item before clicking the purchase button.