This is the first in a series of posts titled "Let's Go Shopping" with Charlie (yes that's me) who shows you tips and tricks on shopping from both points of view, as a marketer and consumer/shopper.

Living in the city (lies, we just have an office based in the city, and an weekend apartment too - till he left me) there's always events on. Free and ticketed. Lots of shopping events and special offers linked to events, the next one coming up is the 'Spring Racing Carnival' exclusive to Melbourne. 

If you're not from Melbourne my short one sentence/paragraph summary is: an event with a series of 2.5-3min horse races, as an excuse to drink and gamble while dressed up with $400 headpieces and dresses you bought just for this one day (hopefully we rented both). A social event. 

So without further ado here's four things shops and their sale assistants will do to create value for you and increase chances of a sale.

Source: The Wow Factor by Jacqui Stafford

1. Would you like a free* make-up application?

Myer/DJ has caught onto those only here for a free application, hence it costs you $50-70 but you can redeem it on products. The Body Shop also does a make-up service based on the same idea. These are always available, but advertised more during events like fashion week and racing season.

My Tip - Well here in Melbourne we rarely offer them free, other than for DJ's Beauty Book Offer. Say yes only if a. you're already planning to buy something b. you can say you'll "think about it" (that means no thanks).

2. Can I start you a dressing room?

Yes please! Though as not a fan of in person shopping, this only happens to me at Alannah Hill. It also happens during off peak hours where there isn't a line for the change rooms.

This also happens at Lovisa/Colette. Where they offer you a basket. And that one works for me - but only if they have 3 for $10. ;)

A tip to counter it? Know what you want. For me I saw it online, called and put sz12/14 on hold. Went in. Checked out the sale section. Tried the dress. And then bought it/returned it. Know what you want, or if not know what your budget is and stick to it.

3. You're Invited to Our VIP Event!

Count me in! I'm here for the bubbles (just a sip) and mini cupcakes/macarons. Review has a mini candy buffet and pre-packaged candy too.

VIP Events stroke the ego like nothing else. Samamtha Jones would add a sexual reference here, but I won't. ;) If I'm on the list then I'm almost gurented to buy something. Throw in a showbag/goodie bag and you got me. These events are sometimes launches for the seasons collection and via invite online for all email subscribers. 

In Melbourne there's the bi-annual shopping where a lot of the stores will do this. An upcoming one (as I'm writing this) is on Thursday Night. Party on every level at Myer in celebration of spring racing.  

Tip - Don't go. Or know what you want and your budget. Know that you don't have to buy anything.

4. Everyone Wants Those!

This is a marketing technique my manager at work used on me. She lied. I'm not happy, but I did want that brooch. But she lied about them being very limited. People who work together-ish shouldn't do this!

From a selling point of view be careful with this technique. Assess how the girl is dressed, if she's mainstream and conscious of fitting in, go for it. If it's me or someone who rocks their own style, no. They weren't trying to fit in and doesn't want what everyone else does.

Counter? Know your style. Do you actually want this? Or are you buying it to keep up to trends and fit in?

Do you know any other tricks sale assistants use to entice you into 
spending/more than you planned? Let us know in the comments below!

Stay tuned for our next post in the 'Let's Go Shopping' series about grabbing a poential "bargain" or not in "Should I Buy It?" 

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