TODAY   |  February 21, 2013

How to avoid retail pitfalls and shop like a pro

Retail stores have figured out shopping patterns of the average consumer and use the information to plot their displays and sales, but you don’t have to fall for their tricks. Lori Bergamotto of Lucky magazine reveals the tricks of the trade.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> "today's" style. how to shop like a pro. retailers know just how we browse and set up their stores to get us to spend. if you're smart, you can use that to your advantage. the style editor, good morning to you. people think black friday is the great discount time. no?

>> no. now is the time. go out and start shopping? studies have shown the top 20 best sale days of 2012 , 15 of those were february. it's right around president's day. now is the time you want to shop. gone are the days of 60 to 70% off from 2008 . right now, it's all about 47% off. if you find a bargain between 30 and 50%, go for it.

>> stores know our shopping psychology. we will walk through it. the first is these beautiful display items. snatch them right up?

>> no. don't snatch them right up. the stores use display items to snooker you into their lair and want to entice you with beautiful fabrics, things trendy. don't fall for it. they're full price. stores also know people shop count counterclockwise. the reason we're doing that, stores will put the new arrival arrivals, you will see the sign here, sometimes it will say just in or right off the runway. don't fall for that. they know we will shop this way. we're very predictable animals. often, these are the full price or mildly discounted items. you don't want to fall for that. once you passed that, we go to basics and staples.

>> this looks good, a promo, 2 for $20.

>> thank you for pointing that out. there is a big difference between a sale item and promotional item . something $40 could get marked down to $20. a promo gives you two for something. at lucky we always talk about the fashion calculator. this is where it comes into play. if these t-shirts are $12 each, you're really not getting such a great bargain, saving $4 for a t-shirt you didn't even need. you need to know what you want to spend and what you need in your own closet. now, savannah.

>> here it is. the sale rack.

>> this fashion holy grail , the sale rack. they usually hide it in the back where it's darker and harder to get to. we've shown you that's where it is and you will go to. most sale items get marked down on thursdays to kick off for a weekend sale. that's a great day to shop. if you see an item like new arrivals, in about six weeks they tend to get marked down.

>> once you're in the sale rack before everybody gets in there and messes it up, do they put the really good items in this back of the rack?

>> they try to mix them in there. shoppers are really savvy and hide the good items as well. you want too make sure you're reading tags and signs. don't forget to read the fine print . sometimes that select style 40% off can only mean one or two things. always check.

>> of if it says up to 40%, you will get a range.

>> exactly, be a smart shopper and read the fine print . i will take you to the denim wall, if you will. denim, i don't know about you. i know for myself, i own a ton of jeans. the average american woman owns seven pair of jeans and 31% of women say they refuse to go a size up for jeans that they don't wear them, they won't fit, you know what i mean ? they really just want a pair of great jeans. so what stores will do is they'll stock the denim wall with so many jeans, they'll put it right next to the fitting room because they figure the more you try, the more you will buy.

>> thy thank that if a woman finds a pair of jeans that fits great, they'll buy two?

>> that's right. they will buy two and three and buy them in different colors. that's what we're seeing especially spring 2013 , very trendy colors an patterns. if you find the right style, you will snap up a bunch of them and you will bring them all into the fitting room and try them on. here's another trick stores use. they put the fitting room right next to voila, the cash wrap. the reason it is so close to the fitting room is it doesn't give you any time to put anything back, once you tried it on, you've fallen in love with it, you won't go to the clear other side of the store and put it back.

>> here's the thing i fall for all the time, they put these cute items next to the cash register .

>> you are a marketer's dream.

>> i'm a sucker.

>> this is what is known as impulse buy or cross sale. you see a lot of items on the way up to the cash wrap, beauty, fashion, what have you, things $20 or under but they're full price. don't fall for it.

>> ugh.

>> the things at the cash wrap are usually a little bit more discounted but that's how they get i. you will buy something any way, why not throw in a few 5 or $20, you can rack your bill up that way.

>> thank you. you will be sticking around for a live chat at 9:30. you will give a lot more information.