How to buy without being manipulated

Are we sure that everything we buy really serves us or matches our own needs?

And if, instead, someone had “addressed” us toward that particular purchase with some specific technique?

In my previous article “Look at the label” I described how words like “organic”, “eco”, “for children”, “vegetable” and “natural” are used to promote some products, which are not that way. But this is just deceitful advertising.

On the other hand, there are real techniques to capture customers, described in a large literature devoted to the subject. That is, sellers study how to manipulate buyers. They act for instance on our fears and on our insecurities. The fear of not having enough time, of not having enough money, of not being capable, or of being excluded, or of being abandoned.

There are levers, which are touched. They talk, for example, of the urgency lever, of the shortage lever, of the loss lever, or of the privilege lever. Or they use the upselling technique.

They could hurry you by imposing a time limit within you have to make the purchase (urgency). Or, they deliberately could limit the amount of items for sale, creating the need for you to buy, otherwise you do not find what you are looking for (shortage). They could bind a discount to particular conditions, giving you a sense of economic damage, if you do not take advantage of it (loss). They could offer you real or fictitious services or accessories, for which you are willing to pay much more, if compared to what is offered on an average to everyone (privilege). They could, immediately before clinching a purchase, suggest you to spend slightly more, in order to have additional features or accessories than that you had decided to buy (upselling).

If you think that you are in any of these circumstances, I would suggest you an action plan taken from my book “Holistic solutions to emotional manipulation”.

Do not stop at what others say you, even if they are friends or family members. The suggestions that come to you, even if not interested, however, are based on personal experiences and needs, which may not match yours. Always, make independent checks and cross-checks.

If you want, for instance, to buy a new car, do not buy the one that your friend likes, or would need, do not take the one that the seller suggests you and that, perhaps, has been failing to place for months. Instead, consult specific magazines, check the various opinions on the Internet, make road tests and, above all, prepare a list of your needs and of the characteristics and the requirements, which the car should have according to your personal needs. Bring it with you and re-read it before signing any contract.

Decide with your head and with your intuition, do not necessarily look for the approval or the consent of others. Learn how to know yourself well, to trust yourself, to not fear the judgment and the reactions of others. Take responsibility for your choices and stop blaming others.

In any case, reading books or articles about manipulation is not enough and does not help in getting rid of it. The solution is only holistic.

But, if you really have a very good product or if you provide a beautiful service, which could be of help to many people, how do you make sure that these people are able to find it and that they can buy it?

In this case it is important to promote it, to make it known, to publicize its benefits, for example for the health or for the environment, and to make sure that many people draw improvement and well-being from it. In this case, you certainly need some marketing techniques and strategies, which have nothing to do with manipulation. It is to deepen your knowledge in the trade field. And it is always in the literature of this particular sector, that it can be found. For instance, in the book that inspired this article and whose author makes available the first one hundred pages at no cost on the Internet.

Paola Morgese, PMP
Civil Hydraulic Engineer
M.S. Sanitary and Environmental Engineering

Paola Morgese, Soluzioni olistiche alle manipolazioni affettive, CreateSpace, 2015 (soon available also in English)
Massimo Petrucci, Lead Generation – Tecniche di comunicazione e webmarketing, CreateSpace, 2016 (in Italian)

Both the books are in Italian but, if you are looking for a business book in English, I would suggest you the following: Steve Olsher, “Internet Prophets”.

Translation of the Italian blog post: Paola Morgese, “Come comprare senza farsi manipolare




Author: progettisostenibili Paola Morgese

Ingegnere, project manager, autrice. Convogliatrice di sostenibilità nelle aziende e nella vita. Engineer, project manager, author. Conveyer of sustainability in business and life

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