7 pricing tricks that make you spend more

  • ​3. Prices without dollar signs

    iStockphoto

    In "Tricks of the trade: Restaurants," we explained the rationale behind restaurants intentionally leaving dollar signs off menus: It makes customers spend more. In a Cornell study, guests given a menu with only numbers and no dollar signs spent significantly more than those who received a menu with either prices showing dollar signs or prices written out in words.

    The same tactic translates to retail stores. When items are marked, say, "20" without the dollar sign, retailers are hoping customers won't associate the amount with money and thus be less likely to keep a running tally of how much they're spending as they shop.