On the eve of the Christmas shopping season, researchers are saying buyers should beware of fake deals.
The sale is real, the researchers say, but how long it will last or how many products are left is not accurate.
A study from Princeton University and the University of Chicago says retailers are creating false pressure to get consumers to buy it now.
Let the buyer beware of limited deals
The researchers looked at 53,000 product pages from 11,000 shopping websites.
Phrases such as “disappearing soon” and “limited quantities” appeared on these websites.
The researchers found that the clock that says the sale is ending soon is not always true. Often, if you reload the page the clock will be reset, the study revealed.
This issue was explored during The Dave and Dujanovic Show on Tuesday.
Host Dave Noriega says that retailers exploit shoppers through false pressure.
“They want to give you a sense of urgency that if you don’t do it now that it might go away,” Noriega said.
The practice of creating pressure through limited-time sales or limited quantities is a practice known as dark patterns.
“Dark patterns will exploit our emotions, our insecurities of missing out, perhaps even our biases. Get something right now or we are going to lose out to somebody else,” host Debbie Dunjanovic said.
Researchers found that these patterns also appeared on travel websites and mobile apps.
Hear the whole conversation below.