Smart shopping for the holiday season

Stores set the mood so you buy more


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Curious why you buy those clothes that don't seem to look as good at home? It's because stores are using psychology and research to encourage shoppers to open their wallets.

For example, if items are on the middle of a shelf, and if a price ends in 9, studies show people are more likely to buy.

How sales clerks treat customers may also influence shoppers, but it isn't the nice guy who finishes first. In fact, rude sales people in luxury stores can cause customers with lower self-esteem to spend more.

If you think the music is random -- think again. The right genre can make shoppers happier and lose track of time. Studies show pop music leads to impulse buys, whereas shoppers may not pay attention to lesser known music and instead focus on prices.

There's many factors to consider when holiday shopping and making sure you shop smart.