Stores are very clever at turning the act of entering one into a sense of obligation.
Time spent helping you, a special discount, a free sample. All play off the powerful pull of reciprocity. The store has given you something, so naturally you owe them a sale in return.
No you don’t.
It’s OK to politely say you didn’t find what you were looking for, or you need some time to think things over. It’s OK to leave empty handed.
The next time you’re in a store with the kids, challenge them to identify all the subtle reciprocity techniques at play. The free samples in a grocery store are a classic example.
Show your kids how you’re perfectly comfortable leaving stores empty handed. When you do, explain why the product, the service, the price, or the timing wasn’t quite right. Make sure they realize who’s boss: the buyer, not the seller.
The more your kids understand retail reciprocity tricks, the more comfortable they’ll feel leaving stores with nothing in their hands and dollars in their pockets.
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