Dollar Tree Is Secretly Getting You To Spend More Money. Here's How

If you're looking for low-cost paper goods, cleaning products, or movie snacks (sorry, but $6 for a box of Jujyfruits is kind of ridiculous), dollar stores are the place to go. Sure, there are a few things to avoid, but for the most part, it's a good feeling to walk out with bags of items for less than $20. But a note of caution: Dollar stores have loads of sneaky, little tricks to encourage you to part with more of your hard-earned cash than you may have intended.

When you first step inside a Dollar Tree, all of the seasonal items are front and center. That's because they want you to be "tempted by the newest products right away, most of which are single-use items like holiday-related party supplies," according to Business Insider. They put the most popular items in the back, so you wind up perusing all the aisles before you find what you came to buy. The strategy even has a fancy name in marketing. It's called "the shopping momentum effect," according to the Journal of Marketing Research. Basically, you keep finding great stuff as you go, and the low price convinces you to keep grabbing more.

More Dollar Tree tricks

Another way Dollar Tree tricks you into spending more money is with product size. Sure, a buck for an item like a tube of toothpaste sounds like a smart choice, but often the size is smaller than what you'd find in another retail store. "The easiest way to compare prices is to look beyond the sticker price at what you're paying per unit," says finance expert Rebecca Lake at SmartAsset.

One more thing to watch out for: The retailer has started adding products that cost more than $1. The reason? Greater profits, of course. They've been testing items with $1.25 average price point, and that is expected to balloon to $2.25 over time, explains financial analyst Christopher Mandeville to Yahoo! Finance. So, even though you're in a dollar store, don't assume every product costs $1. Be sure to double check the price tag.

Now that you're privy to the retailer's little tricks, you can shop with confidence and keep your wallet in check during your next Dollar Tree trip.