Shop Smart: How to curb the urge to splurge and avoid impulse buying

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Impulse buying—we all do it. In fact, according to the Marketing Science Institute about 60 percent of purchases are unplanned. The average cost of an impulse buy is about $100.

If you're trying to save money this holiday season you will need to plan.

John Joiner is a retail manager at Cavenders in Kansas City, Kan. He says once customers get inside a store, retailers have several strategies to get them to buy more than what they have planned.

"We keep our clearance items close to the regular priced items to try to generate movement on some older items that we've marked down that we're trying to clear out of here. We have hat accessories right by the hat department. So there is some method to the madness."

Joiner said retailers will entice consumers in several ways. At Cavenders, they intentionally separate items such as boots and belts to force customers to walk through the store and hopefully buy more.

NBC News financial experts estimate that 50 percent of American lose $3,000 each year to mystery spending. During the holidays, retailers prey on impulse buyers.

"We're trying to stock the store as best we can to get people not just to the sales items located in the front of the store but also to the sales items in the back of the store," said Joiner.

Retailers know any extra time you spend in the store could translate to more money for them. If you're not looking to increase your bill, make a shopping list before you head to the store. Also, plan a route and only visit the parts of the store that are necessary and get out.

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