Avoid Halloween Retail Traps

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Avoid Halloween Retail Traps
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Americans are expected to spend more than $8 billion to celebrate Halloween this year, according to financial expert Andrea Woroch. Retail traps such as store displays, creative marketing and inflated claims of discounts can take your budget and your holiday to a spooky place if you don’t anticipate -- and avoid -- some of the gimmicky temptations of the season.

Checkout Line Temptations
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Checkout Line Temptations

Checkout lines at stores are overflowing with temptations for both you and your children: That spider string, pumpkin door decoration or orange-and-black candy display can easily suck you in. So before you even get in line, be sure to tell yourself that you don't need anything else at the store. After all, resisting those last-minute items that aren't on your list could save you big.

Marketing to Children
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Marketing to Children

Those rows of candy at your child’s eye level or that "friendly" ghost handing out samples can trap your entire family into unnecessary purchases. Glenn Sosa, marketing executive and author of "Sold: Don't Go Poor and Miserable Being Sold Happiness," suggests leaving the kids at home while shopping for Halloween items. “The pleading eyes and voices of cute, adorable children are more powerful than any salesperson’s pitch into persuading you to break open your wallet,” he said.

The Bundling Trap
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The Bundling Trap

Retail stores often bundle related items -- things like pumpkins, carving stencils and Halloween porch decorations -- together in one place so that you're likely to grab several items instead of the one item you came in for. To avoid buying a bunch of those bundled items, make a list before you go shopping and stick to it.

'Free' Samples
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'Free' Samples

A free sample is a popular draw for consumers at retail stores, but they can easily lead to a purchase: Shoppers are more likely to buy that new chocolate delight or spider cupcake once they have tried a free sample. Curb your cravings to soak up the savings during Halloween by passing right by that free sample and sticking to your list of targeted Halloween goodies.

The Sales Strategy
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The Sales Strategy

It’s hard for a shopper to pass up a sale, especially when the discount appears to be deep. But just because those cool Halloween decorations or cute princess costume are on sale, doesn't mean they're a good deal. That's why it's important to shop around -- another store might have that same or a similar item at a much deeper discount. And only buy what you need: You're not getting a deal if you don't even use the item.

Costume Tips
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Costume Tips

If your child is insisting on a particular costume, it's likely a result of retail commercials or store displays that suck them in. Instead of paying $20 to $30 for a flimsy piece of fabric that may not make it through a night of trick-or-treating, Woroch suggests shopping second-hand, making your own or participating in a costume swap. “There are still plenty of classic costumes you can craft on the cheap using materials and clothes laying around your home,” she said.

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