TikTok user reveals the major ‘trick’ retailers use to make you spend more money: ‘Don’t fall for this’

Dillon Thompson
·2-min read

Personal finance expert Humphrey Yang is used to going viral.

The TikToker, who posts on the app as @humphreytalks, has turned heads with a wide range of financial tips — including how to pay off a credit card and when you should actually buy your dream car.

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His latest viral clip explains a major marketing “trick” companies play on their customers.

In the video, Yang details how retailers, restaurants and coffee shops use a “decoy” item to make you spend more money.

The TikTok begins with Yang offering a “customer” a choice: a $2 small coffee, or a $6 large coffee. From the looks of it, the small is a better deal — but then, Yang adds a third option.

That third option is the “decoy,” a medium coffee that costs $5.50. As Yang’s clip explains, this choice — which is notably priced very close to the large coffee — makes the large seem more appealing.

“Now the large is a really good deal because it’s only 50 cents more than the medium,” Yang says, pretending to be the customer.

Yang’s video is posed as a warning. In his situation, you should always buy a small coffee — or even two, if you want more to drink. $4 for two smalls is almost always going to be a better deal than $6 for a large.

“Don’t fall for this,” he says at the end of the video.

TikTok users poured into the comments with their own examples of decoy products — including alleged items sold by Apple, Starbucks and several fast food chains.

Others disregarded Yang’s advice though, claiming that, despite knowing it was “wrong,” they still liked ordering large coffees.

"I chose coffee sizes based on how many ounces of liquid I want to drink," one commenter wrote.

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