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Amazon Uses These Psychological Tricks To Take Your Money on Prime Day Don't fall victim to these Amazon Prime Day traps.

By Gleb Tsipursky Edited by Maria Bailey

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Brace yourselves, dear navigators of the e-commerce maze, as we embark on an exploration of the monumental spectacle of retail that is Amazon Prime Day. Much like the gladiatorial combats of ancient Rome, it's a thrilling spectacle fraught with both promise and peril. And it's your cognitive biases that often play the role of both the lion and the gladiator, pitting you against yourself in a fierce battle of wit and will.

Trap 1: The confirmation bias chimera

Picture this: you're browsing through Amazon's tantalizing offerings and you stumble upon a particularly appealing set of steak knives, which you've convinced yourself are just the upgrade your kitchen deserves. Never mind that you've managed perfectly well with your current cutlery for years, the deal seems too good to pass up.

This, my friends, is the confirmation bias chimera, rearing its misleading head. In this case, confirmation bias leads you to seek and believe information that supports your existing predilections, while ignoring anything that contradicts them. Suddenly, every review sounds like an ode to these new knives, all the while downplaying the possible utility of your old set. The antidote? Simple: approach each deal with an open mind, always willing to challenge your preconceived notions.

Related: You're Probably Falling for All of Amazon Prime Day's Psychological Sales Tactics. A Marketing Professor Reveals Them — and How You Can Actually Get the Best Deal.

Trap 2: The attentional bias abyss

Clicking through the alleys of Amazon's discounts can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, only for the haystack to be filled with dozens of distracting shiny objects. This is the attentional bias abyss, a trap that lures you into focusing only on aspects that catch your fancy while sidelining the not-so-glitzy details.

Your eyes light up at the sight of an enormous discount on a flashy 4K TV, but fail to register the hefty fees for peripherals, or perhaps the inferior brand reputation. The way out of this abyss? Be a vigilant explorer. Make it a point to scrutinize every detail before you click "Buy Now."

Trap 3: The anchoring bias albatross

Who hasn't fallen for the classic "discounted from a staggering price" trope? You see a blender originally priced at $200 now selling for $100, and you're convinced it's a steal. This is the work of the anchoring bias albatross, forcing you to base your judgments and decisions on the first piece of information you encounter.

But what if the blender's real value is closer to $80, and it's been artificially inflated to trick your cognitive biases? The defense? Make sure you do your market research before Amazon Prime Day arrives. Knowing the true worth of an item can keep the albatross at bay.

Related: 3 Ways New Amazon Sellers Can Stand Out From the Crowd on Prime Day

Trap 4: The loss aversion leviathan

The loss aversion leviathan feeds on your fear of missing out. The Prime Day deal will disappear on July 12! The ticking clock nudges you into a hurried purchase. You'd rather not risk the regret of missing out on the deal, even though you don't truly need the item.

The beast of loss aversion leads you to value the avoidance of losses over equivalent gains. After all, the sting of losing $10 often feels stronger than the joy of gaining the same amount. The weapon to slay this leviathan? Practicing self-restraint. Remember, there will always be another deal, another discount, another Prime Day.

Trap 5: The optimism bias ogre

Finally, we come face-to-face with the optimism bias ogre, the creature that convinces you that everything will work out in your favor. It's the force behind your belief that the laptop you've just bought won't turn out to be a dud, or that the designer dress you've ordered will fit you perfectly.

But the ogre's optimism can lead to disappointment and unnecessary expense. Don't let the optimism bias cloud your judgment. Make sure to thoroughly research products, read customer reviews, and double-check your sizing before making a purchase.


Avoiding these cognitive traps on Amazon Prime Day requires both awareness and strategy, but with these tools in your arsenal, you can conquer the event like a seasoned gladiator, with your wallet — and your sanity — intact. Step forth into the arena, armed with the knowledge of your cognitive biases, and claim the spoils of retail victory!

Gleb Tsipursky

CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, is a behavioral scientist who helps executives make the wisest decisions and manage risks in the future of work. He wrote the best-sellers “Never Go With Your Gut,” “The Blindspots Between Us,” and "Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams."

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