4 Sneaky Ways Ikea Tricks You Into Buying Tons of Stuff You Don’t Want or Need

If you’ve ever shopped at Ikea, IKEA_shopping_carts_in_Ottawa_Canadayou probably went in thinking you need a lamp, but you came out the other end with two lamps, a side table, a love seat, and a stomach full of Swedish meatballs. This chain (with 41 massive stores in the U.S.) can tempt even the most tight-fisted among us to spew cash. Why is that?

Well, it turns out Ikea has some sneaky tactics to lure shoppers into opening their wallets. And the good news is, you can rein in your spending at Ikea just by knowing what you’re up against. To make sure you don’t end up with a lot of regrettable purchases, get hip to some of Ikea’s more illusive sales ploys below. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

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Is Twitter the Next QVC?

Rather than waste time and money driving Twitter-shoppingto a brick-and-mortar store, many shoppers prefer to make purchases with a few keystrokes and a click or two of a mouse. To keep up with customers’ shopping behaviors—and the widespread demand among consumers for convenience—credit card companies are beginning to target a new area of commerce: social networks.

Some 16 percent of online adults use Twitter, according to a 2012 report by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, yet social platforms offer a region of e-commerce that’s been largely untapped by credit card companies. American Express is one company that’s encouraging shopping on social networks; it launched a program in February that enables its customers to buy products directly on Twitter.

The service—available to those with Amex credit cards and a public Twitter account (prepaid and corporate cards are exempt)—is a simple process. Members sync their credit card to their Twitter account, then they can tweet special hashtags for products they wish to purchase. For example, last month American Express offered $25 Amex gift cards for $15. By using #BuyAmexGiftCard25 in a tweet, customers received a reply tweet from the @AmexSync account containing a confirmation hashtag. The customers had to tweet that hashtag within 15 minutes to purchase the product, which was subsequently shipped to their billing address.

Click here for more on the tweet-to-buy business model and whether experts think it will take off.