Anchoring Tricks

Placing a cheap item next to an expensive item to make it look more affordable.

Anchoring is a very common tactic that retailers use to sway people towards making more expensive purchases.

1) Anchoring - By placing a cheap item next to an expensive item, the cheap items looks more affordable. For example, if you can get a bronze item for $1 and a silver item for $5, many people may purchase the cheapest item. However, if you add a gold item for $50, the middle option (silver) now looks like a good deal and more people may purchase it.

2) False Hierarchy - A game may use layout, size or color to give a more expensive item preference over a cheaper item when in fact the items should be compared side by side.

3) Decoy Effect - Using a decoy item, that is usually more expensive or inferior, to push people towards a specific option. For example, items A and B are available for $1 and $2, but a decoy item C is $3. Item C is inferior to B. This makes B look like a really good deal since you are getting something worth $3 for only $2. Item A becomes less desirable.

4) Discounts for buying bundles or bigger packages of items incentivize people to spend more to get a better deal.

5) Social Proof is when a store promotes an item in way to suggest that more people favor it. This could be as simple as having a "Most Popular" badge on top of the item, or it could say something to the effect of "15 people have purchased this in the last hour". If the game integrates with social media, it could also use your friends to push you towards a more expensive purchase. For example, "John purchased a Gold upgrade today". This normalize spending on the game and makes it feel more acceptable.


Examples

Girls' Frontline Girls' Frontline
"There are a large number of gem and item bundles, all at different prices."

ISEKAI:Demon Waifu ISEKAI:Demon Waifu
"Everything is bundled with percentage discount labels"

Town of Salem - The Coven Town of Salem - The Coven
"Offers bundles"

Head Ball 2 Head Ball 2
"Cheapest item is 5x cheaper than the second cheapest item, and even thwn it is not cheap by any means."

Tiny Tower Tiny Tower
"in the Bux menu"

Dragon Mania Legends Dragon Mania Legends
"Premium item bundles are often discounted."

Candy Crush Saga Candy Crush Saga
"Expensive offers are placed beside more expensive ones"

Dream Girlfriend Dream Girlfriend
"The dating system works better in 1/2 hours intervals than the 8 hours option, people had to do the math to realize experience doesn't proportionaly increase. This means checking the game every 2 hours for the most efficient option."

Brawl Stars Brawl Stars
"The ingame shop hase cheap and expensive items mixed."

Epic Seven Epic Seven
"The $100 Knowledge of Powder pack is quite clearly meant to evoke the contrast principle."