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

Mythic Heroes: Idle RPG Mythic Heroes: Idle RPG
"% based deals. Some offers say anywhere from 300% to 2000% deal compared to regular gem buying"

Pokémon Café Mix Pokémon Café Mix
"Special bundles are offered along with choices of purchasing Acorns ranging from US$1 to US$100."

Pokémon UNITE Pokémon UNITE
"The Gem purchase menu has 7 choices ranging from US$1 to US$100. The game offers double Gems for first time purchases for the cheaper tiers and bonus Gems otherwise."

Castle Cats:  Idle Hero RPG Castle Cats: Idle Hero RPG
"Several bundles (including ones specific to the current event happening in game) include resources and a cat to collect."

SCRABBLE SCRABBLE
"Often arena tickets, gems, and tiles are offered together, and the bundles change daily (or almost daily.)"

Pokémon GO Pokémon GO
"bulk purchases"

Dungeon Crusher: Soul Hunters Dungeon Crusher: Soul Hunters
"Many items claim that they "used to be" some price that they literally have never been. They entered the shop for the first time as "on sale" and never were taken off sale."

Cookie Run: OvenBreak Cookie Run: OvenBreak
"Often, bundles contain a cheaper option that is directly related to a more expensive one."

Genshin Impact Genshin Impact
"The game offers you to buy primogems at roughly half the price for the first purchase only."

Legend of the phoenix Legend of the phoenix
"There are limited time bundles which merge together a few high value items with lower value items at extremely high costs. These limited time bundles usually correlate with limited time events, such as Erudite or Iron Teeth."