How The "Treasure Hunt" Method Tricks You Into Shopping More

Photo: Da wanzi/AP Photo.
Where most designers operate on the seasonal fashion cycle with runway shows and highly scheduled drop dates, the fast-fashion world's system far more closely resembles the Wild West. In other words, there are no rules. You never really know when retailers like Zara and Forever21 will get a new shipment of clothes, or how long the items will stay in stores. Or, perhaps most important when it comes to shopping, when the pieces will suddenly disappear. This method may seem nonsensical to customers, but this organized chaos is, in fact, all part of a bigger sales strategy.

According to Business Insider, fast fashion thrives on the unpredictability of the stores' constantly changing stock — and this "treasure hunt" is one of the most effective ways to keep customers coming back. It's no secret that Zara has near-perfected the art of, ahem, pieces, and keeping the clothes relevant with fresh-off-the-runway trends depends on speed. Not only does this ramp up production efforts, but it also requires a continuous influx of new merchandise.

Updating store stock multiple times a week keeps the shops feeling fresh, and tempts customers into constantly checking back to see what's new. Add this incentive to the deliberate scarcity of certain collections, and there's suddenly an urgency embedded into a casual shopping spree. As Business Insider explained, "Women feel like when they see something at Zara, they have to get it right then, or else they're not going to get it."

You never know when or even if an item is going to go on sale, so the best option is often to purchase the piece right that second. Buyer's remorse might be a real thing, but when it comes to your snatching up an affordable top on a moment's whim, Zara's success proves that the thrill of the hunt wins out every time. (
Business Insider)
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