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From Your Baby Cousin To Your S.O. — Every Birthday Gift You’ll Ever Need To Buy

Every so often, we find ourselves in the middle of a month where it’s suddenly everyone’s birthday. This weekend, there’s a family get-together to celebrate your baby cousin’s first year ’round the sun (even though they won’t remember the party ever happened). Next week, your sister’s turning 21 and insistent on making it a huge deal. And at the end of the month, your former college roommate is turning the big 3-0. Try as you may, you’re not getting out of any of these.

While it’s tempting to give everyone — mom, grandpa, even your S.O. — the same item (i.e. a practical and easy Amazon gift card), going the route of gifting something more in-line with their specific interests will be worth so many more brownie points. From your toddler nephew to your like-a-sister best friend, we’re sharing 27 great present ideas in the name of keeping things creative. Just remember, karma comes back around. A good gift could be to your benefit when the gifting tables are turned.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Babies & ToddlersTransparently, infants really just need something that makes noise and that can safely be put in their mouth. But gifting for the sake of their parents helps, too. Opt for cute baby sneakers, toys that are too big to swallow, or a get-up with a pattern so busy no stains can ruin it.

Vans Infant Checker Slip-On V Crib, $25, available at VansPhoto Courtesy of Vans.

Babies & Toddlers

Jellycat Bashful Raccoon, $22.5, available at Bloomingdale’sPhoto Courtesy of Bloomingdales.

Babies & Toddlers

Zara Colorful Overalls, $29.9, available at ZaraPhoto Courtesy of Zara.

KidsWith kids on the other hand, you can have a little more fun with your gifting selection. Teach them a little something (with illustrations, of course), give them their first glimpse of fashion, or introduce them to a game they’ll likely play for the rest of their lives.

Quarto Books Rosa Parks: Little People, Big Dreams, $15, available at Barneys New YorkPhoto Courtesy of Barneys.

Kids

Apparis Goldie Children’s Mauve Faux Fur Coat, $195, available at ApparisPhoto Courtesy of Apparis.

Kids

Westminster Toys Cosmic Arcade Foosball Game, $44.99, available at NordstromPhoto Courtesy of Nordstrom.

TweensOh, tween-hood. For most of us, being a tween meant collecting Dr. Pepper-flavored lip balm and listening to Britney Spears or N*SYNC on our Walkmen. Nowadays, tweens are a bit more grown up. So try for mature picks with a young touch — an affordable designer handbag with a helping hand from Disney’s or a handheld video game console will do the trick.

Disney x Coach Boxed Minnie Mouse Coin Case, $99, available at CoachPhoto Courtesy of Coach.

Tweens

Nintendo Nintendo Switch™, $299.99, available at TargetPhoto Courtesy of Target.

Tweens

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Avalanche All-Over Metallic Powder Set, $99, available at SephoraPhoto Courtesy of Sephora.

TeensTodays teens are just grown ups with enough time to do the things we only wish we could. Day jobs don’t allow for trips to the skate park or you leave us too tired in the morning to straighten your hair. Show the teens in your life to appreciate all that free time while they can with special birthday gifts this year.

Amika Mighty Mini Styler, $40, available at RevolvePhoto Courtesy of Revolve.

Teens

Toy Machine Fists Complete Skateboard 7.75 x 31.75, $89.99, available at Urban OutfittersPhoto Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.

Teens

Pixie Market White Beaded Bag, $119, available at Pixie MarketPhoto Courtesy of Pixie Market.

College StudentsGifting a college student is all about opting for utility. Think healthy supplements to get them through those late nights at the library or a bike to save some cash (and the environment). Basically, buy all the things we didn’t have in college that would have made a big difference.

Moon Juice Brain Dust, $38, available at Net-A-PorterPhoto Courtesy of Net-a-Porter.

College Students

Critical Cycles Harper Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Bike, $199.99, available at Westridge OutdoorsPhoto Courtesy of Retrospec.

College Students

Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack, $175, available at BandierPhoto Courtesy of Bandier.

FriendsBuying gifts for your friends is a much more personal endeavor. If you’re stuck on what to gift your BFF this year, remember, all anyone wants for fall is some good ‘ol hygge. Try a pair of pajamas that double as one hell of a going-out ‘fit or an oversized scarf to keep them bundled up through the chilly months.

Sleeper Black Pajama Set, $265, available at SleeperPhoto Courtesy of Sleeper.

Friends

Maison Louis Marie No.03 L’Étang Noir, $34, available at Need SupplyPhoto Courtesy of Need Supply.

Friends

& Other Stories Oversized Wool Scarf, $69, available at & Other StoriesPhoto Courtesy of & Other Stories.

Significant OthersNow’s the time to splurge and also the time really think about all those hints you’ve been getting over the last few weeks. Maybe your beau broke his or her Air Pods or lost their favorite shades during their last party weekend in Vegas. Here’s your easy chance to make everything well in the world again.

aHead Wireless Headphones, $145, available at AnthropologiePhoto Courtesy of Anthropologie.

Significant Others

Céline 46mm Square Sunglasses, $470, available at NordstromPhoto Courtesy of Nordstrom.

Significant Others

Acne Studios Csarite Wallet, $340, available at Forward By Elyse WalkerPhoto Courtesy of Forward by Elyse Walker.

ParentsYour parents deserve the world. Take their birthdays as a chance to show them that. But remember, they’re true adults, so they can likely buy themselves a lot of what they need on their own. Get them something they might not splurge on for themselves, but would make them happier to have.

Grosche Madrid French Press, $30, available at Saks Fifth AvenuePhoto Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Parents

White + Warren Luxe Cashmere Robe, $478, available at ShopbopPhoto Courtesy of Shopbop.

Parents

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable, $299, available at AmazonPhoto Courtesy of Amazon.

GrandparentsIn all likelihood, your grandparents will adore anything you gift them. But don’t let that stop you from getting them something they’ll really love. Whether they’re big knitters or love photography from their heyday, find out what makes yours happy and run with that.

Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser, $119, available at Free PeoplePhoto Courtesy of Free People.

Grandparents

We Are Knitters Chamonix Sweater Knitting Kit, $99, available at We Are KnittersPhoto Courtesy of We Are Knitters.

Grandparents

Assouline Dior: Memoire Book, $75, available at FarfetchPhoto Courtesy of Farfetch.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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We Spent The Day With Speidi & This Is What Happened

In honor of therecently confirmed The Hills reboot , The Hills: New Beginnings , let’s take a look back at Refinery29’s 2016 visit to Speidi’s California home.

These are a few things that happen when you spend a day with Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag: you tip-toe around their house as to not disturb their four dogs (the closest thing the couple has to kids), you eat Mexican food (twice), and you talk about what it’s like to be famous.

You know Pratt and Montag from their days spent in front of the camera on the iconic reality series, The Hills. They were the self-destructive, blonder, and less extreme Nancy & Sid Vicious of the Los Angeles club scene. They made Lauren Conrad cry. A lot. They tipped the paparazzi off to where they were at all times to elevate their namesake and couple moniker, Speidi. They bought crystals. They bought everything. They ended up broke, but never broke up. They rode the wave of fame until the tide died down and there were barely even ripples.

But then in 2016, something happened. Speidi found a new way to start entertaining their fans — old and young, new and loyal — by using social media to provide a (constant) glimpse into their daily life. They reinstated their relevance and their web expanded for the first time in years. They started using Snapchat and Twitter to interact with anyone that showed interest in their lives.

I was one of those people.

Despite seeing their dozens of tweets and hundreds of Snaps a week, I had to know more about the state of Speidi and what they really do all day. The purpose of my visit to Speidi’s lair is to see what the two do all day on the other side of their Snapchat selfie cams (and to fulfill a lifelong dream of hanging out with the Pratts), but more than that, it was to see in person how two people can go from television show villains, to struggling twentysomethings, to budding social media entrepreneurs.

They now live in a quiet beach town and mostly keep to themselves. However, they were kind enough to open their doors to me and give full access to follow them around for a day in late November.

So, what is a typical day for Speidi? Let’s start at the beginning.

This story has been updated.

The Arrival, 10:08 a.m.It wasn’t until I was tip-toeing up to the side entrance of their home that it sunk in that I was about to spend the whole day with members of the reality TV hall of fame (as the most notorious villains).

I first spot Heidi running up the driveway towards their house, hair still in curlers. She’s frantic; I’m on time. I ring the doorbell, pretending to not have seen her, and she ushers the photographer and I in through the side door, pleading with us to be as quiet at possible as to not disturb the four dogs in the back house. Once inside, she peels away to finish getting ready, and Spencer casually walks in, on his phone of course. We greet each other like old friends (isn’t Twitter weird?): “I feel like I’ve already met you.” “Same!”

Their home is well-lit with natural light from the vaulted ceilings and dozens of windows. It belongs to Spencer’s parents, and they live there rent-free at the moment. There are dozens of magazines (Spencer’s favorites) spread across the kitchen table. They have a lot of pictures of themselves around the house, but the most striking one is a huge custom Lego piece that hangs above the landing of their stair well. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into the house. Spencer doesn’t remember how much he paid for it, but he confirms that it was expensive.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The First Snapchat, 10:35 a.m.Every day, Spencer wakes up around 9 a.m. and starts Snapchatting. He easily shares 50 Snapchats a day, depending on the activities he has planned. But nothing is off-limits for him. After Heidi is finished with her hair, we head down to their car, a huge black Denali, which is full of half-empty Essentia Enhanced water bottles (he’s desperate for an Essentia sponsorship). We climb in, Spencer in the driver’s seat and Heidi in the passenger, and head to our first destination, their favorite breakfast burrito joint (they love burritos). We barely make it past the gate to their neighborhood before Spencer abruptly stops the car and jumps out. “I gotta get these birds!” he says, and starts taking a video.

Heidi uses this opportunity to take a few selfies and check out what filters are available. She says she would love to create her own filters and has a few ideas that she’s come up with. Most of them are animal-related. (Snapchat, are you listening?)

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The Breakfast Burrito, 10:32 a.m.It is a fact that Spencer and Heidi love Mexican food. When I asked them where they wanted to go to, they chose to begin and end the day with Mexican food… galore. You know when little kids get a fountain drink and take their cup of ice to the machine and fill every kind of soda in one cup? It’s called “a suicide” and results in a toxic-looking black fizzy cola. Spencer does the equivalent of this with salsas.

He’d love to do a commercial for Taco Bell soon (if the internet is as powerful as we think it is, this could very well come to fruition): “I always tweet Taco Bell a picture of me and tacos, and I think a lot of people tweet them, saying ‘Give Spencer a commercial!’ ’cause when I Snapchat eating their tacos, the [followers on Twitter] always say that I make them wanna eat them.” This commercial would actually be nearly a decade in the making as in 2008. At one point the two were even spokespeople for the fast food chain.

They also tell me about their upcoming Taco Bell Friendsgiving event happening the next day, which they will later document every moment of on Snapchat. Pratt is also on a long mission to solve a Taco Bell mystery, which he calls “The Craziest Taco Bell Story.”

“I’ve told it before, and I’m going to bring it up when we’re there tomorrow,” he tells me later back at his house. “The President of Taco Bell gave me, off of his chest, his Taco Bell pin, which means you eat taco bell free for your life. I tried it at multiple Taco Bells and they looked at me [blankly]. Obviously, it worked for him, cause it’s like, ‘I’m the president.’ But for me they were like, what are you talking about? It never works. I eventually lost it, or I threw it away. But now I want it back, because now I would be live tweeting and saying, ‘I have my pin, they’re not giving me tacos.’”

Later that day, after I leave, Heidi would film Spencer doing a solo mannequin challenge in a nearby Taco Bell. People would later deem the video “one of the biggest social media moments of 2016.” He would also get the “magical pin” back.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

MexiCali Lovers, 10:47 a.m.Spencer and Heidi both took Spanish in college. Spencer took three semesters, and Heidi only took one. If we’re getting into the details of it though, Heidi nearly took one because she was kicked out of the class. She was tossed out because she was never enrolled at University of Southern California where she had been attending said class. She went so she could be with Spencer. Neither of them use their knowledge of the language when ordering their food.

Only Spencer and Heidi would cheers their halves of burritos and seal it with a kiss. Before noon. Their puppy dog love for each other is palpable, but not obnoxious. They’re just really, really into each other. But they also know what to do to make people talk about them, it’s their gift. They still know how to work the paparazzi (even if it’s just me and the camera guy this time around).

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The Touch-Up, 11:05 a.m.Back into the Denali we go. It’s only been an hour, but I’m getting used to this fam squad. I feel like their kid being toted around on errands. Heidi really wants kids. She’s made this a known fact in multiple interviews. They even already have a potential name, compliments Spencer: Spider.

I ask if we’d see the return of Speidi on their own show anytime soon, especially if she becomes pregnant. “I think anyone would, but it’s just, it’s different. Maybe when we have a baby. We’re not sure what [it would be], but, obviously we would like that, you know. We’ll see.”

The only problem is, she says, that most networks want an ensemble cast, not just a show centering around one couple. Rob & Chyna only worked because it was a spin-off from the Kardashian empire. “We’ll see what happens. We’re definitely not relying on that though.”

But it’s not out of the question.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The Espresso Selfie, 11:15 a.m.Spencer goes to Lucky Llama a lot. All the baristas know him and they light up when we walk in. They have inside jokes. He Snaps the two twentysomething cashier girls and they excitedly ham it up for his outstretched arm, iPhone in hand. “Don’t put an ugly filter on me!” one of the brunettes requests. Spencer orders an espresso shot, but goes behind the counter to make sure it’s up to his standards. He has extremely high espresso standards and makes his own every morning to weigh a perfect 32 ounces. He makes the guy standing at the machine make another one. The shot was too heavy; it’s no good. While the staff embraces Spencer’s foolery, older onlookers scoffed in his direction, and one man reading a book visibly glares in his direction.

Heidi quietly orders a latte, which she promptly Snapchats, but admits, “I’m a wino,” and that she usually just gets tea.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The Latte Art, 11:21 a.m.Heidi is a self-proclaimed housewife. Her days are consumed by taking care of her dogs, her man, and her money. She budgets everything they do. Everything. She’s their accountant. Throughout the day she says things like “Not in the budget” and ” every dollar counts.” Later on her couch, she explains that they are still learning how to save and spend money, since their income isn’t steady. Neither have ever, or probably will ever, work outside of the entertainment industry.

“We had a talk, the other day, again, and I was like, ‘Ok, our goals are getting out of line so sometimes we have to check in on it,” she tells me. Spencer doesn’t even look at the monthly bills, it has become Heidi’s project because she is naturally more financially-conscious. Spencer grew up with money and has always been a bit jaded about finances. “We just grew up so differently, too,” she says. “He grew up in the Palisades and went to private school. And it’s just different. So, growing up with everything, you don’t realize, everything is something. I grew up in a very different way wherein like, going out to eat once a month or whatever was a big deal. I kind of fell into the other lifestyle with him, like, ‘Oh, great we have so much money!’ and it’s just coming in. I assumed too much it was gonna keep coming in. So I’ve had to really go back to like my roots, and it’s like, every dollar counts. Back to my principles, and back to the original voice. I have to put my foot down.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The Mannequin Challenge, 11:30 a.m.A connoisseur of grabbing the attention of the masses, Spencer has an idea for some potentially viral content: “Let’s do the Mannequin challenge now.” He calls me over and has me stand with the menu, and positions all the other baristas. One thing Spencer is great at is coming up with a relevant pop culture moment, and he appreciates other reality stars doing the same. We talk about Jonathan Cheban (“he is my new favorite, just ’cause I know he’s not eating any of that food”) and Kelly Oxford (“she wanted us to open a crystal store together in Silver Lake”), who both have prominent social media followings. Spencer and Heidi both particularly love Blac Chyna and her hustle.

“I never didn’t think she wasn’t a genius,” Spencer says. “She’s like, ‘Kim, you don’t wanna be friends with me anymore? Ok, see ya at Thanksgiving. I’d love to have your last name.'” He adds: “Mannequin challenge in the delivery room. We were saying like… your brain is operating at a whole ‘nother level.” Later in the day, I bring up that DJ Khaled Snapchatted his wife’s delivery, too. Heidi immediately responds: “Oh, we will be doing that!”

I hope she means it.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

The Juice/Soup Life, 12:18 p.m.Speidi go to a lot of the same places all the time, one of them being Pacific Health Food, which is owned by their friends Whitney and Nathan. The grocery store features a juice bar along with an array of organic produce and other healthy ingredients. It’s very California. While we’re there, a cop walks in and stands next to us as we order our juices. Spencer asks him if he wants to do a mannequin challenge with him and go viral. He says no.

Meanwhile, Heidi helps me decide what to order. She loves fruits and vegetables and often makes her own juices at home (to save money). She is especially conscious of her health following her plastic surgeries and a recent arm surgery last year. “I try to cook really healthy for us. I usually cook like whole roast chicken, roasted and marinated, and then like, last night I made a grilled steak. I put it in the oven, with sweet potato fries, and then a vegetable. So I just try to eat like really healthy, organic, non-GMO, good ingredients, just really clean.” She wants to start her own cooking YouTube channel to share her recipes and Spencer really wants her to. He loves her cooking, especially her homemade soups (he calls it “soup life”). His current seasonal favorite is butter squash soup, although he never remembers the name.

Spencer: “Heidi knows I’m all about the soup life. So, this week’s soup has been, what’s the yellow one called?” Heidi: “Butternut squash.” Spencer: “Butternut squash, which is off the hook. She puts on the top of it, the actual roasted butternut squash seeds.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Meta Selfies, 12:23 pm.The health food store is pretty empty, too, like most of the town. It’s chilly outside, but gorgeously sunny, which means perfect selfie lighting. It’s interesting to see how much Spencer and Heidi are on their phones. As a millennial and someone who very much grew up with social media, I come nowhere close to this level of social media addiction. Spencer says he spends 99% of his day on the internet.

The more they Snap, the more curious I get. How many people are opening up and viewing these flower crown selfies every day? When I finally ask them they both get defensive: “Zero…None.” They say in unison. Then, they both pull out their phones and start Snapping me in a very meta moment, and ask me to repeat the question. “Morgan’s asking personal intimate questions about Snap views, like a cop,” Spencer says to the camera, filming me. Heidi joins in, and shares a picture of me with the caption “Morgan is a cop.”

So, how many is a lot? I don’t personally have an answer, but I tell them DJ Khaled told me he has 3 million daily Snapchat views. “Well, he’s famous,” Spencer quips back. But… so are you guys I think to myself. Finally, Spencer answers (Heidi never does). “Before auto-play, I think my record was like, 35,000 [views],” he says. “But now I average 20. My story max is like 23 to 25,000.” Not DJ Khaled numbers, but still impressive. But he wants more, and he wants Snapchat to verify his account. He looked into it and has uncovered a Snapchat conspiracy. “I wanna know what it takes to get verified, because I was bitching like, ‘Oh, I wanna get verified,'” he says. “And then I was like, you know what, it’s because I don’t get enough views. But then, oh my god, Yes Julz, who’s like, supposedly the biggest on Snapchat, has a ton of views and they hadn’t even verified her. So they’re just elitist, you know. With all due respect — I love Paris Hilton — but they verified Paris Hilton.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Speidi 101, 12:47 p.m.Back at their house with three stops down, and still one more to go (dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant, of course) I sit down and get some one-on-one time with each of them. I want to know their exact daily routine.Heidi’s Typical Day:”I usually wake up at like, 7, and then I take the dogs out. Then I have like a half an hour of prayer, meditation time, alone, before he wakes up. Then I feed the dogs, and take them out. Then I usually start getting Spencer up. I cook breakfast for him. And then we clean breakfast. And then I help him get off to Jiu Jitsu by getting the bags packed and everything. When he’s gone I usually do accounting or some laundry and cleaning. I do a lot of housework and I manage a lot of our business, and all that stuff. Then he comes home and then I’ll cook lunch, and then I’ll clean lunch. Then I’ll do some more laundry. Then I walk the dogs. And then I do dinner, and I clean up dinner. And then, I usually watch like an hour of TV that I record. Then I get ready for bed, and then the next day starts. It’s like groundhog’s day.”

Spencer’s Typical Day:”Well, I wake up at about nine o’clock and I yell to Heidi from bed, ‘Are the waffles ready, honey?’ And she goes, ‘You want waffles or pancakes?’ And I go, ‘Uh, whatever.’ So then I wait for the pancakes or waffles to be ready. That’s my new thing, since I’m dieting, I don’t eat burritos everyday, I do waffles or pancakes. They’re super healthy. Whole wheat. And then, I pound a whole glass of water, usually right when I, before I get out of bed. Then I make espresso. First shot before I eat my pancakes or waffles. Eat them. Second shot. Then I start getting my gear and everything ready to go. I go to train Jiu Jitsu. Then, usually, we would pick up burritos for lunch, for Heidi and I, but now that Heidi is full chef, we usually just come home. Heidi has a soup prepared. Because she knows ’em all about soup life. And a slice of homemade bread. Then I just get on Twitter and read tweets and… other than that, just waiting for my big, my big call that they offered Ben [Higgins of The Bachelor]. I’m just waiting, coach. Put me in the game.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Wall Of Fame, 12:51 p.m.To the right of their living room is a nook that has become Speidi’s office. The walls of the nook are covered with tabloid, magazine, and newspaper covers and clippings from their glory days. It’s weird seeing their entire lives chronicled by snarky headlines and rumors about their relationship. But they don’t care; they love them. “I have boxes more, I’m waiting to get them framed,” he says. “Why don’t we put ’em all [up]?” (They haven’t put them up because Heidi likes the white space and is particular about what kind of frames they use.)

To the left of Spencer’s computer is a framed copy of a Los Angeles Times cover star titled, “The Speidi Chronicles.” In the corner is a tiny write-up about Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson about their role in Twilight. Speidi’s coverage was six times the size of Twilight. Spencer looks at it proudly, and adds, “That was when the LA calendar, like pre-internet, like the LA calendar when, like, to be on the cover of that in Hollywood was like, the biggest deal possible, when that dropped. And now it’s like, who has a newspaper?”

These days, Spencer is working on going his post-internet relevance. From his desk, surrounded by memorabilia from nearly a decade prior, he sits, schemes and tweets. His latest idea is to go viral on YouTube. He started a channel, and purchased professional lights and a green man suit for videos. He plans to take his Snapchat content to the next level by uploading vlog-style videos to his channel. Spencer, like his wife, is a natural in front of the camera. He knows how to schmooze an audience (if you watch his Snapchats you can see it for yourself). One of the most popular segments of his Snapchat which he hopes to bring onto his YouTube channel are his daily gossip magazine readings. He sits down with a copy of US Weekly or Life & Style and gives a page-by-page dramatic reading of each celebrity story, adding his own Spencerisms here and there. He says the whole process of reading the tabloids takes him two hours, and wants the production value to match the amount of effort he puts into his endeavor.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

#TBTs, 1:00 p.m.While we’re talking about peak Speidi, we fall onto the topic of pit Speidi, when The Hills was cancelled. I mention the drama from earlier this year surrounding The Hills anniversary special, which Spencer was not asked to attend despite him being an integral part of the show. “Originally, it was Lauren’s show,” Heidi explains. “And I think that the people who run that are still really close with her so, the only way to get her to do it I think was to just make it a special about her. So I think they were just like, ‘Alright … Whatever we have to do get Lauren to do it, let’s just do it.'”

I ask her about when the show wrapped, whether or not they were approached to do their own spin-off. She says they were, and that it almost happened. “Yeah we had our own one contracted. It just didn’t… it didn’t happen. We definitely thought that we had like a show after that, but it just didn’t end up…”

From the other side of the room, Spencer calls out: ” Jersey Shore murdered us.” But, he says, “they deserved to kill us.” Heidi agrees adding, “They were great.”

I ask if they have any advice for people starring in reality television. “Save your money.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Espresso Expert, 1:20 p.m.Spencer has been on a mission to make the perfect espresso shot. On any average day, he says, he will sometimes make up to nine espresso shots on his journey towards the perfect 32 oz. shot. He doesn’t drink them all and will often pour them out if they’re not up to his standards. He has a fancy espresso machine, a fancy scale for his grinds, and a growing espresso cup collection.

Earlier when we were at Lucky Llama, he handed me his phone showing direct messages between him and a random man he found on Instagram who makes fancy cups. “This is like how into espresso I am. I’m like messaging, asking people where they get their cups. Look at this guy’s cup collection.”

“I hope they don’t answer,” Heidi says. “Oh no, I’m not getting any of them,” he says. “Not in the budget.”

Heidi smiles.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Spencer Pratt On Espresso

“The grind’s the hardest part, because that changes the most. Like, right now, I can already tell, this machine has been on, for like, four hours, or whatever. The water’s so hot, that it’s gonna come out so fast. So the hardest part about, and like, baristas will tell you that it’s not that big of a deal, but you want 30 pounds of pressure. So I always wanna do an exact [amount of pressure], and like a barista guy will be like, “Well this isn’t 30 pounds, one lean.” You know. But this company came out one where one it pushes down that 30 pounds pressure. It exerts exactly that. So, I don’t have any reason, you know most like, fancy pants baristas all have like collections of tamps, different wood ones. It’s like, to me I’d rather have the perfect science where I know it’s 30 pounds. Maybe in a few years of doing that I’ll know exactly [how hard to lean], but still, you know, it’ll never be 30 pounds. So, you want 30 pounds of pressure on your tamp.”

His espresso machine starts making loud noises, but nothing happens.

“Oh no, I’m out of water. So that’s also the reason why I can’t compete against the champion [baristas] right now, is because of the pumped water. I guess it creates a different pressure, when it’s like pumped into your tank versus just pouring it in. I’ve looked into it, and to run a frickin’ hose into there, and it’s like so not cheap to have it. My accountant Heidi said, we are not running a dedicated line.”

Heidi from the other side of the kitchen chimes in: “This is his parents’ house. We are not.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Crystallize, 2:03 p.m.Ah, the crystals. Spencer made crystals mainstream (and kind of a joke) at one point, but he still truly believes in the good intentions and positive energy these natural creations bring into his life. He even has his own metaphysical crystal kit. He says that Heidi is actually the one who first got him into crystals. “She actually had a crystal rock collection like it when she was a kid,” he says. But it would be Spencer who would end up with an expansive and impressive collection as an adult.

“They say in the crystal world, go with the first crystal you pick, and of course, Spencer picks the biggest crystal as his first,” Heidi comments, standing on the stairs behind us. “And he’s like, ‘I have to have it.’ Our business managers were like, ‘You guys cannot afford this crystal. And he was like, ‘No, it’s calling me. I need this crystal.”

“But I already bought it,” Spencer laughs. “And then they were like ‘No, we talked to the owner, he’ll take your return.’ But I was like, ‘No, no, I’ve committed mentally.'”

His favorite crystal at the moment is Kunzite because “it makes me feel like, chill.” People get lost in crystals all the time, he says. “I imagine if you do drugs, which thankfully, I don’t, then they’re way more interesting.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Meditation Break, 2:18 p.m.Another favorite of his are Lemurian crystals, pictured here. “Lemurian is like, magical land like, Atlantis. Before Atlantis, there was Lemurian. So these are pretty much like, microchips from the future and the past. It’s like, so deep. So if you wanna download information from like, Lemurian, you meditate with these.” I ask if he mediates with them on his body or just surrounding him. “Everyone will say there’s a different way.” He isn’t as obsessed with crystals anymore, but still expands his collection. Heidi recently brought him home a Pyrites from her trip to Aspen.

Since crystals are all about energy, he got rid of the ones he had while filming The Hills. “Thankfully I gave away a lot of those energy stones. I didn’t realize I wasn’t gonna have money to be buying all these crystals forever, so I didn’t think, like, oh, here, take this $800 crystal. I gave one away for an Us Weekly charity that was like a $10,000 phantom smokey quartz that I still think about because somebody probably got it at charity for like 100 bucks or something.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Fame Game, 2:28 p.m.Heidi has always wanted to be famous. One way or another, it was going to happen for her. “When I was little it was to be like a movie star,” she says when I ask her what she wanted to be when she was younger. “There’s home videos of me being like, ‘I’m gonna be famous one day!’ when I was little. I called my stepdad Mr. Cameraman. Like, ‘Excuse me, Mr. Cameraman!’ So, that was always my biggest dream. And then I wanted to be in fashion when I was in middle school and high school. And I was like the only one in my town who had Vogue and all those things, and that’s really what I wanted to do. I moved to San Francisco and I was going to fashion school because they have one of the top three fashion schools in the country there. And so I was going to that school, and then I met Lauren.” And the rest is, as they say, history.

While her childhood dreams did come true, there’s one aspect of her celebrity stardom that never came to fruition: her career as a pop star. In 2010, Heidi, with the help of Spencer, independently released a 12-track album, Superficial. It took nearly three years and more than two million dollars to create. In a 2010 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Heidi compares the album to Thriller. Should we expect more music from her?

“I do have one song I need to get in and cut that I bought a long time ago that I still love, and I’d love to do that,” Heidi says. Spencer adds that they spent $15,000 on the song back in 2007 and just haven’t created a single yet. “I need to cut it, but other than that, I think I’m kind of done in the music scene. In my imagination, I’d love to have a Christmas album.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Wine Time, 2:32 p.m.Speidi has a lot of downtime, considering they mostly just hang out with each other. Most of Spencer’s “friends” (he uses air quotes, too) live in Malibu which is about two hours away (on a good day). In their basement level, they have a few time-wasting activities: an arcade game, a pool table, and games, like chess.

“Do y’all play chess?” I ask, pointing to the expensive-looking crystal chess set sitting by their fireplace. “We used to play,” he says. “It’s way more fun when you drink wine.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Yin & Yang, 3:15 p.m.Speidi doesn’t know who came up with their famous nickname. It’s either Ken Baker, a photo editor at Us Weekly, or a random person who will never get credit. I tell Spencer that I thought he made it up, but he defiantly responds, “I’d like to but nah. I’d obviously claim [but] I didn’t.”

Whoever came up with it deserves a Peabody because no other couple is so deserving of a hybrid title than these two. Every decision they make is for Team Speidi. But every couple should hang out with friends. Balance is key to any healthy relationship, even theirs.

I ask how often they hang out with friends. They say not too often. “I’d rather hang out with you,” Spencer says, looking up from his phone to make eye contact with his wife. “Well, always,” she responds.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Speidi 2.0, 3:41 p.m.By hour four, Speidi and I are feeling pretty comfortable with each other. I tell them they should get a podcast, they say no thanks. I joke that they should sell their parents house to make money, they say lol, no. And then we get to the real stuff.

Do you guys feel pressure to be constantly be in the spotlight? I ask Heidi. “I feel like in order for us to move forward and kind of reinvent ourselves within a realm, because that is our main thing — television shows and all that. I think it’s important for us to figure out how to evolve within our own realm.”

Evolving within their own realm. That’s a pretty serious take on what feels like a frivolous topic, but this is more about their livelihood than than making a tabloid headline. Rather than deal with agents and a PR team, they’re doing everything themselves. “It puts a lot more pressure [on us], but it’s also a lot easier at the same time. It is easier when you have other people do everything for you. It’s also different when one’s like a guaranteed income and one [show] is more like for fun.”

All of their appearances on television have been purely for income, never just for fun. “We’ve done a TV show ever since The Hills. I did Famous Food. And then we did Wife Swap. Then we did Celebrity Big Brother. Then we did Marriage Boot Camp. I did the Mother Daughter Experiment.” So when networks approach them, do they get to choose which show they want to do? Heidi laughs. “No. Sometimes we have to choose between two…but usually, it’s just one.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Beach Oasis, 4:06 p.m.There’s still an hour or so before the sun will set, and the Pacific Ocean is glittering. I spot the pile of surfboards on their patio. Do you guys surf? “Spencer does,” she says, adding that he’s actually really good.

As for her? “No, I’m way too fragile,” she laughs. She’s referring to her surgeries, which I even forgot she had until then. It dawns on me that she looks great. Her face is wrinkle-free and her inconspicuous outfit of a high-neck sweater, tan leather jacket, and faded boot-cut jeans is drawing no extra attention to her figure. (She loves The Gap.) The young, naive, and insecure Heidi we knew is nowhere in sight. Instead it’s housewife Heidi, who doesn’t surf because of her surgeries instead of posing with a bikini on one — something she would have done for a photo op in the past.

I walk further down to past the chairs and the surfboards and almost set off their silent alarm. Heidi asks me to step back, and calls for Spencer. The dogs in the other house can hear the alarm go off and will start to go crazy, she says, “They know when I’m around.” “They can smell her,” Spencer adds. Since I’ve been with them for nearly six hours, this is the longest they haven’t seen Heidi in a while. I ask if she’s content with their calm life, outside of the toxicity of L.A. “It’s been great being here [in Carpinteria]. We’re just kind of figuring out what’s the best option. You know it is better to be near family and be down there [near Palisades, where Spencer is from]. And, you know, there’s more opportunities down there. But we love it up here, too. So this is kind of a win-win.” We go inside and decide to head out to dinner. Before we leave, Heidi does a few dishes while Spencer browses Twitter.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Delivery at Delgados, 4:57 p.m.When Spencer and Heidi started dating, their messy relationship seemed fake. But now, it’s one of the sole authentic moments from the show. One of their favorite topics is how manufactured and scripted the entire series was. Of all the cast members, Heidi says that Whitney Port was the only one that actually worked, which is why her spin-off, The City, didn’t work. She was too busy to pretend.

And that’s the best part about Speidi, they don’t pretend either anymore. They are upfront about their intentions and desires from the get-go. The reason they share so much on social media is because they are so comfortable with themselves now. They’ve grown up. On our way to dinner, we run into their mail man who warmly greets the couple. He hands them a delivery, and Spencer is psyched. When we park at Delgado’s Mexican Foods, he tears into the package and pulls out his brown belt from his Jiu jitsu training. Heidi is beaming. “He’s getting his brown belt!” she tells me excitedly and starts Snapchatting him as he Snapchats himself. Their support for one another is unwavering. Their time as reality star villains might have had an expiration date, but their commitment to each other is sound.

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

Fry Guy, 5:14 p.m.Even though we’ve been to four food places in six hours, Speidi manages to order enough food for a dozen people at Fry Guy; they clearly miss eating out. Before Heidi’s budgeting days, they would come and eat here regularly. When the waitress spots us, her smile widens. She comes over and immediately assumes we’re getting a pitcher. Not today, they say. “I’ve thrown up in that bathroom so many times,” Heidi says to me, pointing to the restroom to our right. She hasn’t been drunk off tequila since she got sick from it on The Mother Daughter Experiment.

When they first moved to Carpinteria, they used to get blackout drunk here all the time. They would stumble home, wasted off tequila. “It was our version of a frat row” she says.

While we’re wrapping up, I ask Spencer to rank the legitimacy of gossip magazines, and his opinion on which one exposes the juiciest secrets. “The only mags that have juice and gossip are In Touch and Life & Style. They all have different purposes. Us Weekly, to me, is the publicists magazine. You’re never gonna get a story there that will offend a big star. You’re not getting any juice juice. And People is never going to air out anyone’s dirty… they put Donald Trump right on the cover. But it’s a loaded question, so I read all of them. I never have to choose just one to buy because I have a subscription to all of them.”

A trend starts to appear: Spencer likes everything to be over-the-top. Why have nachos when he can have fries on it too? Why get one crystal when he can get 100? Why choose one magazine when he can buy all 15? Why Snapchat one moment when he can share it all? More is more. He will always crave a lifestyle of excess. As we get up from the table to leave, I ask what they’re going to do once I leave. “Maybe go see a movie,”Heidi says. “I had a record at the Santa Monica Blockbuster for the most videos before they closed,” Spencer adds. “I used to rent like 20 movies at a time, I swear.”

Photographed by Nathaniel Wood.

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Our Editors Share The Best Jeans You Can Buy Without Trying On

Most would assume they couldn’t possibly find a well-fitting jean without trying it on. When you don’t know your size in a particular brand, or what style, cut, or silhouette you’re looking for, you can end up waiting in a 30-minute-long changing room line, only to end up sweating just two pairs in.

But what if we told you that you could find the perfect baby blues without even having to try them on? We asked members of Refinery29’s fashion team for the pairs they swear by to save you the stress (consider this our version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). If you’re long overdue for some denim you won’t hate wearing, go ahead: Here you’ll find a pair ahead for every style, budget, and body booty.

“You know the magic that was felt when the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants discovered a perfect pair of jeans which fit everyone like a glove? That same magic is what overcame my body first time I threw these on. While I don’t plan on sharing *my* pair with anyone else, I do recommend everyone go out and buy them. Their wide-leg, sexy button-down sides are full of J.Lo circa “Jenny from the Block,” but there’s still a slouchy, tailored fit that gives them a dressed-up edge. How often do you come across a pair of jeans you can wear on a Friday night out and a Monday in the office? I wear these jeans so much, my coworkers are probably sick of seeing them.”- Ray Lowe, Fashion Market Editor

3×1 Joy Snap Away Jean Riva, $425, available at 3×1

“Let me preface this by saying: I hate wearing pants. I really do. Proportion-wise, nothing is more frustrating than trying to find a pair that doesn’t gape at my waist, but also fits over my thighs and behind, and aren’t too long for my 5’2″ stature, which is why I tend to avoid shopping for jeans altogether. These Good American ones, however, are one of the more recent denim purchases I’ve made. I love the cropped length, the wash, how soft they are (I hate when jeans feel starchy), and the high- (but not too high) rise.”- Erin Cunningham, Fashion News Director

Good American Good Straight, $159, available at Good American

“I swear The Gap has somehow stolen my measurements, because their jeans have always fit me since as long as I remember, no matter what size I’ve been. I’ve got healthy calves, average thighs, and a substantial butt — without much of a waist, and their jeans never make me feel like a sausage but aren’t weirdly roomy in spots that don’t need to be roomy. I like my jeans to have zero stretch, and their originals are made with that really rigid denim, and I’m currently into their wider silhouettes. I own this cropped pair in three styles and washes!” – Connie Wang, Senior Features Writer

Gap Cone Denim® High Rise Wide-straight Jeans, $36.99, available at Gap

“I like my jeans super high-waisted, but being just barely over five-feet tall, it’s rare that I don’t have to cut the bottoms of my jeans for them to hit that sweet-spot right above the ankle. These, though, check all the boxes. The straight leg is elongating without being too skinny, and the fit overall is at a flattering middle ground between second-skin and relaxed. They hit right at the waist up top and at the perfect length at the bottom, and you bet the back looks just as good as the front, too.” – Alyssa Coscarelli, Senior Fashion Market Editor

BDG Girlfriend High-rise Longline Jean – Dark Wash, $59, available at Urban Outfitters

“Thankfully for my curves, plus-size denim has vastly improved in the last few years. I have three go-to denim brands, depending on my need/budget. If I have more money to work with and need a classic, wear-with-anything style, I go for NYDJ. They’re super-comfy, and the fit is fantastic. If I want something a bit more fashion-forward with a classic twist, I go for Melissa McCarthy. Their fit is so spot-on for me that I think I must have the same measurements as their fit model. If I’m on a tighter budget and want a well-fitting but still unique and edgy look, I go to Eloquii. They are one of the most trend-focused plus brands out there, and thanks to them I don’t have to wait an entire year to try current trends!” – Liz Black, Plus-Size Contributor

Eloquii Peach Lift Jean, $89.9, available at Eloquii

“To me, killer jeans means being able to wear them every day of the week without anyone noticing. The Liya cut from Citizens of Humanity aren’t too skinny, aren’t too boxy, and have an amazing rise. Read: You can style them a million different ways and your colleagues will be none the wiser. Sure, they’ll loosen a bit if you (like me) wear them Monday through Friday but that just adds to their charm. Plus, they come in several different washes so if you’re opposed to wearing the same pants back-to-back you can swap them out for a lighter or darker pair.” – Annie Georgia Greenberg, Video Producer and Fashion Editor-At-Large

Citizens of Humanity Liya High Rise Classic Fit in Fade Out, $268, available at Citizens of Humanity

“Shopping for vintage jeans that fit just right is far from a timely process. So, when I found these AGOLDE loose-fitting jeans at American Two Shot a few months ago, I couldn’t resist the urge to get jeans that look vintage, without any of the work. I saw them, somehow knew they’d fit like a glove, and was at the register checking out five minutes later. Fate, or just really good jeans? Either way, I’ll probably be back for pair #2 pretty soon.”- Eliza Huber, Fashion Market Writer

AGOLDE ’90s Mid Rise Loose Fit in Reunion, $198, available at Agolde

“It took me a really long time to come around to wearing pants, denim included. I’m short, my hips are non-existent, and my butt is pretty big for my frame, which makes it hard to buy a pair of bottoms right off the rack. However, these cropped Loup jeans offer just the right amount of stretch and the length is perfect. I want them in every wash now!”- Chaning Hargrove, Fashion Writer

Loup Dark Indigo Simone Jeans, $165, available at Loup

“Though I don’t advocate spending too much money on vintage jeans, I can still admit that they’re worth it. They age well, and if you take good care of them (pro tip: never, ever wash them), they’ll last you a lifetime. (And last someone else a lifetime, too.)”- Landon Peoples, Fashion Features Writer

Levi’s 1954 501 Jeans, $395, available at Levi’s

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Donald Trump Mocking The #MeToo Movement Is Vomit-Inducing

Donald Trump being president is one of the biggest logs feuling the #MeToo fire, so it’s only natural he’d eventually try to piss all over the flames.

Not only did POTUS make a mockery of the movement during a Thursday rally in Montana, he did so while insulting Senator Elizabeth Warren’s heritage in the same breath.

Related: Andy Dick Fondled Everyone At The Roast Of Pamela Anderson

After offering to donate $1 million to a charity of Warren’s choice, if she could prove her Native American background, Trump said he would make the politician (whom he affectionately calls “Pocahontas”) take a DNA test if she ran against him in the 2020 election.

That’s where the #MeToo jab came in. He barked to the crowd:

“I’m going to get one of those little kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage — because her mother said she has high cheekbones, that’s her only evidence. We will take that little kit, but we have to do it gently, because we’re in the ‘Me Too’ generation, so we have to be very gentle.”

Oh, gently fuck off.

Related: Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer May Run For President In 2020

Being an accused sexual assaulter, Trump has become one of the biggest opponents of #MeToo. He’s argued for due process before, which is important — however, making a joke of such a movement makes him look like… well, a joke of a president.

But we already knew all that.

At least Warren was quick to clap back at Trump’s comments, calling attention to the migrant child crisis going on due to his shitty immigration policy. She tweeted:

Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you’re destroying.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) July 5, 2018

Just another day in the States.

[Image via NBC News/YouTube.]

Read more: perezhilton.com

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Amazon is still selling broken Jawbone fitness trackers in the US after pulling them in the UK

Jawbone AmazonAmazon

Amazon is still selling defunct Jawbone fitness trackers after removing them from sale in the UK following an investigation by consumer charity Which?.
Jawbone’s supporting app Jawbone UP ceased to function in May, rendering the devices useless. It follows the company going into liquidation last year.
The app had been broken for more than four weeks when Which? found UK retailers Amazon, Groupon, and Selfridges were still selling the trackers.
All three removed the items from sale. But Business Insider found Jawbone fitness trackers still for sale on Amazon and Groupon’s US sites.

Amazon is still selling useless Jawbone fitness trackers in the US after removing them from sale in Britain following an investigation by consumer charity Which?.

Jawbone UP, the companion app to the fitness tracker, has been down for more than four weeks. Users have complained on social media about being unable to login to their accounts, sync data, or even start the app at all — effectively rendering the Jawbone device useless.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: Fitness-tracking company Jawbone, once worth $3 billion, is shutting down and liquidating its assets


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Warning: These 12 Psychological Triggers Will Instantly Skyrocket Your Affiliate Sales

I have a confession to make.

I just cannot resist buying that extra chocolate bar while paying for my grocery at the cash counter of my local superstore.

Or taking the offer to upgrade my Big Mac meal even though I can rarely eat the regular sized one.

Or going for the large Latte at the coffee shop even when I struggle to drink to the regular size.

Even if I don’t need it, even if I don’t plan to buy it, even if I try not to buy it.

I still buy them. Every single time.

And the store owner knows it.

In fact, he knows I’m not alone.

There are hundreds of thousands of people like me all over the world.

Which is why retail stores everywhere make extra sales by taking advantage of impulse buying and upselling.

That right there is a practical example of how understanding human psychology and emotions can help you drive more action and boost sales.

Sales, in fact, is all about psychology.

Research shows that 8 out of 10 buying decisions are based on emotions, not logic.

 

Source: Salesforce

 

Buying that extra chocolate bar doesn’t make sense. Upgrading to an even bigger coffee isn’t logical. Taking a slightly larger burger meal that is even more unhealthy even when I’m not that hungry is just dumb.

But I still do it.

Thousands of people do it.

Because sales are driven by emotions.

As an affiliate marketer, the more you understand human psychology the better you’ll get at driving more conversions, closing more sales and banking higher commissions.

That’s the difference between you and super-successful affiliate marketers.

They understand human psychology and know how to use emotions to their advantage.

But I’m not here to turn you into a psychologist or a hypnotist.

Can’t do it with just one article.

But I can share a few psychological triggers that you can apply to your affiliate and online marketing strategy and immediately see results.

Don’t believe me?

Keep reading (with the intention to take action).

 

What You’ll Learn In This Post

How to convince people to buy from you even if they don’t need your product
The simple technique that triggers lazy people into action
How to help your prospects overcome purchase anxiety
How smart marketers increase repeat sales

 

1. Scare Your Prospects Into Take Action (…That Benefits Them)

Fear is a powerful emotion that drives many of the decisions we make in our daily lives. When fear takes over, we look for safety.

This has a very real impact on businesses and buyer purchase decisions. For example, The FBI reported that gun sales went up by 12.3% in Florida and 3.4% all over USA immediately after the deadly Parkland school shooting incident.

Advertisers and marketers routinely use fear in their campaigns to drive more sales, like this advertisement for example.

 

 

Like it or not, but these campaigns usually work because people don’t act rationally when they’re afraid.

Here’s another example of a public service campaign using fear to convince motorcyclists to wear helmets.

 

Source: AIP Foundation

 

But there are other, not so dark, ways to use fear in your marketing campaigns.

As an affiliate marketer, you can play on your audience’s fear of missing out (FOMO) to drive more sales. Studies suggest that around 69% of millennials experience FOMO while using the internet and 60% of them make reactive purchases mainly driven by fear of missing out on a good deal.

Booking.com uses this technique in a very subtle but effective way.

 

 

Using one-time offers (OTO) in a sales funnel is another example of how affiliate marketers use fear. OTO’s are heavily discounted deals that affiliate marketers offer if someone buys their main product.

Marketers also frequently use limited time offers and discounts to scare their audience into taking action.

I get these kinds of emails all the time.

 

 

Here’s another one

 

 

Marketers keep doing this and it works.

However, use fear with caution.

Because using it excessively, and not actually living up to your promise, hurts your credibility and makes your message ineffective.

Fake Fear with bullsh*t scarcity and deadlines that don’t really exist aren’t cool. They just make you look scammy and your audience lose faith in you, so use fear in a respectable and honest way.

 

2. Demonstrate Contrast To Shake Your Buyer

I often say this in my posts that people don’t buy products. They buy better versions of themselves.

They buy a product because they believe it’ll take them from their existing state to a better and more desirable state.

It’ll solve a problem or make them happier or richer or healthier.

 

Source: DigitalMarketer

 

Your job as a marketer is to show how your product can improve the life of your buyer.

Using contrasts is a great way to do that.

Adding contrast to your marketing message simply means that you show the “before” and “after” state of your buyer in the same picture.

You make them dream and show them how your product will drastically improve their current state or protect them from an undesirable situation.

For example, look at this pop-up that Chelsea (former staff writer at NicheHacks) uses on her copywriting website

 

 

In just a couple of sentences (from meeehhh to Holy Sh*t) she gets her point across and makes her prospects dream.

Here’s an even better example of using visuals to demonstrate the “before” and “after” effect of your offer.

 

 

The core benefit of this traffic alert app is that it saves time and gets you home faster.

But instead of focusing on its features this ad makes the buyer dream. It shows them how their lives would improve by using this app.

That’s the power of contrast.

 

3. Use Their Greed To Your Advantage

“You never get enough of what you don’t really want!”

I recently read this somewhere and it really hit me hard.

Think about it.

People who’re already rich, want to become richer.

Those with power, want more power.

It’s a never-ending desire that’s mainly driven by greed.

And we all have it to different extents.

We’re all greedy by instinct, just admit it.

That’s why we’re still drawn to “Buy One Get One Free!” offers despite every brand on the planet using them.

In fact, almost all marketing is driven by greed to a large extent.

But how can you use this emotion to your advantage as an affiliate marketer?

Just look around, most marketers are already doing it.

For example, almost every affiliate marketer I know offers bonuses and extras while promoting digital products.

Here’s an old email I got from Stuart during one of his product promotions.

 

 

You can find the same technique in action on most digital product sales pages

 

 

Even Amazon uses it

 

 

But you don’t always have to offer bonuses or free products to take advantage of greed in your prospects.

If you can prove that the value of your product is significantly higher than the price you’re asking for, you can still trigger the same emotion and make users take action.

For example, this $1 sign up offer from Digital Marketer is unbelievably attractive and clearly offers MUCH more value than its price.

 

 

There are numerous other ways you can use this particular emotion in your marketing strategy.

 

4. Accelerate Sales by Using Scarcity & Urgency

Using scarcity is a great way to create a sense of urgency in your visitors.

And urgency is the catalyst that speeds up the buying process and forces your prospects to take action.

All successful physical and digital product sellers do it.

Like Amazon, for example

 

 

The subject line of this email by Jeff Walker is another good example

 

 

Very intelligently, Jeff has created a subject line that creates a sense of urgency in the readers.

You can apply the same to your “calls to action” buttons and blog post headlines as well

Use words like “Now”, “Hurry”, “Quick” to make your calls to action more urgent.

For example, instead of using “Join Us” use “Join Us Now!”

 

Source: TechWyse

 

Product creators and affiliate marketers use scarcity in almost every campaign.

For example, why do you think people have limited time product launches?

 

 

Can’t they just leave registration open forever?

Of course, they can.

But people are lazy and smart marketers know it. If left to our own devices with no urgency or deadlines most of us will never make a decision and instead put it off till “later” or a “better time” which never comes.

And that isn’t good for your prospect in getting their problems solved (the quicker the better) or for you as a business who needs to make sales to pay your bills.

Which is why a fundamental rule of marketing is that there must always be urgency and there must always be a deadline.

 

5. Use Novelty To Attract Repeat Buyers

All of us like new things.

A new iPhone every year, a new laptop, a new car every few years.

The list goes on and on.

Do we really need a new iPhone every year? No

Is there really something drastically different in every new iPhone from the previous version? No

Does it make our lives significantly better than the previous version? No

Then why do we buy it?

The answer lies in a research by Dr. Emrah Duzel.

He concluded that we like things that are new and novel because they trigger a dopamine release (a chemical in the brain that makes us happy and motivated).

In marketing terms, this means that you constantly need to renew and refresh your message.

Why else do you think Pepsi keeps coming up with new slogans every year?

This is exactly the reason why marketers keep releasing new versions and upgrades of their products every few months.

They sell the same old products with minor upgrades

But people buy them again and again because they perceive them to be valuable.

Stuart’s product “Find Your Niche in 7 Easy Steps” is a very good example of this phenomenon

Every year Stuart makes this product available for download for a few days after making minor updates to its content.

Yet, the same people who already have this product ask him whether they should buy it again or not.

In fact, many of them do.

This makes no sense.

Stuart even tells them NOT to buy it again because if they had actually followed the instructions in that eBook they would’ve unearthed a million niches in 1 year.

But they didn’t take action.

Yet, when the product becomes available again with minor updates, they’re ready to buy it again thinking that somehow buying it a second time will help them when all they have to do is take action on the first version they have.

Insane, right?

But that’s human psychology for you.

People perceive new things as better.

Take advantage of this behaviour in an ethical way. Don’t trick people into buying the same product over and over again if there’s no changes in it.

Though at the same time if you’ve updated the product and there’s fresh information in there then there’s no harm in someone purchasing to get the updated info.

Here’s another example.

Over the last couple of years, you might’ve noticed many bloggers replace blog post date with “Last Updated”

 

 

What does this do to your brain?

Even if there’s no change in the content, you immediately think this information is more up to date and valuable.

If the same post had its original publish date of 2016, it might’ve appeared outdated.

So here’s the marketing takeaway for you.

Keep renewing and updating your products and affiliate offers.

Even if you’re promoting the same products, promote them in different ways and make them look new.

 

6. Hack Your Prospects’ Minds With the Halo Effect

In simple words, Halo Effect refers to our tendency of judging a person’s unknown qualities based on our knowledge of a known quality.

For example, if someone’s physically attractive, we assume they’re intelligent as well.

 

Source: VeryWellMind

 

Just because a marketer is successful at big product launches and promotions, we assume he’s also more intelligent, credible, and happier than us.

It’s not always true, of course. But that’s how the human brain works.

And you need to take advantage of it.

It’s a well-known human behavior that advertisers and marketers have been using for years.

Celebrity endorsements are the most common example of this.

Brands associate themselves with celebrities because it makes them likable and more credible.

So how does this practically impact you as an affiliate marketer?

In several ways actually.

The appearance of your product, its branding, presentation everything has an impact on how people perceive it.

Even if your product is great and offers lots of value, people might perceive it as unreliable if your landing page isn’t professionally designed or if the product doesn’t have endorsements.

On the contrary, if a well-known marketer launches a new product, people perceive it to be valuable even before exploring it.

This is why a product that’s endorsed by the marketers usually has MUCH higher sales than a product with no endorsements.

The same effect is in play when marketers borrow credibility from other reliable brands

 

 

The Halo Effect has a direct impact on your affiliate sales.

For example, if a customer purchases a product you’re promoting and likes it, he’s much likelier to buy from you again even if your new product has nothing to do with his previous purchase.

Based on his previous experience, the customer assumes that every product you promote is worth buying.

So be careful about choosing your product promotions.

 

7. Use Reciprocity To Drive More Action

No matter what news channels tell you, humans are still compassionate and kind beings at heart.

This is evident from our universal behavior of reciprocity.

Reciprocity means that when someone gives us something for free, we’re compelled to return the favor.

You might’ve seen perfume sellers give free samples to everyone even before they buy anything.

That’s reciprocity in action.

When you get free perfume samples, you feel compelled to buy from the same shop.

How does this translate into online marketing?

Lead magnets!

Lead magnets are free content resources that marketers give away to turn visitors into subscribers.

 

 

If you simply ask your website visitors to sign up to your email list, they won’t.

But when you offer them a free content resource, they feel compelled to sign up.

This is the same principle content marketing uses to generate sales.

The article you’re reading right now took hours of research and cost Stuart several hundred dollars.

Yet he’s given it away for free.

His blog is full of actionable content and marketing advice that many people charge hundreds of dollars for.

But he’s giving away for free.

Is he stupid?

No!

When people keep consuming high-quality marketing content for free, guess who they’ll be buying from when Stuart launches a paid product.

It’s a proven model that’s been working like a charm.

Studies suggest that content marketing results in 88% and 67% more leads for B2B and B2C businesses respectively.

Apply it to your affiliate marketing model as well.

Give away free value and build trust.

People will return the favor by opening their wallets to you.

 

8. Apply Reverse Psychology To Open Your Visitors’ Eyes

You must’ve seen these pop-ups on different blogs

 

 

They’re everywhere.

And they’re very effective.

Partly because they’re so huge and in your face but mainly because of the reverse psychology used in their call to action.

Here’s another one.

This time it’s a slide-in box instead of a pop-up but the call to action is based on the same technique.

 

 

Why does this work so well?

Because instead of the usual positive calls to action that mention desirable actions like “Join Now”, “Yes I’m in!”, “Please send me the eBook” etc. negative calls to action highlight undesirable outcomes.

They highlight what the user is missing out on.

Using reverse psychology opens the eyes of your visitors because it makes them realize what they’re missing out on.

Using this technique increases the effectiveness of the positive call to action because the negative statement pushes people away.

For example, in the two screenshots I’ve shared, how would feel clicking on  “No I’ve never had writer’s block”

You’ll be reluctant, like most people.

You can apply this technique to not only your email popups but also to your sales page copy and calls to action.

I particularly liked a sales page that had the “Why This Is Not For You” section before “Why You Should Buy”

Under that heading, the page had provocative copy that hits the readers hard.

For example here’s one of the points I remember

“This course is NOT for you if you’re and want everything to be spoon fed to you”

“This is NOT for you if you’re short-sighted and greedy and just looking to make a quick buck instead of building a long-term and evergreen business”

This copy is provocative

And it’s designed to do exactly that.

Because it pushes people towards the positive action and increases conversions.

 

9. Disrupt Then Reframe (DTR) To Change Perceptions

DTR is a really interesting technique that you might already be using unconsciously in your daily life.

But advertisers and marketers use it intentionally because it breaks down any mental barriers that stop people from taking action.

The core idea behind this technique is that you rephrase the action that you want people to take in such a way that it appears unusual and easier.

You disrupt their regular thought process and then reframe the same information in a way that the customer finds easy to accept.

Sounds complex?

Here’s popular experiment that’ll help you understand DTR.

To test the effectiveness of DTR, a group of researchers tasked two teams of undergrads with door to door selling Christmas cards to benefit a charity.

One team simply stated the price of the cards to their prospects which was $3.

The other one, however, used the DTR technique.

They disrupted the prospects’ perception by stating the price as 300 pennies instead of $3 and reframed by adding a small pitch “it’s a bargain”

The results?

The second team closed a whopping 70% sales as compared to the first team which sold to only 30%.

How do you apply this to your affiliate marketing strategy?

There are numerous ways.

But here’s a really easy to understand example that I’ve seen many marketers do.

Simple reframe your total product price into per day price, like this.

 

Source: Nickkolenda

 

Culligan used the same strategy to make its $29/month service look more affordable by pitching it as “less than a dollar per day”

 

Source: KissMetrics

 

This doesn’t change the price of your product, but it makes your prospects view the price differently.

And research shows that they’re likelier to respond positively to it.

 

10. Use Social Proof To Relax Your Prospects

This one’s pretty easy to understand and almost every marketer uses it.

But I need to mention it because it’s so important.

Using social proof is another way of borrowing credibility from others.

You show your prospects that there are examples of people who’ve used your product and they love it.

It comes in various forms.

Most marketers use testimonials for social proof.

 

 

Others use case studies to demonstrate how people are benefiting from their products.

 

 

Even the number of subscribers or customers mentioned on a landing page is a form of social proof.

 

 

Using social proof not only gives credibility to your product but also eases the nerves of your prospects. It has a reassuring effect on most people which reduces their resistance to buying.

 

11. Apply Secrecy To Earn Big Bucks from Your Customers

“My secret list building strategy revealed!”

“The little-known strategy that brings millions of visitors every month to these websites”

“5 secret money making methods millionaire marketers never share with their followers”

I don’t know about you but I’m sick of these “secret” tactics.

Yet, whenever I see a headline like this I click on it.

As humans, we love to know secrets.

Research shows that people feel closer to someone who shares secrets with them.

It also gives them a sense of being important

This is why private membership groups and exclusive gated content works so well.

Take the example of our own Facebook Mastermind which almost 50,000 active members now.

We promote it as an exclusive closed community of the best niche marketers in the world where newbies can interact with seasoned niche marketing experts, learn from their experiences and seek their guidance that is otherwise unavailable on other public forums. But you can’t join it unless you’re approved by the group admin.

This instantly makes it desirable to new NicheHacks visitors because it gives them the impression of an exclusive value-driven closed community available to members only.

This also fuels the subscriptions to our premium NicheHacks Insider Community, which is a paid membership program.

To take advantage of this human behavior, promote secrecy in your sales content and try to make it look exclusive.

 

 

Or use it in your email subjects and headlines to increase CTR

When your audience perceives something to be exclusive, they’re often prepared to pay a higher price for it.

This is the reason why membership sites and subscription-based services have seen explosive growth over the last few years.

 

12. Have a Higher Purpose To Gain Unconditional Support

Most people buy products because they benefit them in some way.

They spend money on services or products that make them look good, solve a problem or generally make them happier.

But most of us have certain causes, goals, or issues very close to our hearts.

For example poverty eradication, or fight against mental illnesses, or gender equality, or animal rights etc.

When brands or marketers tie their marketing strategy with a higher goal, people support them even if they don’t actually need the product.

For example, veganism is a rising trend among millennials and many of them feel strongly about it. This shoe brand naturally appeals to them.

 

 

This perfectly ties in with the idea of starting a niche site or a niche business about something that people are passionate about.

A topic that attracts people because they care about it, not just because they can make money from it.

Like this niche site about vegan recipes (a topic that people are passionate about for a number of reasons – health, animal rights etc.)

 

 

Feed, an eCommerce retailer is another good example

 

 

Every Feed product you buy helps reduce hunger around the world.

 

This provides additional incentive to buyers who care about fighting global hunger and gives them satisfaction for contributing to a noble cause.

 

Are You Ready To Hypnotize Your Visitors?

As I said at the start, selling is all about understanding human behavior and psychology.

The more you apply it to your marketing strategy, the better you’ll get at making people take action.

But for that to happen, you need to take action first.

So take a good look at your existing marketing strategy, promotional emails, landing pages, and calls to action and apply the tricks that I’ve shared in this post.

I’ll be waiting to hear your results in the comments.

The post Warning: These 12 Psychological Triggers Will Instantly Skyrocket Your Affiliate Sales appeared first on NicheHacks.

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