25 Biggest Rip Offs That You’ve Probably Been Tricked Into Buying

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These days you can’t be too careful. Although everyone knows that emails from Nigeria are most likely scams, you may not consider some of the rip offs a bit closer to home. Here are the 25 biggest rip off that you’ve probably been tricked into buying.

25. Bottled Water

wikipedia The idea that companies are somehow bottling pure mystical mountain water run through filters constructed by elves is garbage. As several sources have pointed out, almost every major brand bottles municipal tap water. And yes, that comes with the flouride and other goodies. What you are buying for $1.25 you can drink at home for a tenth of a penny.

24. Warranties on electronics

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84335369@N00/6614331209/ 90 percent of the time the price of the warranty is equal to or slightly more than the average price of a repair. Now how much sense does it make to pay for a repair before you break something?

23. Oil changes

wikipedia There’s a lot of ways you can get ripped of here but usually it’s the old lady getting an earful of upsells pressuring her to turbocharge her car with high performance motor oil and new windshield wipers.

22. Travel size of anything

amazon Buy the travel size once and then refill it yourself.

21. French fries

wikipedia Potato distributors charge fast food chains roughly 15 cents per pound when it comes to regular french fries. You pay $2 dollars for box barely containing half a pound.

20. Razor Blades

boodlesbuys.co.nz Several years ago stories broke in the US and UK about how companies were colluding to raise prices illegally. The stories may have made a slight dent but those razor blades are marked up by nearly 5 thousand percent.

19. Stadiums

wikipedia You probably didn’t really have a choice with this one. The team lobbied your city council, the council agreed, the stadium was built, and now your tax dollars are funding something that is supposed to be boosting the economy. This one does not apply to hot dog vendors.

18. Starbucks coffe

wikipedia Or any restaurant coffee for that matter. But hey, being a hipster is expensive.

17. Electronics cables

wikipedia Everyone knows that sneaky tech companies get rich off selling peripherals but when it comes to printer cables that nobody thinks twice about they’re really making a killing. You pay $30 for something that costs the retailer about $3.

16. Funerals

wikipedia It’s not too often that funerals get mentioned in the same sentence as rip offs, probably because no one wants to complain about how expensive it was to bury their loved one. At an average price of $6000 though, that’s an awful lot for a hole, a rock, and a 30 minute car ride.

15. Fountain Soda

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/5952412743/ Not only do restaurants buy the soda for a fraction of the $2 they charged you, they also filled it half way up with ice. The margins are certainly in their favor.

14. Ink Cartridges

wikipedia Quite often you’d be better of just buying a new printer. Remember what we said about peripherals?

13. Brake jobs

wikipedia Like with oil changes, get ready for the upsell, or at least to pay for a new set of pads and rotors because that is almost certainly what the mechanic will suggest. Every time.

12. Gym memberships

wikipedia While it’s understandable that many people start gym memberships and then quit, the fine print in many gym contracts usually includes steep fines for cancellation. Some, like Bally’s Total Fitness even state that you can’t cancel your membership unless you die or move to a city without a gym.

11. Managed investments

It has long been proven that index funds, or funds that automatically conform to a specific set of unchanging rules typically perform better than actively managed funds in the long run. And your fees are lower anyway.

10. Premium gas

Premium gas isn’t magically better for your car and it doesn’t clean out your engine. The only difference between premium gas and regular gas is that premium gas is higher octane, or less combustible, which is necessary in very specific high performance engines. You most likely do not have a very specific high performance engine.

9. All you can eat buffets

wikipedia If you can eat $15 worth of food then one of three things is going on. Either you are abnormally hungry, you suffer from a severe case of gluttony, or you are being seriously ripped off.

8. Hotel mini bars

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joepyrek/2514603291/ Hotels know that once you are in your room you probably don’t want to leave. It is for this reason that they trap you with the smallest, most ridiculously expensive bags of potato chips and soft drinks you have ever seen.

7. Free credit reports

blog.credit.com Why would anyone fall for this anyway? In the US you are allowed one free check per year as it is. Companies trying to peddle this service are actually going to sell you on some other product you don’t even want or need.

6. Branded painkillers

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aukirk/8422844130/ While in some industries generic brands really are lower quality, in the case of medication companies are legally required to use the exact same chemical composition in their “branded” versions. That means that Advil is 100% exactly the same as generic ibuprofen. There is not one difference except for the label and the price.

5. College textbooks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8047705@N02/5530819321/ Not only have they gotten more expensive, their price tags have increased at twice the rate of inflation over the past 20 years. And just ask any college kid how often they use their books anyway.

4. Text messages

wikipedia This one even led to computer scientists testifying before congress. As it is each text message costs carriers about one third of a cent. You pay up to twenty cents per text.

3. Movie Theater Popcorn

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pochacco20/100676847/ This one isn’t so much the fault of the movie theater as it is of movie executives with fat wallets. The theater will have to give up nearly 70% of your ticket price to Hollywood. To make up for that they have to charge more for the popcorn.

2. Wireless cancellation fees

wikpedia Yet another way that you’re being ripped off by mobile carriers, this time it’s about dodgy cancellation policies. While it’s understandable that giving discounts on phones in exchange for a certain amount of service time would lead to this sort of clause, many times they stick to their guns even when the fault is theirs.

1. Lottery tickets

byu.edu You have a better chance of dying on your way to pick up your lottery ticket than actually winning.

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