The 25 Biggest Ways You Are Being Ripped Off

Posted by on February 15, 2012

As much as it stinks to admit, even the best of us get taken advantage of from time to time. While in most cases there is not much you can do about it except fume and blame the system, as a consumer the best thing you can do for yourself is stay informed. Shop around, ask questions, and be a sceptic because these are the 25 biggest ways you are being ripped off.


Travel Size Products

Any price conscious shopper knows that many times travel size products are one tenth the volume of the original but still 90% of the price. Your best bet is to get a small dispenser and keep filling it up, especially if you are a frequent traveler.


Brake Jobs

Similar to oil changes, many times the garage will mark up their labor costs significantly and recommend new pads and rotors when they are not at all necessary. Its not very hard to imagine people getting duped, especially when they’re told that their brakes might stop working.


Public Stadiums And Arenas

Although teams have always and will always try to justify the cost of building a new stadium using public funds by pointing out that the local economy (primarily hotels and restaurants) will get a boost, the statistics suggest otherwise.


Lottery Tickets

Just in case this is a surprise to anyone, playing the lottery is not a smart thing to do with your money. But, if you do happen to play…and win, realize that you are certainly not going to get the number advertised on the billboard in your bank account. After everyone else gets there cut (which includes Uncle Sam) you may feel a little less lucky.



It’s the happiest day of your life, at least until you check your credit card. According to several reports recently, everyone from hotels to hair dresses hike their prices up as soon as they hear you drop the “W” bomb. Just neglect to mention that little detail if you want to keep the opportunists at bay.


Health Club Memberships

Although certainly not every health club is ripping you off, its more common than you think. Take Bally’s Total Fitness as an example. They have some discreet wording in their contract that says you can’t cancel your membership unless you die or move farther than 25 miles away from any Bally’s gym. Read the fine print, lives have been ruined.


In-Room Movies

It’s hard to conceive of a more expensive way to watch a movie. At $12 – $15 ordering a movie from your hotel room is potentially 15 times more expensive than going to a Redbox, ordering from Netflix, or just watching online.


Premium Gasoline

Unless your car requires higher octane fuel because it has a high performance engine, you are wasting your money every time you get premium gasoline. It doesn’t clean your car, make it run smoother, or do anything magical. Just read your owners manual. If you require special fuel it will be plastered all over the place.


Branded Painkillers

Branded painkillers generally come with a 60% markup over generic brands. Although some people think the relief they offer is better, it would be cheaper to think again. Generic drugs are required by law to have the exact same ingredients.


Bottled Water

Although big companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola would have you think that the water in their bottles flows from fountains of purity and that it passes through all sorts of “reverse osmosis” filtration, they are in fact simply putting tap water in bottles and charging you $1.25 for the plastic (you can drink the same amount from the tap for $0.0001).