Everything comes with a price tag. You probably know the old phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. It’s just that some things come with bigger price tags than others. And while that is justified sometimes, there are oftentimes no really good reasons for something to cost as much as it does. You can probably think of several things right off the top of your head. Some of these are largely harmless. The fact that birthday cards probably cost less than a penny each to manufacture (depending on the economy of scale), nobody complains that they are marked up by so much because they still only cost about a dollar. And it’s almost common knowledge by now that printer cartridges, video games, and razors are all marked way up. But we’re also the ones who decided to lock ourselves into one “brand” so there’s not really much we can do. And not being able to buy the latest video game won’t exactly kill us. But there are some cases where this whole price gouging thing can get out of control. Life saving medicines is one such arena. So whether it is something critical or benign, these are 25 things that are way more expensive than they should be!
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Rubber flooring (in gyms)
Unless you run a gym, you probably wouldn’t know this, but that rubber flooring sells for about 1/3 of the price when you buy it as a “horse stall mat”.
Anything in an airport
Captive market, high real estate price…you can bet that burger will cost more at the airport than at the McDonald’s down the street.
You’ve probably heard the advice from your friends…when looking for a photographer/caterer/DJ/etc don’t mention that it’s a wedding right off the bat. When you do actually mention that it’s a wedding, the price will shoot up. At this point, ask what exactly is done differently for weddings.
Many times it will be cheaper to just get a new fridge. Or just wait until 3D printers become ubiquitous…
If you live in the US or Australia, your internet is slow and expensive because the infrastructure is out of date and the internet providers don’t have an incentive to upgrade it. In countries that we like to make fun of for being “backwards” (like Lithuania), you can pay 10 Euros per month for download speeds faster than 800 Mb/s and upload speeds faster than 700 Mb/s!
Texas Instruments Calculators
Have you noticed that TI calculator have stayed at $100 for the past several decades even though your phone is significantly more powerful (and cheaper). Thanks monopolies!
Hopefully the internet solves this one eventually.
Flying in Canada
If you have any Canadian friends, you know that it is cheaper for Canadians to fly to Europe than it is within their own country. Thanks airport fees and lack of competition!
It’s because you locked yourself into buying that specific brand of razor. They charge more because they can.
No, not playing cards. The emotional, feel-good cards. It’s a piece of paper with words on it. Don’t they get economies of scale on those things? Apparently not because it’s definitely cheaper to make your own.
Same as with the razors. You locked yourself into the brand when you bought the printer.
Not the heroine type drugs. We’re talking about pharmaceuticals. What costs less than a hundred dollars in other countries can easily cost thousands of dollars in the US.
In the United States, your degree can send you into permanent debt. In many countries, it will be free. Of course, American universities spend a lot more on landscaping. So there’s that.
That Fiji water you’re buying? There have been legitimate studies showing that tap water in many places is more “pristine” (city of Chicago specifically). Thanks marketing!
Remember the printers and the razors? Same deal. You bought the console so you don’t really have a choice with the games. Supply and demand baby.
Apparently freedom comes with a price tag.
Beats by Dre
They look cool but you can get the same sound for much cheaper. You pay for the brand.
It was the mid 1900s and diamond sales were falling. DeBeers, the primary diamond company on our greedy little planet, came out with the greatest marketing scheme ever. Their advertisement singlehandedly convinced people that “diamonds last forever” and that a man should spend 3 months income on a ring. Before that campaign, diamonds in engagement rings wasn’t really that big of a thing.
Everything in movie theatres
It’s because the movie theatre doesn’t actually make anything off of your ticket. If you don’t buy their food, they’re losing money on you.
Excess baggage fees
Do you think Shaquille O’Neal has to pay more for his extra 200 pounds of muscle? No way. It would be a PR nightmare if airlines tried to charge people according to their weight. But your luggage? That’s a different story.
Just like weddings, get ready for some markup.
We know, you spend 1/3 of your life sleeping. But there are definitely legit mattresses out there that won’t break your bank.
For various reasons (including monopolies and price gouging), the price of glasses doesn’t come anywhere near representing their costs of production.
You want the Volcano Roll? It’s twice as much as the California Roll, but really it’s just the California Roll cut into pieces with a bit of spicy mayo.
Anything with an Apple logo
It does look nice though…