These days, you can’t be too careful. While everyone knows that emails from Nigerian princes are big scams, some rip offs aren’t so easy to spot. In fact, thousands of people fall for totally legal rip offs everyday and don’t even realize it. When you’re out shopping this holiday season, the potential pitfalls are everywhere. You don’t have to fall for it, though. With a discerning eye, you can avoid danger zones and come out better off. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you save money by avoiding all the unnecessary up-sells and overpriced junk you don’t need. Everyone should have a little extra cash for a gift for themselves, right? Here are the biggest rip offs that you’ve probably been tricked into buying.
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 fluoride and other goodies. What you’re buying for $1.25, you can drink at home for a tenth of a penny.
Warranties on Electronics
It’s hard not to be paranoid right after you’ve bought something expensive, but 90 percent of the time the price of the warranty is equal to or slightly more than the average price of a repair. In other words, you’re buying peace of mind, not the repair.
This is not a call to stop getting oil changes. That will destroy your car. Still, it’s easy to get ripped off at oil change shops. Usually, you’ll get an earful of up-sells, pressuring you to turbocharge your car with high performance motor oil and new windshield wipers. Despite what the guy at Jiffy Lube says, your car’s probably not days from breaking down. Whether you’re likely to fall for it or not, it’s best to take your car to a local mechanic who values hard work rather than a quick buck.
Travel Size of Anything
These only exist because of desperation. Plan ahead and avoid this obvious scam. Buy the travel size once and then refill it yourself.
Several years ago stories broke in the U.S. and U.K. about companies colluding to raise prices illegally. The stories may have made a slight dent but those razor blades are marked up by nearly five thousand percent. Avoid big name razor refills and buy generic cartridges in bulk. They might not have the most insane advancements in razor blade technology, but that’s okay. You’ll be fine.