Each of us is regularly told to be indignant at unjustifiably high prices for certain goods and services, which should cost several times, or even tens of times cheaper. Pistachios at the price of a package of beer, paintings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars painted in a state of drug intoxication and ink for a printer at the price of the printer itself cause the righteous anger of ordinary people, inspired by which we have collected the TOP 10 most overrated things.
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In the modern world, the price of a product is not always directly related to its cost, often significantly increasing due to the promotion of a famous brand or, for example, an artificial shortage. So, in the price tag of a Mac computer, the presence of the cost of the apple logo is very noticeable, and graphite and diamond, which are modifications of carbon and have a comparable cost of production, significantly affect the price of pencils and diamonds due to the lack of raw materials for the latter.
The older generation can remember the Brezhnev times, when the Soviet government solved this problem in the best traditions of Marxism-Leninism, adding a fixed profit to the cost of all goods produced in the country. As a result, the state received a tangible surplus of goods from the military-industrial complex and heavy industry, while consumer goods were in huge deficit, having a very low level of quality.
In the realities of the modern economy, each of us votes for the existence of this or that product on the market with his own ruble, but at the same time, the choice of even very pragmatic people does not always become conscious and deliberate. The “black” list of ten unjustifiably expensive goods published below can and should be expanded, we are waiting for your additions to it in the comments below this post.
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1. Popcorn in the movies
A trip to the cinema, especially to Russian films, is in itself a very dubious event, given the constantly growing ticket prices, falling quality of content and constantly increasing advertising timing, and taking into account the 600-700% cheat on the obligatory bucket of popcorn and soda, this type of leisure is noticeable hits the audience’s pocket. At the same time, many believe that going to the cinema with their food is indecent or even forbidden, which, of course, is fundamentally wrong. Naturally, we do not recommend attending sessions with sandwiches and a thermos of tea, but, in the end, no one bothers you to purchase suitable snacks and soda at an adequate price in the nearest supermarket.
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2. Printer ink
A sore subject for everyone who happens to print a lot for work or school. It is no secret to anyone that any manufacturer of printers (especially inkjet printers) will gladly sell you the cheapest model for next to nothing, or even give it away for nothing, just get in your face a regular customer of cartridges and ink that will very quickly cover and cover the cost the apparatus itself.
At one time, Hewlett-Packard announced that it spends a billion dollars annually to develop incredible quality ink that injects 36,000 droplets per second, can withstand heating at 300 degrees, etc. etc. At the same time, both HP and other printer manufacturers are desperately fighting for the right to install special microchips in their devices that will prevent you from using cheaper third-party cartridges. In their defense, they claim that this is also done taking into account the interest of users, they say, such microchips can track the expiration date of ink.
For those who want to somehow save on printing, we can recommend the purchase of more expensive but economical laser printers with replaceable XL cartridges, the purchase of a kit for self-refilling them, and the regular practice of hand-to-hand writing of small texts instead of wasting ink and paper on a five-line memo …
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3. Bottled water
Drinking tap water, even boiled water, in the environmentally friendly environment in many cities of the vast homeland is quite harmful, which sellers of bottled water willingly use. In fact, most of them sell the same tap water that has been filtered and received a ~ 500% markup.
It is very easy to save money in this case – to install filters at home that are acceptable in quality and price, which will quickly pay for themselves. It is important to take into account that filter sellers are also not averse to increasing the price several times, but competition in this market makes it easy to find suitable options.
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In every provincial town, you’ve probably seen pathetic-looking souvenir stalls lonely near train stations and tourist spots without any attention from passers-by. Here they sell fridge magnets and various Chinese garbage with local symbols, the margin on which can reach any value, due to the need to somehow compensate for the lack of buyers. Buying goods here, you are no different from tourists who bring home pieces of Egyptian cinder block pyramids, Sino-Persian “handmade” carpets and Turkish gold, on which “there should be no samples.”
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Naturally, smoking itself has nothing to do with rational spending, but if you consume nicotine, then why pay more? It is quite difficult for cigarette manufacturers to diversify a product as simple as filter paper stuffed with tobacco, but they do their best to do so. You can purchase up to a dozen types of cigarettes of the same brand, from the lightest to the heaviest, with different contents of tar and nicotine, with two or three capsules, with a double, triple or charcoal filter, different flavors, etc.
And of course, every smoker has their own favorite brand, which is absolute nonsense. Conduct an experiment by asking a few smoking friends to blindly identify this favorite brand of cigarettes from five other options. The result should make you think about switching to the simplest and not very expensive tobacco products.
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6. Art, antiques, collectibles
If the five previous overvalued goods had a large mark-up on top of the cost, then, for example, in painting, the cost of a canvas can reach huge 9-digit amounts, regardless of the efforts of the author spent on creating a masterpiece of the time or the tools used in the work. Each of us has seen in the news feeds notes about the acquisition by another extravagant rich man of a painting similar to the creation of the American artist Cy Twombly with the apt name “Untitled”, which was sold at auction for $ 70 million.
Cy Twombly “Untitled”
And if, when looking at such works of art, it seems to you that people are simply shoving feces at the price of gold, then it would not be superfluous to mention the Italian creator Piero Manzoni, who in 1961 sold 90 cans with his feces under the name “Artist’s Shit” and estimated every 30 grams of your feces in an amount equal to the price of 30 grams of gold.
Naturally, every art critic can give an entire lecture on the importance of context or history of a masterpiece. For example, the most famous painting in the world – “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci – gained real popularity only after it was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, just as “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” by Gustav Klimt attracted the attention of the general public solely thanks to the sensational purchase of the canvas for $ 135 million by Ronald Lauder. And if for billionaires such purchases are an opportunity to spend at least part of their untold wealth, to inscribe their own name in art history and news headlines, then for most people such creations are of dubious value.
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7. Branded items
By analogy with art, branded items often have rather abstract pricing. A striking example of unreasonably high prices are rare sneaker models, which are hunted by collectors, called sneakerheads. For example, not so long ago, on his instagram, Philip Kirkorov posted a photo in Nike sneakers, the price of which reaches a million rubles from dealers in Moscow. Whether these sneakers look like a million is a rhetorical question for the layman.
However, a million rubles is far from the limit for a pair of sneakers, according to the eBay online auction, users purchased the Air Jordan 12 OVO for $ 100,000, the Nike Air Yeezy 1 for $ 50,000 and the Air Jordan 4 Retro for $ 37,500.
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Connoisseurs of expensive alcoholic beverages are well versed in varieties, brands, types and price tags for elite alcoholic beverages, while the average person usually thinks according to the principle – more is better. As a result, the domestic consumer often has to convince himself that the nasty Caribbean rum or Scotch whiskey for N thousand rubles from a closed supermarket window is not so nasty, but simply more specific. Surely such emotions would be experienced by a Scotsman who bought expensive Russian moonshine in Edinburgh in a beautiful branded bottle.
Another way to quickly spend money on alcohol is to order it in small portions. In most cases, it will be much more profitable and safer to buy a whole bottle at once (even if you do not finish it), which will be printed with you, than to order several times a glass of the drink, which can be easily diluted. According to experienced bartenders, even the most sophisticated connoisseur does not recognize the taste of a small admixture of ordinary vodka in a very expensive cognac. At the same time, in many nightlife establishments, single men are easily accompanied by girls with double liver, who can literally rob a visitor without getting into his wallet, but simply ordering drinks at his expense.
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Like any other corporation, pharmaceutical companies work for profit, and not at all for the health of consumers, which means that no marketing tricks are alien to them. State regulatory authorities in different countries sometimes make timid attempts to oblige pharmacists to put homeopathic remedies in separate display cases, and doctors, for example, to prescribe medicines not by the name of a specific drug of a certain brand, but by the description of the active substance. However, fuflomycin has not disappeared from the shelves of pharmacies, and doctors still issue prescriptions for drugs from those companies with whose sales representatives they have financial relations.
Saving in this case is quite simple – check all the drugs prescribed for you for the active substance and compare with analogues, for this there are a lot of specialized and authoritative resources on the Internet.
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Not so long ago, a category of goods that appeared on the domestic market for people with incomes who care about their health. On separate shelves in supermarkets, and most often in individual stores, promoters of healthy and organic food will offer (exaggerate, of course) a bottle of water collected by virgins from a mountain waterfall at dawn, or honey collected by warmed March bees from snowdrops at the price of black caviar or expensive. Needless to say, a significant proportion of these superfoods have huge margins for low sales and questionable effectiveness.
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As mentioned above, we only compiled the most popular negative customer reviews for certain overpriced goods into one list and added several of our own, but it is likely that this list is only the tip of the iceberg, and you will point out the most egregious cases of overpricing to us in comments.