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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > Top Ten Overpriced Products

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/w...

Here's the list...


Sep 27 (THAINDIAN NEWS) According to WalletPop, there are many overpriced products on the market today which consumers should avoid. They recently revealed their list of the top ten.

1) Text Messages- A story which was posted in the ‘Chicago Tribune’ revealed that an outgoing text message of 160 characters on mobile phone usually cost about 20 cent per text. In contrast, it costs the cell phone carrier three tenths of a cent, which is a 600% markup.

2) Bottled Water- ‘Twilight Earth’ reported that bottled water is marked up about 4000%, since you need around five bottles of water to make the plastic for one bottle. Prepackaged water is often more expensive than a gallon of gas, and often comes from municipal taps anyway.

3) Movie Theatre Popcorn- Compared to the bill for buying a 3.5 ounce bag of popcorn in the grocery store, there is a 1275% mark up for popcorn. Theatre owners do this because when a movie is a new release, most of the proceeds from the sale of tickets goes back to the movie studio, not the theatre owners, who must make their money off of concessions for you.

4) Brand Name Drugs- Over the counter medications should always be bought in generic form, because many of these items have a whopping 600,000% mark up, and the generic form is most often made of the exact same ingredients.

5) Hotel Minibars- Mark ups of 300% to 400% are found in hotel minibars quite often, such as a $10 bottled of water and a $12 toothpaste kit.

6) Coffee- Places such as ‘Starbucks’ mark up their coffee products by 300%…and that is before you add the shots and whips.

7) Wine- Restaurants often pay around $5 for a bottle of wine, and charge the customer up to $25. It is even of a mark up by the glass.

8) Greeting Cards- Greeting cards, which often cost up to 5 dollars, can be much less meaningful than a hand written letter or note, for a 200% mark up.

9) Hotel Movies in Room- Movies in your hotel room are often 10 to 15 bucks a pop, which is a 200% mark up.

10) Pre-cut Veggies and Fruits- If you choose to buy veggies and fruit in those little trays, which have already been cut for you, you are paying for a 40% mark up as opposed to just cutting them yourself. They also go bad quicker once they have been cut.


The pre-cut veggies and fruit one makes sense but I hadn't thought it. I always thought greeting cards were a scam, too, so I try to buy them from the museum or whatever so the money goes somewhere useful.

#4 makes me very angry.


message 2: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments #4 frosts my balls, too.

As for #3, I'm fully convinced movie popcorn is infused with some sort of secret scent ingredient that works like ether, an opiate, or both. You can't get that same smell when you make it at home.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments I am guilty of using #3 & #6 on occasion, the rest I avoid for the most part. I always ask for the generic equivalent of a drug if there is one available.

As for the bottled water, I know that it doesn't taste any better than what comes out of my well, so I will stick with the good stuff.


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments nail polish


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Most people I know have unlimited texting and text enough to make it fairly economical. And while their math works for domestic calls, it doesn't take into account how much cheaper texting can be than calling a foreign cell phone. Skype's a game-changer, though.

As for the generic drugs, for most ailments the generic works fine, but there are some examples where the lower cost isn't worth the risk. Generics are allowed a percentage of wiggle room in the active ingredients, and also to change the mode of delivery, such as the coating and the length of time release. Your pharmacy generally goes for the lowest cost generic, and will change manufacturers frequently as prices change, so you might even get two different generics in the same bottle, or a different type from one prescription to the next.
That's all well and good for many prescriptions, but for people with epilepsy, for example, there are some huge risks involved. If one generic has 5% less of the active ingredient than the name brand, and another generic has 5% more, the patient can jump 10% from bottle to bottle without ever knowing it. That can be the difference between control and seizures, or a high-but-safe dose and toxicity.
Just so ya know.


message 6: by Jonathan (last edited Sep 30, 2010 07:34AM) (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Thanks for the list RA.

At one time or another, I've probably gone in for all of these items except text messaging (which I don't understand how to do) and movies in hotel rooms (which hold no interest).

Would probably be a good idea to save money on all these things.

I always keep a bottle of water in my bag and refill when needed. Eventually the bottle cracks and I toss it out and replace it. This may not be the optimal environmental solution to my need for hydration while traveling around the streets and subways of NYC. Perhaps one of those Nalgene bottles would be better, although one has to figure in the possibility of losing it, which in my case is pretty likely. Anyway, on this question, as on many, many others, the moral high ground is a very expensive piece of real estate. I'm willing to concede it to somebody else.


message 7: by RandomAnthony (last edited Sep 30, 2010 08:18AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Jim wrote: "I am guilty of using #3 & #6 on occasion, the rest I avoid for the most part. I always ask for the generic equivalent of a drug if there is one available.

As for the bottled water, I know that it..."


Oh, I'm totally guilty of three. I will be guilty of three in about twenty minutes, on my way to work.

edit: I mean six. I do not stop for movie theater popcorn on the way to work.


message 8: by smetchie (last edited Sep 30, 2010 08:13AM) (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments I REFUSE to let my daughter take bottled water to school. They make them in those cute little tiny bottles-perfect size for lunchboxes but I REFUSE! Sadly, our tap water tastes like crap here in Northern VA. I'm originally from St. Louis and their tap water is better than any bottled water I've ever tasted. When I go for a visit the first thing I do is get a big glass of tap water.


message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Our tap water is very hard. We use a 4-stage RO filter and it tastes better than the bottled stuff. I did buy some bottles for a recent party, but stuck to the home brew for myself.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments My sister said there's a Spalding Gray quote about how we pack for a walk in the park like we're going on safari. She said this to try to keep me from going back into the house for my Sigg bottle. I pointed out that she'd be the one to have to fix me when I ended up sick from dehydration - I get massive headaches when I don't drink enough water. I got a 96 ounce medical grade Nalgene for camping when I was 18 and carried that around for years.

In other words, I like carrying around water. It beats stopping someplace and having to choose between sodas and juices and other sickly sweet things when all I want is something to fix my thirst.


message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori I have a steel water bottle and an excellent filter.

BUT I'm glad to see the pre-cut veggies are only (heh) a 40% markup because I am guilty of buying the organic romaine lettuce. At 7AM I am NOT in the mood to wash and dry to add to Jake's sandwich. And when out of a guilty conscience I do buy the regular bunch, I never end up using so that's a waste. I comfort myself with the fact that I can throw the plastic container into my recyclable bin.

I always bring my own popcorn to the movies, don't like their popcorn anyway.


message 12: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Clark wrote: "#4 frosts my balls, too.

As for #3, I'm fully convinced movie popcorn is infused with some sort of secret scent ingredient that works like ether, an opiate, or both. You can't get that same sme..."



I love the smell and always feel tempted to buy some. But, I don't even LIKE popcorn!


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I like air-popped way better. And movie popcorn is AWFUL for you, and there's so damn much of it. A little is delicious, but they don't give you a little.


message 14: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I carry water. Living in the city, I walk a great deal and actually do worry about dehydration, heat stroke, etc., during periods of hot weather. And sorry Petra, when I was growing up, people walked around the city drinking soda or--using brown paper bags--bottled beer (it was the wild '70s in NYC). I'm pretty sure that people have been consuming liquids for a very, very long time.

The whole overdone eco-guilt-trip advanced against people who drink bottled water (rather than those who consume other equally ill-packaged products) stems, I think, from the fact that water is generally thought to be a healthy alternative to soda, so people who choose to drink water will be more sensitive to criticism on very minor issues of personal virtue. But to me, it all sounds a lot like the complaints of the monk in Browning's "Soliloquy in a Spanish Cloister"--excessive and misdirected.

Anyway, I refill my water bottle, rather than purchasing another, because spending money on water is obviously a bit ridiculous. What I'm really paying for is a convenient container that I can grab on the go--at a newsstand, corner store, wherever--and not think twice about.


message 15: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments I have a theory about all the water we drink now. I think once you start drinking water all day, you become thirstier and NEED to drink water all day. Many years ago I started carrying water around all the time so I would drink more because it's supposed to be good for you. After a while, I HAD to have that water with me or I'd get headaches and be unbelievably thirsty.
Before I started that crap, I was rarely thirsty. When that occurred to me I stopped drinking so much damn water all the time. Sure enough, I'm not as thirsty now. I still bring water with me most of the time but I don't die of thirst when I forget it.


message 16: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix (phoenixapb) | 1619 comments Hookers....I'm just sayin'


message 17: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Barb wrote: "2) Bottled Water- ‘Twilight Earth’ reported that bottled water is marked up about 4000%, since you need around five bottles of water to make the plastic for one bottle. Prepackaged water is often m..."


I drink fizzy, flavored bottled water most of the time...but I ALWAYS recycle them. You know, that zero calorie, caffeine and sodium free jazz. It's my attempt at drinking water when I'd much rather have a soda.

I don't mind tap water...but I live in Troutdale Oregon, that's pretty decent water. When I lived in Texas you couldn't pay me to drink that!


message 18: by Lori (last edited Sep 30, 2010 09:38AM) (new)

Lori Gretchen - exactly! Same with me, the more I drink the more I realize when I am thirsty. I think with our busy lives, most people are dehydrated, and don't get the signals anymore.

Jonathan - I too used to refill the bottled water and carry it around with me in NY. NYC is a very pedestrian city, or a subway city. Now in Seattle, I always keep water in my car. BUT be careful about refilling the bottle too many times. It's a lie when the water bottles say DO NO REFILL, but it is also true that after awhile the plastic starts leeching into the water. So I finally went and bought some Kleen Kanteens.


message 19: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I think you're right Gretchen: habit probably influences these things to some degree.

One indicator of need v. habit is the frequency with which you feel the call of nature. When I used to work construction, I could easily work all day, drink, literally, quarts of water, and hardly need to relieve myself--meaning that I was sweating out the fluids I was taking in.

The same generally holds true if I'm drinking water while working out at the gym or while traveling around in hot weather. I do still keep a water bottle in my bag at this time of year, but tend to drink much less, which I guess is only natural.


message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments At the Michigan Women's Music Festival, they say "if you're not peeing RIGHT NOW you're dehydrated."
And you can tell by the color of your pee - the lighter the color = more hydrated.
I think Lori's right about not always getting the signals.


message 21: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Very true about the color coding, Sarah.

Lori, I actually didn't know about the plastic from the bottles leeching into the water. Is that just a matter of degradation over time--why wouldn't the same thing happen to bottles on the shelf?--or does it have to do with the knocks, dings, crushing, etc. that a bottle gets with use? Also, how dangerous is it? Metal pipes leave scale in tap water, but it's not really a big health issue; plastic sounds like it could be more problematic.


message 22: by Lori (last edited Sep 30, 2010 09:50AM) (new)

Lori It's a matter of degradation, Johnathan. Over a period of time. But I always figured that if my bottle started to smell, it was time to toss it anyway, which is probably before the plastic becomes a factor. But this is why one should never buy those plastic or even nalgene reuseable water bottles, stick with stainless steel. Also, putting plastic into the dishwasher degrades the plastic on all bottles and containers as well, so even tupperware needs to be washed by hand. And never put plastic in the microwave including saran wrap!

I became a semi-health-nut when Jake was born. :D


message 23: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Well, I still have my old gun-metal Stanley thermos (or vacuum bottle). Maybe that could be my new stylish accessory at editorial meetings...

[image error]


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Petra - just because people in other countries aren't dropping dead from dehydration doesn't mean they aren't dehydrated. The body can be pushed to amazing things but that doesn't mean it should be if it can be avoided.

And Jonathan - the degrading does happen on the shelf as well. That's why water bottles have sell by dates even though water itself doesn't go bad. And many bottles are subjected to some pretty extreme conditions before they even reach the store shelves.


message 25: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Alecia wrote: "Hookers....I'm just sayin'"

From experience?


message 26: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Heh...I love those, Jonathan...you also could defend yourself in a street fight with that sucker. It's like a deadly weapon.


message 27: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I once accidentally ran mine over, backing up with a pickup truck on a dirt driveway. No damage done.


message 28: by Lori (new)

Lori HAHAHA!


message 29: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix (phoenixapb) | 1619 comments Jim wrote: "Alecia wrote: "Hookers....I'm just sayin'"

From experience?"


Of course Jim...i have some mad madame skills, I know how to run a lucrative buisness!


message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Atta girl Alecia!


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I like greeting cards, and I personalize them by writing a note, by hand, in them. I'm paying for the art, and I think it's worth it.
I go for espresso, too, but not Starbucks.

I was just going to say, I don't drink bottled water, I drink tea - but I do drink Perrier. I just don't carry my bottle of Perrier around with me. Hee!


message 32: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) I make my own greeting cards.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Ames, I make my own Christmas cards, and they don't end up being any cheaper than store bought. In fact, they cost more, because of the color printing at Kinko's.
But, they're super nice!


message 34: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) I color things individually with little markers or watercolors...


message 35: by Lori (last edited Sep 30, 2010 11:30AM) (new)

Lori If I could draw/paint and be witty on demand I'd make my own. But since I can't, I buy! I like the funny ones from Shoebox. And of course add my own well personal comment.

Do the artists get royalties for their work or is it an all rights purchase from the greeting card companies?

Bun - great point on people not dying from dehydration, yes we all used to drink from water fountains, etc. I wouldn't drink from a water fountain these days unless I was about to faint. Plus people used to eat lots more of fruit as well.


message 36: by Lori (last edited Sep 30, 2010 12:43PM) (new)

Lori That's the main thing I noticed in Paris 2 years ago, Bun. Not many people walk around with coffee cups in their hand. If they want coffee, they stop at a cafe or patisserie and sit. Whether it be water, or tea, or soda. It was very nice.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Much nicer than going through the drive-through at Starbucks, too.
Let's all move to Paris!


message 38: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) I'm in, Jacks! I can't drink coffee, but I LOVE cafes! It was my favorite thing to do in Oxford, sit at a little outdoor cafe and people watch.


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments When we're in South Africa we stop for tea or 'cool drinks' in sit-down settings frequently, even in the middle of road trips. It makes a five hour drive or a shopping trip take the whole day but it does feel very civilized. Plus if you order juice it's 100% fruit juice and adults order it too.


message 40: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
Petra X wrote: "Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It is an excellent expose of the bottled-water industry. "

I second that - eye-opening book.


message 41: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
Petra X wrote: "Before the mid-80s when the marketing for bottled water started, very few people actually walked with any to drink unless they were exercising or carrying lunch. There were no mass deaths by dehydr..."

Amen.


message 42: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
10) Pre-cut Veggies and Fruits- If you choose to buy veggies and fruit in those little trays, which have already been cut for you, you are paying for a 40% mark up as opposed to just cutting them yourself. They also go bad quicker once they have been cut.

I'm not sure what trays they are referring to, but I often buy pre-cut frozen green beans and they are usually cheaper than fresh ones I have to cut myself.

As for "going bad" quicker, frozen beans in my freezer don't go bad, and I always eat them before they get freezer burn. Fresh vegetables on the other hand I find I have to eat very quickly before they start to go bad. So buying frozen = saving money, buying fresh often means wasting money.


message 43: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
Barb wrote: "I like the smell and taste of popcorn, but I don't eat it because having it stuck in my teeth drives me bat shit crazy ... it's just not worth the emotional suffering."

Ha....true. I haven't completely stopped eating popcorn, but I always have popcorn remorse afterwards.


message 44: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
Petra X wrote: "The highest leakage from plastic to liquid is with boiling water - making up baby formula - and then allowing it to cool. The lowest leakage is with cold water in a cold bottle not left in the sun for an extended time."

So if I just refill my stash of plastic bottles over and over and they stay inside my refrigerator and are never in the sun, I'll be fine? Good, cuz that's what I do.


message 45: by Lori (last edited Sep 30, 2010 05:26PM) (new)

Lori Lobstergirl wrote: "So if I just refill my stash of plastic bottles over and over and they stay inside my refrigerator and are never in the sun, I'll be fine? Good, cuz that's what I do.
"


No. It's not just the heat.


message 46: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
BunWat wrote: "They are not referring to frozen veggies LG, they are referring to precut fresh veggies."

Oh. I've never seen them sold in trays, I guess.


message 47: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments bottle water. sheesh. i see people walking around the mall or at disneyworld with those fanny packs with water bottle holsters in them. people have camelbak's on while taking a bike ride in the park. at our church we give complimentary bottles of water out to people who attend (if they want, we don't force you) so they can sit through a :59 minute service. c'mon people, i know you think you are thirsty and you need to "stay hydrated" but i think we have gone way overboard. i see people buying $1.59 bottles of water and cigs at the supermarket when it looks like they need to buy those grubby kids some clothes and shoes. i swear to pete, pioneers crossed the Oregon Trail with less water than some people take to the museum for an afternoon stroll.

wow, this rant has made me thirsty. i'd get a drink but we are out of bottled water from the Malaspina Glacier that was hand dipped by an Inuit, which is the only kind i'll drink.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

I like tap water it has fluoride in it. If the kids don't drink that they miss out and have rotting teeth. Besides I like the taste of the tap water.

Books cost a fortune here. Average price of a paper-back is $25 to $35.


message 49: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Books cost a fortune here. Average price of ..."

But that's in the funny play money you guys use.


message 50: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 01, 2010 06:51AM) (new)

Yes but that funny play money is worth almost the same as the US$ at the moment. The exchange rate today for AUD to USD was 0.98c. We have beautiful notes you guys have boring ones.




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