We’re all heard of scams and people who get tricked into buying things, but sometimes there are everyday ripoffs we mightn’t be aware of.
From flights to petrol and even the movies, there are money grabbing schemes all around us, in the most unlikely of locations.
Here’s 10 of the biggest ripoffs many of us are still paying for. Have you been caught out?
1. Budget flights
It can be easy to think that a budget flight is the best option, but often if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. You might see a flight for $19 but by the time you pay for food, seats, luggage and eve a big booking fee, you could be looking at over $50.
Instead, look for deals that are inclusive and don’t have a whole lot of asterisks. Budget carriers, especially on international flights, might look cheaper i.e. $300 vs $400 for another airline, however they mightn’t have entertainment, food or luggage included so it may end up costing the same as a premium carrier.
2. Premium petrol
A common misconception is that putting this “higher quality” fuel in your car will clean out the engine and make it run better, however it has been debunked and is a clear money grab.
According to Matthew Minter, editorial director of motor manual publisher Haynes, most people won’t drive in a way to notice any difference. “And 99% of cars will work perfectly well on 95 octane standard unleaded fuel,” he adds.
3. Printers and ink
One of the biggest scams out there is a dirt-cheap printer and expensive ink. In fact ink is so expensive, it can often be cheaper to just buy another printer. This is why the digital age is a big benefit to many of us – stop printing and you won’t need to buy ink or printers.
Whenever we go to the pharmacy, we’re asked if we want the generic version or the brand name. Often, people can go for the brand name, when there’s no difference in the product at all. This is common when people buy headache tablets thinking the brands they’ve seen on television will do more than a plain packaged product.
Well now you know: pharmacies are legally obliged to use exactly the same chemical composition in both bottles, despite what the brand is. Always go with the cheaper choice – you’re getting the same thing anyway!
Movie tickets in Australia are so expensive! No wonder people have resorted to staying home and downloading instead. Data from Screen Australia shows the average ticket price rose by 12 per cent over the five years to 2014 to reach $13.68, with the top price for a ‘standard ticket’ at $27.
The candy bar is also a ripoff, with a huge markup on a simple popcorn and drink – it can cost $20! Instead, take along your own popcorn and a drink and save.
6. Extended warranties
If you purchase a product in Australia and it is faulty within a reasonable time of ownership, you are entitled to a replacement, refund or exchange with a proof of purchase. Therefore, extended warranties can be an excessive waste of money, particularly if you get no use out of it.
Funerals are one of the biggest rip-offs of them all. We know funerals are not something most people want to think about; however funeral scams can save families from added heartache when they are already feeling upset. The average funeral with all the extras can easily cost a family over $10,000, however there are a number of cheaper ways, such as cardboard coffins and other DIY solutions.
8. Supermarket deals
You’ll find these promotions all the time – buy two of the thing you want for a slightly discounted price, but the reality is, you’re paying extra for no reason.
It’s a psychological ploy and is usually just after the supermarket bumps up the price, meaning you almost pay full price for two anyway. If you see one of these deals, think long and hard about whether you really need two, or you’re being taken for a ride.
9. Bottled water
Bottled water doesn’t taste any different to normal tap water after it’s been chilled – in fact a lot of companies do just that! Spare the $3 or $4 and fill up a BPA-free bottle before you leave the house.
10. Services/oil change
We’re all told to change our oil and get a service every 10,000km however vehicles can go a bit longer than this. Also, some people think they need to take their car to the manufacturer to have a service, i.e. Holden or Ford, however you can take your car to be serviced at most mechanics, and have a logbook service. It will be a fraction of the price so shop around!