10 of the biggest ripoffs you’re still paying for 73



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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.

4. Medicine

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!

5. Movies

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.

7. Funerals

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!

Did any of these surprise you?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. When I arrived in Oz 1974, friends took us to see 2 movies in one sitting….very cheap….. now can’t afford to go as often as I would love to…..😱

  2. Travel Insurance is another you can often get it free if you pay by credi card,check your banks conditions. With any insurance check every couple of years to see if you can get a better deal especially by bundling

    1 REPLY
    • Travel insurance most credit cards come with cover you need to check if yours covers existing conditions also check you are covered for all events some do not

  3. Not surprised at any of these rip offs and I never fall for any of them. Just the other day Coles had a buy two offer on deodorant but I only wanted one so I only bought one!

    5 REPLY
    • Because by the tine I do need another, they may be cheaper still.Besides, precisely because they want me to buy two, I only bought one!

    • I normally buy two of things that don’t go off. Washing powder etc. But always check the price first to make sure it hasn’t been marked up before the discount is applied.

    • That’s one thing that really irritates me. I often buy one, if I prefer that brand.

    • I will always not buy the product at the shop with the two for one deal. I’ll get it somewhere else because it annoys me so much. It’s a ripoff.

  4. I keep a record of every tank of fuel I use and by using premium I increase the milage of a tank by 30% over E10 and 23% over unleaded. the savings by buying E10 or 95 octane are nowhere near this. Funerals are second to funeral insurance, which is just a ripoff as is all life insurance. You pay a fee to give your survivors a sum of money you could save faster by not paying the premium, unless you have a mortgage life insurance is unnecessary. don’t start me on bottled water, invest in a whole house filter system and save the environment around 1200 plastic single use bottles per person a year.

    4 REPLY
    • Re fuel: I agree – Our mechanic recommended we use 95 octane unleaded fuel as being better than the cheapest one which I think is 91 E10, so I consider that is a useful premium fuel despite what the article’s author says. As for bottled water!! Why would anyone bother if they are living in Sydney for example where the tap water is great!

    • Nita Crompton If it’s coming off the roof of your house I wouldn’t drink it.

      1 REPLY
      • You all missed the biggest con of all time the gst and politions and don’t get me started on all the lerks and perks of them all

    • I have been drinking tan water for years. We have two enormous tanks and never get further down in either tank than 30 cams. We do have filters which remove dust etc from the water before it enters the tank. Our water tastes very fresh and sweet. All our city friends who come to stay love it. I notice visiting Sydney that the water smells and tastes of chemicals. Neither my husband or I ever suffer from gastric upsets so our water is obviously good.

  5. I’m with Ian, I have been conned by all of them, except the funeral. Now that I’m a old fart 64. That won’t be far away, (Bad health) I’ll go with the cardboard box. If they can drain the bullshit out I’ll fit in a matchbox.

  6. Knew all if these. You just need to know your prices. Sometimes 2 is better than one if it is something you will use & the price is right

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