9 Items That Should Be Cheaper to Buy
Are We Being Gouged?
Maybe you haven't noticed this, but you are getting screwed. Seriously, you are paying way too much for something that you either don't really need, or that you could easily replace with a cheaper alternative.
I'm not talking about frugal living, or going all hand-made. I'm ranting about the fact that some of these items cost way too much for items that are in serious danger of never being bought again by the human race. Many have been replaced by more technically advanced versions.
Anyone besides me think that it is amazing that it STILL costs anywhere between $60 and $600 to buy a VCR, to play video cassettes that you buy at Goodwill for $0.25 apiece? Soon, it will be just as outrageous to charge that much for some of the items on this list. Others? Well, until they make a version that is superior to the ones available, there is just no excuse for the cost.
1. Dish Racks
After our dishwasher died, our budget didn't allow for us to repair or replace it right away. I started using a dishtowel to dry our dishes on, because I didn't want to clutter up the counter with a big rack. And I still hoped that I would win the lottery and replace the real dishwasher.
Last month I noticed that the wet dishtowels were starting to affect the handpainted counter tops. Plus, all the baby bottles kept toppling off into the floor.
So, I went to the store and bought a dish rack. The rack itself cost nearly $9 dollars. And the drain board cost another $8. So, roughly $17 for the whole set up.
That is still much cheaper than an electric dishwasher, of course. But lets face it...drain racks are practically obsolete. I only know two people besides myself who use one.
It seems only logical that they should be dirt cheap to try to entice people to buy them. Even people with dishwashers might own one for some handwash only items if they didn't have to fork over so much to get one.
Logic says that if it is really cheap--even someone who doesn't need it may buy it. And a dishrack is not a necessity. After all, I survived several months using just a dishtowel. That price tag may soon make the drain rack become an endangered species.
2. Toilet Bowl Brushes
This is something that goes in the toilet. That dark and dirty place where no one wants to put their actual hands.
MOST people use a toilet brush for a short time then throw it away once it becomes a nasty, germy, disgusting thing that you don't want to touch.
Again, a toilet brush is not a necessity. I know people who use a sponge and their hands to go "in there". Not something I am ever going to do unless it becomes a dire necessity.
Now, if I was really, really rich...I would still not pay $11 for something that is going to be dipped in toilet water then thrown in the trash.
What is the attraction? The fact that it has a brand name attached? I'm sorry, but a brush is a brush. Its only as good as the elbow grease used to operate it.
No brush is going to keep the toilet sparkling clean without effort on your behalf,so why not just pay the $1.50 at the dollar store and be done with it?
The brush in question with the fabulous price sticker had a special stand. Does that make it worth the money?
Well...it would have to be a very special stand.
With everyone upgrading to Blu-Ray or choosing to watch videos via the internet, why am I still seeing $22 DVD's? No one is buying them. When I see a display of new releases, I see shoppers buying movies out of the $5 bin. Which is where the new releases of three months ago are now hiding.
Why would anyone bother to pay so much for a new film? Most people just buy the much cheaper ticket and watch it in the theater if they can't wait. They they just sit back and patiently wait a few weeks for the DVD to go on the BOGO rack.
Then again, there are those outdated movies that are still pricey. For example, at Valentine's, a display of "romantic" movies was on display. Two films made the same year that were equal box office flops were priced differently. $5 for one and $7 for the other. Guess which one was actually being purchased?
What the heck made the other one so darn special?
4. Soft Drinks
Now that most people of the world have decided to abstain from carbonated beverages, those of us who still drink them would appreciate a reasonable price tag.
With all the bad hype, one would think that the soft drink companies would be running some super-cheap promotions to keep the loyal soda drinkers on their side.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I wonder if all the bad health effects are just rumors? After all, they didn't really start until the price of cokes went to over $4 a twelve pack!
5. Key Chains
I thought I would buy my husband a nice new keychain for his birthday. I was a bit surprised when I saw that the nice keychains that he would like (and that would survive him) were so expensive. $6? $13? Even one for $26!
More and more people are buying keyless entry vehicles. The little "beep beep" thing comes with a ring, and all the car owners I know just put their house keys right on that same fob. Since those little gadgets are bulky, they don't want to add a bunch of other dangly junk.
So, except for keychain collectors (me) and people who still have regular vehicle keys (me again), who is going to pay $26 for a keychain? NOT me. I'm still using the keychain I bought in celebration of earning my driver's license!
Are dye free plastic totes more healthy? Just wondering, since clear plastic is always several dollars higher to purchase.
But then, I've noticed that it costs at least $2 more to buy a red or orange tote during the holidays than standard colored totes during the year.
Yet fuschia and neon green totes sold during back-to-school time are the same price as their hum-drum counterparts. What gives?
6. Plastic Storage Totes
I get that plastic has to be manufactured. That costs money. BUT...
I find it a little bit strange that it cost more to make some plastic items more than than others. For example, I can buy about 35 huge plastic drinking cups for less than the cost of an 18 gallon plastic tote.
Plastic children's toys that are bigger and made of more plastic are cheaper than a hollow piece of plastic? Are we paying for the air space inside? If so, why isn't the air space inside of a cup just as valuable?
With more people deciding to go green and minimalist at the same time, plastic totes are being purchased less often in favor of containers made of wood or other natural materials.
If I was a plastic tote mogul, I would be seriously considering trying to win back ex-plastic lovers by making totes affordable for everyone with storage issues!
7. Pens and Paper
Everyone is going paper free! People are even doing all of their bill pay online. School kids spend more time at keyboards than at note taking. And people are journaling their lives via Facebook and Bubblews.
So why did I just pay $10 to buy two notebooks and a package of ink pens? These aren't even great ink pens, and the notebooks don't have any cool, licensed characters on them.
There are still a few of us who LOVE to buy office supplies, and we would more than keep all the companies in business if we could buy mass quantities without breaking the bank.
As for those that don't really care to write by hand, those prices are just going to make them more determined to do everything digitally.
Hold-em-in-your hand books are outrageously priced these days if you buy them new. Especially children's books. $9.45 for a six page board book that will be chewed to pieces in a few weeks?
I love having real books in my house, but I can see why more and more people are turning to the electronic versions. And of course, many people will just borrow a book from a friend or the library rather than paying either price.
9. Infant Medication
I KNOW for a fact that is a deliberate price gouge. It simply cannot be that much more expensive to make an infant version of Tylenol vs. a child or adult version.
At Walmart (hey, its all we've got around here besides the dollar store) it costs $7.97 to buy infants Tylenol, for 2 fl oz. For children's Tylenol, the price is $5.67 for 4 fl oz.
Of course, older children take more per dose than a baby, but...both of them have the exact same ingredient in the exact same proportion--160 mg of acetaminophen per 5 mL (1 tsp.)
What is the difference? The infant stuff has no dye. So we are essentially paying more money to have an ingredient LEFT OUT?
Not surprisingly, the same conundrum spans the entire baby pharmacy. Even things like generic vapor rub are higher for babies than for the regular adult versions, and there is no difference in the ingredients. All you are doing is paying a dollar or so more for a box that has a picture of a baby on it.
Therefore, since people can easily buy the less-cute version, I vote that the boxes with babies on them be cheaper. Otherwise, people may eventually learn not to waste their time or money, and all of those baby models will be out of work.
Alternatives and Competitive Prices
All of the items on this list are things that people can live without. They all have alternatives that people may choose.
Sometimes the alternative is better (like choosing an eBook over a pricy hardcover). Sometimes it is not quite as desirable (using a sponge instead of a toilet bowl brush with a handle).
The person with the bigger budget is probably going to go for the bigger item (like choosing a dishwasher over a drain rack, or wooden trunks over plastic storage totes), and someone with a limited budget is going to go for the cheapest choice (like borrowing a book or using a cardboard box rather than a plastic tote).
Either way, these everyday items are in peril. Its time to stop the madness. It is time for BOGO toilet bowl brushes.