Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buyer beware. Unless you really want it.

I overheard my fifteen-year-old daughter complaining the other day.

She was upset at paying $1.29 for a single song, purchased through that unnamed digital music juggernaut which rhymes with "my prunes." My solution to her dilemma, which she didn't heed, was to simply not buy the song, recorded by a teenage boy who looks like he held a blow dryer the size of a jet engine against the back of his head for a full fortnight.

This whole extreme price mark-up situation left me wondering: which consumer products contain the largest profit margins? Thanks to the miracle that is the world wide interweb, I had my answer within seconds. A site named toptenz.net compiles top ten lists through various, diverse sources.

The ten largest price mark-ups among consumer goods (profit margins) are as follows:

10) Cosmetics—Alarming, I know, but I found a compromise. I only use eyeliner now, and sparingly at that, applying a dark brown eye pencil to press a series of small dots between my lashes, along the lash line. It's a way I can accentuate my earthy prettiness, while keeping frugal.

9) Bottled water—Come on, people, water is water is water. Sure, it's got a cool bottle, but a rump roast in a tuxedo is still just a rump roast.

8) Greeting cards—But really, isn't it worth the price when you find a good one?

7) Mattresses and furniture—This is why now, more than ever, it's time to say yes to the beanbag chair.

6) Restaurant wine and soda—Two words: Beer, please.

5) Brand name clothing—How true this is. Many of us are familiar with a line of designer denim named 7 For All Mankind. with an average price point of around $160 for a pair of jeans. A more accurate name, without much reworking, would be For .007% of All Mankind.

4) Jewelry/diamonds—We all know that anniversaries are marked by paper or silver or gold, but is there one for lead? Because lead jewelry is really reasonably priced. I plan on splurging for that one.

3) Glasses frames—I suppose this is true, but do these frames look expensive?

2) Movie theater food— This used to be an issue, until I perfected a method for putting an entire Red Baron combo pizza in my tube sock.

1) Prescription medication—Obviously, that whole "see your doctor if it lasts more than four hours" thing is just a calculated tactic for guys to get more bang for their buck.

Now that we know these rip-off categories, don't you feel more prepared against future exploitation? Well, gotta go. Haven't had my Starbucks yet.

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