13 Items That Are Way Overpriced But We Keep Buying Them Anyway (PHOTOS)

Liz Alterman | Jan 27, 2015 Home & Garden

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Have you ever noticed that there are some items that just seem ridiculously overpriced, yet you need them so you're forced to pay up? (Sunglasses and tampons, we're looking at you!)

As if life weren't already expensive enough, some of these "basics" are causing us to break the bank. Others are indulgences that, while not necessities, offer a nice treat every once in a while but also seem to be radically overpriced, according to the women who shared their opinions with us. 

More from The Stir: Family Finances: What Are the Mission-Critical Expenses

While we agree with everything on this list, paying for #8 just about every few months will definitely send us to the poor house! 

What do you spend far more on than you'd like to these days?


Image © BUCK Studio/Corbis

  • Greeting Cards

    1

    "I just went to Papyrus to get my friend a birthday card and brought it up to pay. EIGHT DOLLARS. HA! What a joke," says Suzee S. of New York City.

    It's not only birthday cards that cost a bundle apparently. According to the Greeting Card Association, retail sales are estimated at between $7 and $8 billion annually. Could be a good time to get creative and start making your own -- or, better yet, have the kids do it! 

  • Mattresses

    2

    Getting a good night's rest is incredibly important, but still, Julie E. of California says she's shocked by how much a decent mattress will set you back.

    Mid-range queen-sized mattresses range between $700-$1,800, according to SleepLiketheDead.com

    We guess it’s good you’re near a soft place to land should you suffer sticker shock.

  • Prepared Produce

    3

    Judy D. of New York can't stand the mark-up on pre-sliced produce items like mushrooms and carrots. "It's not that hard to take a knife and cut that stuff up yourself, yet they almost double the price as if they're doing you a huge favor," she says. "Hate it and avoid it."

  • Movie Theater Popcorn

    4

    Movie-goers like Suzee S. from Manhattan may want a buttery treat to go with their flick, but they're not about to pay those exorbitant prices!  

    According to a survey of theater locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, the average cost of a large bucket of popcorn (with free refills) was $8.15, representing an 806 percent mark-up from kernel to consumer.

    "I refuse to buy it; I bring my own snack every single time," Suzee says.

  • Pine Nuts

    5

    Sheri R. is floored by the price of pine nuts and other moms agree.

    "[Pine nuts are] crazy expensive compared to most other nuts, but they're one of my favorites," notes a mom who goes by the handle TheNamelessDoll on CafeMom.com.

    They're also important when making pesto, so they've pretty much got you by the nuts. (Sorry, we had to!) 

  • Tampons

    6

    What is Adriana V. of New York tired of coughing up wads of cash to purchase?  

    "TAMPONS! Sorry, am I yelling? WHY DO THEY COST THAT MUCH??? IT’S JUST PAPER!!! Tampons should cost the same as paper towels and toilet paper," she says.

    But moms aren't happy about the cost of toilet paper, either. Check out the next slide!

  • Toilet Paper

    7

    Lisa Yankton of South Dakota is sick of paying high prices for things that are disposable. What irks her most? "Garbage bags and toilet paper," she explains. "The ultimate [in] paying money to throw something away. They are too expensive!"

    Many moms agree, noting that multi-packs of TP currently cost between $9 and $12.

  • Kids' Shoes

    8

    "Toddler shoes cost as much as my shoes, yet are outgrown or destroyed within a month or two," notes howkhuntastic, a member of CafeMom.com.

    Good point. The pair pictured above is priced at $52. Yikes!

  • Vanilla Beans

    9

    I have a recipe for a delicious créme brulee, and as much as I want to make it (like, daily!), I save it for special occasions because of the insane cost of vanilla beans.

    So, just why is it that that innocent little thing sells for as much as $6.50 a bean? One of the most expensive spices, second only to saffron, vanilla beans are the most labor-intensive agricultural crop in the world. It can take anywhere from one to three years to produce a plant, according to ChicagoFoodies.com. I guess that explains it! 

  • Haircuts & Color

    10

    "My hairstylist wants $23 to blow out my hair after she colors it for $120," says a member of CafeMom.com who goes by the handle Anchorgurl. "If I get it trimmed (it's long and straight so it's really just the ends), that's $50, but no blow-out fee. Where does she come up with this fee structure? It makes no sense -- but I pay it because my hair always looks good."

    Finding a stylist you love is priceless, but do they need to charge so much?

  • Sunglasses

    11

    "My husband pays $210 for his sunglasses," notes CafeMom.com member Little Bear 10-5. "They are the Oakley Batwolf's. It's way too pricey but I have to say ... they are kind of worth it. He is a welder and he goes through glasses like no other. They have lasted a long time. And are pretty much unbreakable."

    Why are those little pieces of plastic so pricey? According to a CBS News report, Luxottica, an Italian firm, controls a chunk of the industry.

  • Milk

    12

    Many moms are having a cow (get it?) over the price of milk. 

    "I've never understood why milk, which is a perfectly renewable resource which is easy to obtain, costs more than gasoline. I've worked on a farm, I know how it's made, why am I paying over $3 a gallon for it?" asks a CafeMom.com member who goes by the name Mommy2bein2015.

  • Bacon

    13

    "I saw bacon for sale as a BOGOF (buy one get one free) with the regular price being $8.99 per pound for Smithfield. WTF? When did bacon get to be so expensive?" CafeMom.com member WickedOpal asks. 

    We dig the pig, but not at those prices. According to the New York Post, the cost of bacon shot up about 10 percent in 2014 alone and reached an all-time high of $6.11 per pound, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after a virus hit farms in more than 30 US states, killing millions of pigs.

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