Getting a good deal on products you buy really isn’t as easy as you think it is. Over time, businesses have gotten pretty savvy at developing ways to fool their customers and according to the latest market news, even McDonald’s is being criticized for trying to make you think you are getting more fries than you really are. You may not be aware of how businesses are trying to trick you now, but you will be after looking at these five ways you are being fooled. Keep your eyes open and you are sure to spot more!
1. Incomplete Prices
At one point in time, airlines were famous for this. However, most people now realize that meals are no longer included and that the base fare for a flight doesn’t always include taxes and airport fees. This is called “unbundling” and the Feds have cracked down on this highly questionable practice in the airline industry that enabled some airlines to advertise totally unrealistic prices. However, many stores still do this when giving you the price of one part of a product that necessitates other pieces to work.
2. Packaging Gimmicks
Then there are packaging gimmicks that McDonald’s has recently been accused of. One former employee came forward and explained how employees were taught to pinch the containers for French fries to make it appear as though the carton was full. In actuality, it was about half full and oddly, few people questioned it. Other employees and former employees have since come forward to tell the same story, which Mickey D adamantly denies.
3. Beware the “Great New Look” Labels
Then there are those companies that cut the total amount with the “Great New Look” prominent on the label. In reality, the product is the same but may be smaller. Salad dressings and juices are two great examples of how this works. Yes, the container and packaging are new but so, too, is the amount you are getting. A half-gallon which should be 64 ounces may only be 59 ounces when placed in the new jug. Always check sizes to ensure you are getting what you think you are paying for. You are usually paying more for less.
4. The Great Mark Down Illusion
Then there is the mark down illusion many retailers mislead you with. They mark up a product for a short period of time, only to bring it back to where it was and maybe even a little higher than that! You will see it advertised as being marked down, but you really aren’t getting a deal after all. You may even be paying more than you did last time if you aren’t paying close attention.
5. Watch for That Telltale Asterisk
Then there is that telltale asterisk. Whenever you see an asterisk on a label, take the time to read the fine print. You may not be getting everything you think you are getting, especially when all the items pictured on the box aren’t included. It would be interesting to do a survey to find out just how many consumers have been fooled in this way, but a good estimate would probably tally to tens of millions, if not more.
So, are you really getting such a good deal? A savvy shopper learns the ropes and watches for these tricks. If you think about it, you’ll probably recognize dozens more ways in which businesses will try to trick you, so stay on the alert and you will get a good deal – a for real good deal.