Twice The Price, Twice The Fury: 45 Companies That Trick Their Customers Into Spending More MoneyBy Larissa C
The fact that companies get richer and richer is not a secret. With their prices constantly on the rise, it’s no wonder that global brands make so much money. But there is one thing that people don’t talk about that often. When you take inflation and others factors into consideration, it’s not that hard to understand why prices are always on the rise. But did you know that some companies find tricky ways of making even more money? It’s not like these things happen all of the time, but they happen quite often. Some sneaky companies manage to find ways to spend less money and make more profits by raising the prices of their products. In this article, we’re going to show you 40+ ways that companies tricked customers into spending more money. This way, you can stay alert the next time you go shopping!
They changed the shape of this popular chocolate candy.
Toblerone is a delicious candy, and they’re not that expensive if you consider the quality of the chocolate. However, the company behind this candy tried to trick customers into paying more after they did this major change to the candy:
This chocolate candy is well-known for its triangular shape. But imagine the surprise when customers found out that the company had added these gaps to the chocolate instead of making it a whole bar. And no, they did not lower the prices.
And we’re still paying the same price?
If companies want to shrink their products, that’s totally fine. The only problem with this is that they decrease the size of their products but keep the prices the same as before. This is not fair to customers, and it’s even worse that they try to mask it.
Let’s be honest: when we’re looking for a specific product at the grocery store, we don’t always check the weight of the product. We grab the same package as always, assuming it’ll be the same price-per-product. But maybe now you should start checking the weight, not just the price tag.
Changing the size but not the price.
As we said before, one of the sneakiest ways that companies find to make more money is to change the size of the products they sell but not change the price. This person bought their favorite chocolate candy and noticed that there was something different about it:
The chocolate was much smaller than it used to be, even though the packaging and the price remained the same. Apparently, the company that produces these chocolate bars wanted to set a weight limit for all their products. They should probably set a price limit as well!
Different flavors, different weights.
If you like chips, you probably have a favorite flavor, even if you enjoy trying different flavors from time to time. But did you know that, when you pick a flavor other than the original, you may be paying more and getting fewer chips?
Well, it turns out that this company tricks customers by changing the weight of their products, even if they’re both supposed to be “family size” packages. While the classic flavor weighs 10 oz, the sour cream and onion flavor has half an ounce less. How is this fair?
In another episode of brands that tricked their customers into paying more, this brand advertised its product as being sold in a “bigger bag.” While this was supposed to be great news, customers soon noticed that there was actually nothing big about this bag.
As you can see at the bottom of the picture, the weight of both bags is the same, right? Then, it makes no sense for the company to advertise the green bag as “bigger.” Especially not when we can see that it’s the air that is filling most of the green bag!
Why would you do this?
When we think about glassware, Pyrex is the brand that immediately comes to mind. This company is known for producing high-quality glassware products that are ideal to be used in the oven or microwave oven. But are they really good?
Some people have had problems with Pyrex glassware after the products exploded while in the oven. Technically, the glass should be able to withstand the heat, right? Well, turns out that the company had been using cheaper glass materials to increase their profits!
That’s kind of clever.
Cereal and milk are the typical breakfast for many of us. If you’re into this type of breakfast, however, you must’ve noticed how the prices are going up. And it seems like some cereal companies are trying to trick their customers!
This box of cereal advertises the product as containing 8 grams of protein in each serving. However, we can see in the smaller letters that half of the protein comes from the milk that you buy separately! How is that fair?
No way this is real!
One would think that companies have to follow certain standards and rules when creating their products, not just the weight of their package. However, it seems like some companies are disregarding those standards entirely when they choose to sell stuff like this:
Going back to the store to return this product would be the very first thing that we would do if we had been in this guy’s shoes. This is not a sneaky way of tricking customers; this is a complete disrespect for the customer’s money and dignity!
We want our money back!
If we’re talking about companies tricking customers in sneaky ways, we just have to mention this next case. When this guy stopped by the ice cream parlor to get his favorite gelato, he had no idea that we would be tricked like this:
Even though he paid for a full cup, he only got half of the cup. And the worst part is that he only noticed after he had finished eating the ice cream. Let’s hope that the ice cream parlor gave him his money back or at least gave him another half cup (to make a full one).
Flattening the corners of the bowl.
When we’re hungry but have no time to cook anything, the most efficient way of getting to eat something is to order food at a restaurant. But what do you do when the restaurant tricks you into thinking that you’re getting the most for your money?
This guy stopped by a popular fast food franchise and ordered a bowl of food. To his surprise, he noticed that the corners of the bowl had been flattened, which means that he is not getting as much food for his money as he used to.
How are we supposed to see the price like this?
Companies and stores are always finding new ways to increase their profits. Most of the time, they manage to do that in sneaky ways that the customer doesn’t always realize. But sometimes it’s pretty obvious that they’re trying to trick us.
This person, for instance, stopped by a grocery store to buy himself some pre-packaged sushi. He grabbed a box that looked appealing to him but didn’t check the tag. Once he got to the cashier, he noticed that the price of the food was hidden in a corner that the customers couldn’t even see!
Where’s the rest?
We already showed you how companies are now using larger packages to store products that are smaller. This way, when you buy something, you think you’re getting a lot for your money, but then you open the package and notice that you got tricked.
And that’s exactly what happened here. This person thought that they were going to get a lot of pork judging by the packaging. However, once they opened it, they saw that it was a smaller portion and that the plastic protecting the food took up about 40% of the space of the packaging.
You got us.
While some companies make packages larger to trick customers, other companies make their bowls and packagings smaller. However, they don’t make it obvious — they do that in a way that customers only realize after they paid for the product.
Once this person finished eating their food, he realized that the bottom of the box had an elevated floor. Because of that, when the container had food on it, it looked like there was a lot of food, which meant he got tricked.
Are you for real?
This next picture is so absurd that you may even think that it’s not real. When this guy went to a store to get some glue, he decided that getting a bigger bottle would be better than getting a small tube. He needed a lot of glue, and the small tube wouldn’t suffice.
However, he never thought that the “bottle” he was getting would actually have a smaller quantity of glue than the tube. That’s because it wasn’t actually a bottle that he got. It was a small tube disguised as a big bottle!
This should be illegal.
When we buy ice cream, it is pretty obvious that the companies tell their employees to put the bare minimum of ingredients in our orders. For instance, if you order a chocolate sundae, they’re going to try to give as little chocolate sauce as possible.
However, we don’t expect them to do something like this. This person thought that they were getting a vanilla and strawberry sundae. But as you can see, there was probably just a tiny bit of strawberry — most of it was actually a drawing on the cup!
And how are we supposed to get it?
Whenever we see one of those “get 1 free” deals, we think we’re making the most of our money. After all, we’re basically getting a product for free, right? Well, of course not. Companies would never miss the opportunity to make profits.
This guy thought that he was getting an extra 40% of lotion when he bought this bottle. Sure it was more expensive, but he was getting more product. The only problem was that the lotion came in a glass bottle, and he had no way to get the extra 40% out.
Maybe you should check it first.
Do you know how when you buy a bag of chips there is always a lot of air filling the space? Well, it seems like companies that sell chips are not the only ones who tend to use that trick. When this person bought this cleaning product and had quite a surprise when he opened the bottle.
See that yellow line on the bottle? That’s where the liquid was when the person opened the bottle. There is nothing above that line, which means that this person paid for the product but ended up getting a lot less than what they paid for.
It seems like flattening bottles and bowls is the newest trend that companies are following. This way, they can visually trick customers into thinking that they are getting what they paid for when, in reality, they’re spending more money for less product.
When you look at this bottle from the front, you would think that it’s just another regular bottle. But then you turn it to the side and see that they flattened the back of the bottle. When you buy a product like this, you are obviously paying for something and not getting what you paid for.
Just because of the color?
Let’s be honest: most of us don’t have the habit of reading the ingredients of anything that we buy. And some companies make the most of that fact by creating different products using literally the same products. They simply advertise them differently and charge more money.
That’s exactly what this guy noticed when he was trying to buy some cold medicine. He noticed that, while the boxes and the prices were different, the three medicines had the same ingredients and weight, which means that they’re basically the same thing!
This is plain math.
Usually, when companies come up with offers and deals for their products, they advertise them in a way that makes customers think that they’re saving money. Sometimes you are, in fact, saving some money. But sometimes, you’re not benefitting from the “deal.”
When you look at this ad, you would immediately think that the deal here is that you buy 1 for a price but if you buy 2 cans you can get a discount. Well, look again. They just did the math for you; adding up how much 2 cans would normally cost.
All that plastic for nothing.
Packaging can change how much you’re getting for your money, and we’ve already shown you how that’s possible. Companies change the shape of their containers, and they also trick you into thinking that the packaging is larger than it really is.
For instance, when this woman bought this lotion, she thought that the lid was smaller but that the container was bigger. However, she was surprised to see that the container actually had the same diameter as the lid. All that plastic wasted just to trick customers!
How is this possible?
Buying chips is always a complicated task. The prices of chips have gone considerably up, but it seems like this rise in prices is not fair to customers. Why do we say that? Because the size of the chips is going down.
This person found out that his favorite chips came in different sizes, even though they were from the same brand. Technically, if the product has shrunk, it makes sense that the prices should go down as well. Instead, they keep going up!
You didn’t have to include so much of it.
Sometimes, companies will inform you that the weight of their product is X, but then you’ll notice that it actually weighs less than that. This next company was honest when they said that the aluminum foil weighed 1 kilogram, including the packaging.
What they didn’t tell the customer was that the paper roll holding the aluminum foil was that thick. That’s almost (or even more than) twice the size of the layer of aluminum foil, and it’s really unfair on the customer to pay for that.
Ever heard of email?
Who said that companies responsible for the sale of food products are the only ones that try to trick customers? In this next picture, you’ll see that you’re not safe from scams even when you buy a book for college!
This person is not holding a book — they’re holding the packaging of an online book. You read that right. He bought the online version of this Calculus book, but he had to pay extra to receive the code that would give him access to the book. Maybe someone should introduce the concept of electronic mail to this company!
You think you’re smart, huh?
Earlier in this article, we showed you how Toblerone changed the shape of their chocolate but didn’t change the price. In this next picture, we’ll show you another example of how companies get you to pay more for less chocolate.
From time to time, companies change the design of their products. When Cadbury changed the design of this chocolate bar, they probably advertised it as a new version. However, the only thing that changed here was the size of the bar. Because of the round corners, the bar became lighter — but the price remained the same!
Toilet paper is not the same.
Perhaps you have noticed that toilet paper is not the same as it was before. And if you think that we are talking about the quality of the tissue, you probably haven’t noticed that companies are doing this to make more money:
When we buy toilet paper, it’s not like we have a way of measuring the rolls to check if they still have the same size. And maybe that’s why companies decided to shorten the rolls. We got to admit that this is quite a clever way of tricking customers.
Are you sure that’s all you decreased?
Some companies seem to think that they’re oh so slick. Well, they aren’t. They might come up with different ways to try and trick customers into spending more money, but there’s always that one person who’s going to realize it.
If you’ve been buying this oatmeal, you might not have noticed how they try to trick you with the small letters. While they say that the box on the right has 35% less sugar, it turns out that they also decreased the weight. Even if it’s just a few grams, they should’ve made the second product slightly cheaper.
We have different concepts of “free.”
It is not unusual for stores to raise the prices of their products a few weeks before big holidays and events. This way, they can change the prices back to normal during the holiday and claim that it’s a “special deal.”
Well, this brand did the same thing. While the bottle on the right says that the customer is getting extra liquid for free, the truth is that they’re literally selling the same product. And the worst part is that they even reduced the quantity!
How do you expect me to fall for this?
Usually, it’s the product that makes the brand famous — but certain brands become the face of a product instead. When we think of trash bags, Hefty is the brand that immediately comes to mind. But not anymore if they continue doing this:
You may be wondering what is wrong with this image. It’s quite clear that the box on the left is bigger than the one on the right, so there should be nothing sneaky about this. Well, if you look, the “mega” pack is actually short 10 bags!
When companies decrease the size of a product but increase (or maintain) the price, this is called “shrinkflation.” This process is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it seems that some companies have no problems with doing that.
Apparently, this company is no longer going to sell the 500ml bottles and is replacing them with 450ml bottles. Worse still, they cost the same! Sure, you can get 50ml for free if you get the bigger bottle — but once they’re gone forever, you’ll be paying the same price and getting less soda.
It’s not easy to find out that companies have been tricking us into spending more money. And if you’re feeling upset with what you’ve been seeing in this article, don’t worry. You can rest assured knowing that some of these companies have paid fines because they were trying to be sneaky.
However, it doesn’t seem like those fines and lawsuits won’t stop some companies from pulling the same tricks over and over again. As you can see here, there’s clearly a lot less coffee on the jar that comes with the extra bag. This deal is basically six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Are you sure this is bigger?
Over the years, products have become more expensive even though their sizes are shrinking. As awful as it may sound, this is basically part of the cycle of life. But acknowledging that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel upset when we see things like this:
There are a lot of things that we can point out here. First, “bigger size” just means a taller, slimmer bottle. However, if you look at the weight, you’ll see that the allegedly bigger bottle actually only has 25 oz, while the other one had 38 oz.
So we’re paying more for almost nothing?
When we order food at restaurants, it seems like paying $1 extra dollar to get a large meal is a great deal. However, this may not necessarily apply to drinks. Why? Because maybe you’re paying more but not getting a lot in return.
The cup on the left is the large version of McDonald’s orange juice, while the cup on the right is the regular version. This person paid more to get the large juice — but when they compared both cups, they noticed that they paid $1 extra dollar for almost no extra juice.
It’s getting smaller every year.
In this new episode of the never-ending saga of shrinkflation, here is something that might upset you. Everyone loves Tropicana juices — but we surely don’t love the fact that their bottles seem to be getting smaller with each year.
If you’re going to sell smaller bottles, that’s completely up to you, and the customer has to accept it. However, you should lower the prices at the very least. But no, these companies keep using shrinkflation as a way to increase their profits!
Is it too much to ask for a good shirt?
Back in the day, everything was different, including the way that things were created. Products were manufactured and made to last — nothing was “programmed” to have an expiration date. And it’s sad to see that even shirts are falling prey to planned obsolescence these days.
Planned obsolescence happens when companies create products that they know are not going to last very long. That’s why shirts are made with thinner fabric and cell phones die sooner. They’re meant to only last a few years before you need to buy a new one.
Why the box then?
Who doesn’t like eating chocolate candy at games or at the movies? Regardless of the brand or flavor, there is nothing like popping these heavenly candies into our mouths when we’re getting entertained. But imagine this guy’s disappointment when he saw this:
He bought this box of Skittles because he thought that it would have more candy than a regular-sized box. Turns out that he was wrong. The company put the candy into a tiny bag that didn’t even need a box of that size!
You don’t do things like this, man.
Imagine that you see a frozen pizza at the grocery store. You think that it looks really good and you could definitely have that for dinner. When you get home, you’re way too eager to open the box and put the pizza in the oven — and then your excitement is crushed.
Who would stay happy after seeing how the pizza looks outside of the box? The box was obviously designed to hide half of the pizza, and the manufacturer decided to not put any pepperoni exactly on the side that was unseen by the customer. This is pure evil!
You’ve got to be kidding us!
The fact that companies take advantage of customers in such sneaky ways is quite upsetting. But when they try to get people to spend more money in blatant ways? That’s just infuriating. Imagine how incredulous you’d be if you bought this package of sausage rolls:
Why would they call it a 12-pack if there aren’t 12 rolls in there? And it’s pretty absurd that this company would think that it’s reasonable to tell their customers that they actually mean that they’re going to have a 12-pack after they cut the 3 rolls that are inside the bag!
We’re disappointed in you.
At this point, you know very well that, when companies say that they’re giving you something for free or that you’re getting a bigger size for a better value, they’re probably lying. And if you need more proof, here it goes:
According to the company, one of those slightly larger bars of Snickers makes up for two smaller ones. But when this customer decided to compare the sizes, he noticed that it wasn’t necessarily true. Two bars still make up for more chocolate than the “large” one.
We’re going to expose you!
We all know how there is so much air inside bags of chips, but we still buy them anyway. Maybe it’s because we can’t actually see how much air there is inside the bags until we open them. But if we got to see the inside of the bag before opening it, it would probably look like this:
This person saw how there was more air than chips inside this bag, so they decided to expose the company that produced the chips. They turned the bag upside down to highlight the difference in quantity. It’s safe to say that there is 70% air and 30% chips here!
Is it because of the font?
We know how companies like to make bottles bigger while decreasing the quantity of the product inside. While they manage to get away with this sneaky trick most of the time, sometimes they are caught in the act by customers.
This person noticed how the smaller bottle had an extra 100 pills. What’s interesting is that these are the exact same products. The only difference is that they wrote “fast dissolve” in different fonts, so maybe that’s why the other bottle is more expensive!
Here is another episode of companies using packaging designs that are purposefully created to trick customers. The next time you go shopping, make sure to check if you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for, in order to avoid something like this:
This girl bought nail stickers, but she had no idea that she would only be getting a few stickers. You can totally see how the design was purposefully hiding the corners of the package so that the customers wouldn’t see that there were only a few stickers.
You could’ve used a smaller box.
If you love pizza, you must have noticed how pizzas seem to be getting smaller and smaller. At some point, we’re going to start having to order a large pizza just for ourselves! There are multiple reasons why this is happening, but we don’t care.
All that matters is that customers are paying the same or more than they used to and getting much smaller meals. We don’t know how this is fair but take a look at the pizza this guy got. A miniature pizza served in a regular-sized box?!
We see how sneaky you are.
The whole point of this article is to show you how companies are always finding sneaky ways to trick us into spending money while they’re saving money. And this next picture might just be one of the sneakiest ways we’ve seen so far.
This company sells an extra virgin olive oil blend. However, if you check the ingredients, you’ll see how the product contains 94% soybean oil and only 6% is extra virgin olive oil. The thing is, you can’t make a complaint about it because the keyword “blend” means they’re not technically lying.
There’s some tea in our cup of ice.
It’s nearly impossible not to notice how chain restaurants put so much ice in our drinks. Sometimes, it feels like there’s more ice in the cup than the actual drink. And while this may sound far-fetched, it is actually true in some cases.
This person ordered a venti-sized drink at Starbucks. Once he finished drinking it, he noticed how more than half of the cup was filled with ice. While you’re paying for the largest drink (which is not cheap at all), Starbucks is saving money because they’re serving more ice than the actual drink!