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20 Products With Giant Markups

economy high prices

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#1 Hum


    totally wAcKed

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 13:33

If you’re a merchant seeking profits, there’s only one way to find them: sell stuff for more than you pay for it.

But what’s a fair markup? Fifty percent? One Hundred? Two? It depends on both product and business, but one thing’s for sure – some consumer goods are being sold for a whole lot more than they cost.

Movie theater popcorn/candy

(1) Movie theater popcorn has an average markup of 1,275 percent, or (2) With a soda, that popcorn has a caloric equivalent of three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders? Nutrition aside, concessions like $5 tubs of popcorn and $6 boxes of gummy worms are big revenue streams for movie theaters.

Prescription drugs

Astronomical prescription drug prices – with markups ranging from 200 to 3,000 percent – are enough to give patients a headache. In fact, price hikes caught the eye of Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne, who is suing pharmaceuticals distributor McKesson Corp. for markups on Allegra, Celebrex, Coumadin, Flonase, Lipitor, and Valium.

To save on prescriptions, ask your doctor for free samples and about generic substitutes.


Shoppers in the market for a diamond should be prepared to pay anywhere from 50 percent to 200 percent more than the wholesale cost, according to TheStreet.com. Information at this Google Answers page suggests markups range from 50 to 400 percent.

Bottled water

Some claim bottled water’s markup reaches 4,000 percent – more expensive than gasoline. Saving is simple: drink tap water. If you’re concerned about taste or quality, use a water filtration system.

Salad bars

Some salad bar items are marked up more than 350 percent, according to Food Network Magazine. Items that aren’t worth their weight: chickpeas (386 percent markup over retail), radishes (302 percent), and baby corn (277 percent). To save, load up on the lighter items that cost less than you’d pay at the grocery store, like bacon bits (55 percent markdown) and grilled chicken (44 percent).

Eyeglass frames

Dishing out $450 for Armani frames? Markups for eyeglass frames can reach 1,000 percent.

Fountain soda

Order a glass of Coke when you’re dining out, and you could pay 300 to 600 percent over cost. Sure, you know going into a restaurant that you’re paying for the service and ambiance too. But if you’re looking to save without sacrificing a night out, skip the extras like soda and opt for water instead.

Text messages

Outgoing text messages on a cell phone can cost the provider three-tenths of a cent, but users up to 20 cents – that translates to a 6,000 percent markup. Some plans charge 10,000 times more for sending a text than other types of data. If you frequently send text messages, get an unlimited plan.


It’s not uncommon for restaurants to charge two or even three times retail for a bottle of wine. Order by the glass, and you’re sipping on an item marked up as much as 400 percent.

Hotel minibars

Whether you’re reaching for a Snickers or a toothpaste kit, minibar markups can hit 400 percent. Some of the most ludicrous minibar prices, according to Oyster.com: $14 gummy bears at Omni Berkshire Place and a $10 bottle of water at the Mansfield Hotel.

Coffee and tea

Lattes are one of life’s little luxuries, but they can be marked up by 300 percent.

Designer jeans

A $665 price tag on Gucci jeans and $225 for Sevens proves some shoppers are willing to go to great lengths for fashion. But these designer items are grossly overpriced. According to The Wall Street Journal, it costs about $50 to make True Religion’s best-selling jeans, Super T Jeans, but the wholesale price reaches $152 and the average retail price is inflated to $335.

Bakery goods

For items that can easily be baked at home, you could be paying a 100 percent markup

Greeting cards

Greeting cards are simple pieces of paper with a 200 percent markup.

College textbooks

Most college students will shell out about $655 for required textbooks this year, according to the National Association of College Stores. It’s no secret that most of these books come with monster markups.


An orchid can cost up to $25 per stem.

Furniture and mattresses

Furniture stores usually make a hefty margin, with markups of about 80 percent.


The average markup on cosmetics: 78 percent.

full article

#2 togermano


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Posted 28 September 2012 - 15:25

Interesting read thanks xx

#3 TTGSteve



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:52

Excellent post!

#4 remixedcat



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:56


#5 +TruckWEB


    Yeah, I did that...

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:58

Monster cable?

#6 Growled


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:15

Very interesting. I agree with these products but I've been of the mind for some time that almost everything is marked up too high. I guess these are the worst offenders.

#7 tsupersonic


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:16

They must have forgotten Ink cartridges?

#8 Simon-


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:19

Some things are ripoffs but I doubt that the writer has taken into account more than the cost of materials in these calculations. Like staff, r&d, interest on the loans that got these products to market in the first place, infeastructure, supply chain, the right to make money instead of working for free, etc.

In the end it comes down to Supply and Demand. How come Apple are selling an iPhone for $1000 when They can stillvmake a decent profit at $500? Because enough customers are willing to spend $1000 and still be a market success.

#9 blade1269


    Jesus Saved me! A Christian!

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:38

Someone forgot Apple.

#10 zhangm


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:55

This is not something that most people need to deal with, but:


Purified enzymes. :(

#11 Anibal P

Anibal P


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:57

Monster cable?

All cables, especially HDMI, get em online for a fraction of your local price