These companies adjusted the truth of their packaging just enough to get buyers to believe them. Though, we doubt they ever thought we’d be writing this article calling them out for their schemes and lying ways. Next time you head to the supermarket, keep us and this list in mind. What you see isn’t always what you get!
If you've ever opened a bag of potato chips, you know that some packaging deliberately created the impression that a product renders more than it does. Though some companies may think it's worth their while to mislead customers to drive a higher profit, in the long run, it isn't such a wise practice.
Considering everything these days goes viral, all you need is one angry customer to catch onto your scam, and it'll be plastered all over the internet! Remember, things are not always what they seem, and behind every packet of something, lies one brand that is waiting to make a profit.
The joke's on you! Morello didn't promise anything, so it's completely our fault that we thought that this chocolate box was full of chocolate. Though we are just as upset as you are by this betrayal, we guess this is a "what you see what you get" kind of situation. This strategy is the perfect way to ensure a few repeat customers.
However, if we're being honest, isn't this assortment of chocolate the kind you receive as a holiday gift and then regift at your next dinner party? Let us be comforted by the fact that chocolate brands today are not as sophisticated or clever, and usually inside the box you buy, you will find some indulging and delicious moments.
Is there anything better than a pizza that's packed with pepperoni, is there? When you're picking out the perfect pizza, it's the thing to look out for. That is until you open the box only to discover it was all a hoax! Those three pepperonis peeking through the box waiting for you to take them home were the only ones on it.
Have no fear, fellow pepperoni lovers; we're here to expose this corporation's greed and remind you to double-check your whole pizza before bringing it home! Shake the box, get the pie to turn 160 degrees, and see exactly what's hiding on the other side of the pizza.
What is the story behind this old ruse? To most of us, M&Ms are a delicious snack we’ve enjoyed since childhood, but to the internet, this kind of trickery is oh-so-much more. So why the box and the bag? M&M’s decision to put a bag inside a box seems really silly because we were expecting more M&M’s – not just a regular bag of M&M's!
Not only is this disappointing, but it’s such a waste of packaging. Come on, M&Ms, we expected more of you! You're wasting your money while producing this and you are wasting our time!
Quorn Mini Sausage Rolls
Leave it to an asterisk to frame the Quorn Mini Sausage Rolls in their false advertising. There are only three sausage rolls in this package, but if you cut them into four, you get twelve mini rolls. It's simple math, really. If you wanted to, you could get 18 rolls, or even 24.
We're no sausage rolls experts, but we're pretty sure the point of buying these rolls is to fit a full sausage in it and not have to cut them into twelve bite-size rolls. If this was a product Quorn was proud of, they better rethink their marketing strategy.
As hard as it is for us to admit it, there's something about fast-food chain hamburger ads that have us instantly craving fast food. Whenever you find yourself fighting these cravings, just remember that the hamburger ad is perhaps the furthest thing from what you're actually going to get when you order. You'll probably be served fast food that doesn't look anything like you expected.
Who knew models weren't the only thing being airbrushed before being placed in ads?! And still, no matter how many times will tell ourselves that the real thing will look nothing like the ads, we find ourselves indulging in a yummy big mac and we've loved it.
Growing up, Skittles was always one of our favorite candies. The sensation of biting through the hard shell into a fruity, chewy center full of colors and flavors is one that always brings us back to the good old days. Who doesn't love tasting the rainbow? Well, apparently, some of our fondest childhood memories were cut into two...or less.
Skittles manufacturers include a bag of less than half of what is advertised. Taste the rainbow? More like more rain on our parade! And today, it's all even more than ever as you can find Skittles in a variety of colors, shapes, and flavors so the fraud doesn't seem to end.
Who didn’t love to have a safety-conscious brawl with friends with Nerfs back in the day? We know we did! While this may seem like the Nerf enthusiast's biggest dream, you're subject to quite the optical illusion. The manufacturer of this dart package created this scam by stacking the ones at the back.
It definitely had us fooled! These days most toys and gadgets come in transparent packages so the buyer can see exactly what is in the pack. Say goodbye to Nerf's scam, and say hello to safety buying.
Believe it or not, Panera Bread has been caught red-handed manipulating customers. Yes, the Panera crew does bake their bread on the spot, but that doesn't mean the dough is made from scratch at that same location. Prepared dough arrives every day and may or may not be frozen. So, you may be eating fresh bread, just not completely fresh.
Now, when you think of it, it is exactly like the frozen stuff you buy at the local store and bake at home. There is no difference at all, except for the final price you are charged when buying at Panera Bread. Scam or not, it is up to you to decide.
Well, isn't this ad a roller coaster of emotions? At first, you're upset because you think you just received a parking ticket, then you're relieved it isn't a parking ticket, but then you're upset again because someone tricked you into thinking you just got a parking ticket. Honestly, how is this marketing technique even legal?
In our opinion, it isn't even funny; if anything, it's the perfect way to make prospective customers take their business elsewhere! this is a perfect example, of bad marketing, bad advertising, bad copywriting, and we suppose a bad brand too.
We're sorry to be the ones that burst your bubble when it comes to Pizza Hut, but someone has to do it. Some judge their pizzas based on their crust, while others judge based on their cheesy goodness. But in order to judge the quality of the cheese, you've got to be sure you're eating a real cheese pizza.
A couple of years back, health inspectors from the UK standards department tested fast-food pizzas for authenticity and discovered that nearly all of the pizzas (including Pizza Hut) were made with imitation cheese. We don't want to know what exactly fake cheese entails, but we're hoping Pizza Hut learned its lesson!
Many things differentiate the European Union and the United States; it turns out, the packaging is one of them! Organic farming, production, and labeling have been regulated in the European Union since 1991. Meaning, this kind of packaging would be banned in the European Union.
In the United States, on the other hand, the organic food industry seems to be making more and more money every year. That's probably why regular companies decide to label their foods organic and gluten-free even when they're not! Horrific and dangerous, to say the least!
A classic scam; the footlong sub was never really a footlong. When it was measured, the sandwich came to be only 11 inches. When trying to defend their decision, Subway said that their "Footlong Sub" is just a trademark as a descriptive name for the sub and was not intended to measure length.
The cost of the famous sandwich jumped significantly escalated in the past few years, so we're hoping they changed its length to the advertised size, or else, in the future the measuring tape will become a necessity whenever going out for a sub.
You know when you think you know someone and then one day you realize that you don't know them at all? Well, that is exactly what happened to many with Starbucks. If there's one reason people wait for all-year-round for fall, it's Starbucks's Pumpkin Spice Latte. At first, it seemed like there was no reason not to love the sweet latte; it even gained a cult-like following.
That was when in 2015, food blogger Vani Hair, also known as Food Babe, revealed that there was no pumpkin in the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It has many other - not so healthy - ingredients. All of that being said, it hasn't stopped the masses from lining up at Starbucks the moment leaves start changing colors.
It seems like the label "natural" doesn't really mean anything these days. Especially when it comes to advertising, these labels seem like just another marketing tool. Natural can be applied to anything as long as it doesn't contain artificial flavors, synthetic substances, or added color.
That being said, "natural" doesn't apply to the use of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or foods containing natural sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. Naturally, we're upset! Another bit of natural info: when your favorite shampoo states 98% of natural origin, it is referring to the water. You are welcome.
When we talk about trust issues, this is what we mean. When you advertise a Snickers bar that is twice the size of the regular one, make sure you get rid of all the regular Snickers candy bars in sight. Otherwise, consumers will catch on to you pretty fast, as they did here. It's like Snickers didn't think anyone would bother making a size comparison.
We can't speak for you, but we know we won't be falling for this offensive display of marketing any time soon! Since then Snikers has replied and said that the number two refers to the number of units and not necessarily of the original size. Sorry Snikers, you still haven't convinced us.
We all know that going to the grocery store means you'll be confronted with an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to cooking oils. If you're looking for olive oil, this bottle of Olio may stand out. After all, the words "olive oil" stand out in big, bold letters.
The words "sunflower oil," on the other hand, are cleverly hidden, so you won't know that you're only getting 10% olive oil. Look again, yes, right there! 90% sunflower oil and 10% olive oil - this was not an accident! Where are the regulators? Where is legislation? Why do food companies get away with this?
The name Hershey's has become synonymous with chocolate; we can all agree on that, right? The Almond Joy, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and the famous Kisses are all products of one of the world's biggest candy producers. Needless to say, when it comes to Hershey's products, we expect a little more.
This solid milk Stanley Cup - one would expect - to be a full chocolate statue. Why would we ever expect half of one? Alas, what you see isn't always what you get. If they were looking to save chocolate, wouldn't it have made more sense to make the chocolate cup hollow? Just a thought!
Though it is known as a delicacy worldwide, it seems like very few people actually encounter pâté in their everyday life. Keeping that in mind, if you love pâté, you’re in for a surprise...not a good kind of surprise, though. This pâté company completely misled consumers with their packaging.
Not only does it look like you're getting nearly twice as much bang for your buck, but the packaging is so fancy, there's no way they could deceive you. ...Or is there? This brand could have avoided our frustration and disappointment and avoided itself from starring on our list if only then had marked on the packaging that this contains two slightly larger-than-bitesize pieces.
We all know the feeling; once we pick up a bag of our favorite kind of chips, we excitedly wait for the chance to eat them in peace on the couch with our significant other. But when we tear into them, that enormous bag we were going to split with our other half is only about half full.
With a great, big sigh of disbelief, we become so frustrated with this crime that we start to wonder whether or not it’s time to give a single life a try. Just think of it. A big (half-empty) bag of your favorite potato chips all to yourself.
In 2011, HP learned the hard way that you shouldn’t do things casually in an attempt to rival the Apple iPad. The problems they faced were rushing production for another company’s idea, so not only were they unoriginal, but they were in a hurry to get it off the ground, which they never really did.
With its faulty software, lousy marketing, along with many other disappointing factors, the Touchpad is an example of how *not* to create and release a tech product. Some things are better left to the experts ( apple anyone?) and trying to compete with the best has proven once again that these attempts will end in disaster.
Welcome to the future, where everyone gets a 3D television! It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but with several companies attempting and failing, it doesn't seem to be a venture worth spending time and money on. It was priced high for obvious reasons, but mix that and its mediocre performance, and you're in for a disappointing combination.
At one point, the whole seemed like a ploy to get people to buy the most expensive televisions on the shelf with no real justification. And besides, did the designers and manufacturers of this 3D device seriously believe that people would come home from work and the first thing they would want to do is put a pair of spectacles on? We think not.
We guess the saying "bigger is better" isn't always true. Just ask Natrol buyers - they know! Natrol manufacturers realized this might be the best way to get customers to spend more money on fewer pills; just put them in a bigger bottle! Only real MVPs know that to beat the system, you've got to read the bottle.
Here's to all the people that read and compare bottles; you deserve this win and any other win to come in the future! Brands all over the world keep trying to fool us with the same product just in a bigger packaging. We say enough is enough, people should start waking up around here.
Though she may be the world's youngest self-made billionaire, Kylie Jenner's Kylie Skin skincare line was turning heads, and not in a good way. When she released a walnut scrub, dermatologists had their doubts when it came to the ingredients.
It turns out, crushed walnuts, which are the main ingredient in this product, have been proven to cause more damage than good to the skin. As it turns out, the facial scrub consisted of particles that were too rough for the delicate facial skin and caused micro tears on the face. It caused irritation, inflammation, and on some occasions, infections too.
The world is saturated with fitness devices. From Apple Watches to Fitbits, it seems like gadgets are here to stay. Nike also wanted in on the action and released its FuelBand, a pioneering concept in some aspects. But, the FuelBand was worthless to anyone who didn't own a Nike+ product, a product that hadn't been heavily advertised.
The fact that everyone was manufacturing fitness trackers made it hard for Nike to keep up its game, and after a few years, it was discontinued. Nike should know by now that they should stick to what they do beast. Sport shoes, sport clothing, and sport ads. leave the devices to others.
Soft Serve Society
Wow, just when you thought that companies couldn't get any lower — the Soft Serve Society in London pulled this trick. If they cared about their customers and the future of their business, a ploy like this might not be the best idea. When you ask for large ice cream, one would expect to receive a large ice cream.
Soft Serve Society decided to put a small ice cream cut into a larger one to make it look more appetizing. Still, this packaging illusion probably had many customers melting (no pun intended) with anger!
Honey Nut Cheerios
Even the beloved Honey Nut Cheerios aren't exempt from lying to their buyers. As we've seen up until now, many manufacturers continually decrease the volume and weight of their product, only to market it as a larger package! The Cheerios box weighs less than the standard size box, 5.4 ounces versus 17 ounces found in the usual offering.
Cheerios, shame on you! Another bit of information about Cheerios from us to you. The fact that they are coated in honey does not make them any less harmful than the regular ones that are just simply full of sugar.
Consumers have been complaining about the company's practices of Starbucks for years; people have even gotten the law involved! Here's something to notice next time you order an iced drink at the world's most famous coffee shop. Ice! Starbucks loads its drinks with ice, which leaves you with two sips best.
Your best bet around this scam is to order the drink with no ice and ask for a cup of ice on the side to add yourself! Take that, Starbucks! If you're (Starbucks) not going to change your ways, then we will have to.
Scandals may come and go, but the love for fast food stays forever and don't you just love fried chicken? So here is a little fact that you might not love that much. In 2013, a video of an employee showcasing mac-and-cheese and green beans went viral. "Why," you may be asking yourselves.
Well, according to him, they had been there "three of four days." Not only that, but the employee repackaged the food to be served the following day! The video surfaced again in 2017, and KFC stated that their policies and practices had been improved since the filming.
Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Apparently, no one; there was only one cookie in the package. There has to be a reasonable explanation of why this cookie company produced containers that fit one cookie. We feel bad for whoever bought these cookies; even if the weight on the packaging is correct, it's still very disappointing to see that companies trick their buyers like this.
The plastic packaging might have cost more than the actual cookie production, which turns this product into something very uneconomical to the consumer, but, perhaps very profitable to the manufacturer.
Why would Listerine ever think to wrap their packs in another pack if they weren't packing two packs together? The answer? Apparently, the breath strips are very breakable, and they need extra protection. Other than the fact they tricked us into thinking there were at least two packs of Listerine strips in this packing, it's just plain wasteful.
They definitely could have designed a smaller package, but then again, why would being straightforward with their customers appeal to them? there are s many wrong things about this product. There is no sustainability, no transparency and it is no pride in being on this LISTerine.
Is it ever too early to learn that the real world will only disappoint you? Well, if you want to get a kickstart at teaching your kids, these Essence nail stickers are exactly what you need. How is one supposed to "be happy" when only one-third of this whole packaging is full? Perhaps kids (more than us) will understand that nothing comes before profit and that this was a completely reasonable marketing move.
And do you know what the worst thing is? and we have a feeling this was done deliberately. Any child will be gone and done with this within no time, which will make us go and buy another pack.
When the image doesn't completely reflect what lies on the packaging, the brand might risk us ever going back for more. The first time we ever bit into a pop tart, our world was forever rocked. The pastry is filled with a delicious filling only Pop-Tarts knew how to create, and don't get us started on that sweet frosting!
Our nostalgia has got us craving Pop-Tarts...just not the one in this photo. What happened here? Why did Pop-Tarts think it was okay to slack on the frosting? We need answers, and no, the excuse of "it taste exactly the same" is not acceptable.
If you've gotten this far in the article, this one will definitely not surprise you. At first, we laughed. But then, we became upset. Yes, we will admit these shrimp look questionably long, but this kind of deception still troubles us. What can you do with shrimp heads anyway? If anyone has any shrimp head recipes, please, send them our way!
Getting upset is one way of dealing with this however, another way is comprehending that shrimp heads are the perfect base for Bouillabaisse. The classic and ultimate French delicacy. When Chinese brands give you small shrimp, make shrimp soup out of it.
Spam is annoying as is; we don't need Spirit giving us a heart attack too! Opening up this e-mail, we might have a mini heart attack. Miss, our flight? Never! Now that we've got that settled, we can breathe deep and let the anger wash away, knowing sooner rather than later, we'll be on vacation. A vacation we wouldn't miss in the world.
Take that, Spirit! This is another great example of what happens when a company (and it doesn't matter which one), pays low salaries to average workers that produce bad copywriting.
When "more to share" really means "more plastic wasted," we're ticked off! Doritos thought of a clever way to sell more expensive bags of chips when really, you're getting the same amount. If there's something our parents taught us, it's always read the fine print, and let's just say we're happy we listened to them!
The Doritos bag claims it's a bigger bag, but reading the tiny text; you'll notice it contains the same amount as the standard bag. Remember- the size doesn't always count, there is more (or less) than just the packaging and at the end of the day, listening to our parents will only benefit us. We promise.
When an ad is disguised as an emergency alert, we can’t help but be unimpressed with such a weak tactic. Getting people's attention through tricks about an emergency exit is dangerous but also incredibly tacky. Using such a cheap trick is a great way to ensure that your consumers are cautious.
And besides, this is supposed to bring people into a tranquility zone, right? We mean, that it was meditation is all about. Since when in bright red and the words emergency and every, been related to tranquility? We have a feeling Master Kirsty found herself alone at Heart of Bay and began 2018 solely.
We never really liked googly eyes; they always had a way of irking us out. Now we have all the more reason to dislike them. You'd expect the jar to have a substantial amount of googly eyes inside, wouldn't you? However, when you look at the bottom of this bottle, there's a plastic tube right down the middle. This has us rolling our (googly) eyes!
You would have thought that considering these eyes weigh so little and are relatively easy and cheap to produce, they would have offered a full bottle's worth of eyes, but then again, business is business, and if the producer of these can do whatever they want, so can we. No more purchasing eye for us.
The last time we checked, our vision was 20/20, and we weren't color-blind. That being said, this explicitly says green lock, so why is it blue? Perhaps they meant that the locks are eco-friendly, which would be a sound explanation for what's written. Even so, this still doesn't explain why they decided on advertising a materially green lock.
It adds both unnecessary confusion and disappointment when you're anticipating finding a green lock. And besides, who are they to decide which color lock we should end up with? A green bike goes with a green lock and a blue bike goes with a blue lock. Let's see if you can explain this any differently t a child.
Kellogg's Eggo Waffles
Some parents use foods kids love to trick them into eating fruits and veggies. Well, Kellogg's one-upped parents in the biggest ruse of them all, advertise blueberry waffles, but then only put ONE blueberry in them. This is a sure way to have kids going crazy for these waffles, and their parents are too confused and angered to say no!
The rules are very simple to follow so repeat after us. Not all green edible things are healthy (green Skittles for example), occasionally you come across a plural word, however, a single word is what's more likely to e found (blueberry and blueberries), and most importantly, if Kellogs and the brand behind the food, there is a limit to how good it can be.
The greater the expectation, the greater the disappointment. This has got to be some sort of practical joke, don't you agree? Who doesn't want a balloon in the shape of a smiley face? We know we do. Just imagine throwing an Emoji themed birthday, finding these perfect balloons, blowing them up in anticipation, and then seeing this...
This has got to be an AliExpress product that was bought for $0.99 (for a pack of 100) and not one minute of thought was invested when designing this. Now all that is left is to think about a good excuse that will resonate this to a seven-year-old happy birthday child.
Growing up, going to carnivals was our favorite thing to do. Not because of the rides or the prizes, but because of the corn dogs. How excited we were to find them in a store, bringing the thrill of the carnival home with us. That was until we opened the box. Something is missing here. Is it the pancake or the sausage? To us, it seems like both.
When Jimmy Dean advertised five sticks, what they meant was five sticks. Nothing else. It's either this or the assembly line in the factory mistook the chocolate on a stick with the package-covered hot dogs and ended up with this. We have no other explanation.
Once again, this list proves that advertisers use all sorts of ways to trick us, the consumers, into buying what they're offering. This time, it's no laughing matter. When you advertise rope - using a climber in the packaging - you should expect climbers to buy the product. This is why this makes it all the more dangerous that this is not climbing rope.
We're left with one question. Of all the things to do with rope, why advertise the one thing you cannot use this rope for? We're still surprised that someone hasn't sued this brand for the misleading image on the packaging.
This is the exact reason we have trust issues. If you can't trust strawberry candy, what else is left? This type of candy is the kind we'd never buy for ourselves but are so extremely excited to receive. That's why this "cup" of candy is absolutely disappointing to us.
The least you could do is fill the bag up a little more! we can see this exploding into your face and leaving you shocked right after discovering that what you intended to share, is going to have to be eventually, only yours.
If you want to torcher a child, this is the way and this lollipop is taking veganism to a whole new level. Not only is it unacceptable to eat animals, but the thought of eating an animal-shaped lollipop is just beyond comprehension. We get that eating a panda bear may be a little wrong, but what about a lollipop?
All we wanted was a beary-flavored lollipop! How do you explain this to a child? That it's all marketing tricks and that the lollypop is in fact just like all others, and the only thing that defers this for the simple ones is the price?
One a Day
Well, well, well, what do we have here? When your product is literally called One a Day, but the recommended dose is two gummies, you may want to reconsider the serving size. This is one of the moments that has us shaking our heads, saying, "You only had one job!"
We can't help but wonder if consumers actually paid attention to the fact that they were supposed to take two supplements rather than one. Now we know what the brand is going to claim. That the word ONE refers to the serving and not to the amount. Please, do not abuse our intelegents. When it comes to accuracy, you suck.
This may seem like a harmless sticker. Guess again, it's anything but! This "sticker" is actually a part of this TriAdalean bottle. This diet pill company decided to strategically place stick a seemingly fake "review" of their product on the health warning. Because honestly, who needs health warnings? They're probably not saying anything too important, anyway.
And another question we have that we can't get out of our heads. Why is this TriAdalean making a comeback? Why did it leave in the first place? we suspect there was a very good reason for it abandoning our world before it make a comeback and started to hide health warnings.
This old trick makes us think we're getting a significant portion of chocolate—but shame on the manufacturers for their sneaky ways. You probably just ruined someone's childhood with your meager portions. The child that gets this will remember the Easter Bunny as a big phony and a liar.
Now for the parets point of view; Thank you Easter Bunny for taking my child's health as a priority and providing a reasonable amount of chocolate. Kids these days have too much candy as it is. From what we can see, there are more than six eggs. That is more than enough t share with the entire family.
It might seem sleeker when high-end restaurants omit dollar signs on their menu or for that little boutique not to include them on their price tags. But there's something more at play: Marketing researchers speculate that we're more likely to spend extra when we don't see the dollar signs, likely because it helps reduce the psychological "pain of paying."
We kind of understand this. Number one is a low number, and who doesn't like buying things that cost low? Especially when it comes to oranges and other fruits that have seemed to rocket through the roof with their prices and make it almost impossible to eat healthy. Keep up the good work supermarket.
Not Very Eco-Friendly
Well, this looks like a shameless lie. Why put “biodegradable” on a plastic package that is obviously not very eco-friendly? Because nowadays people make an effort to buy earth-friendly products. It doesn’t matter if their packaging is really biodegradable or not. It’s using whatever means possible to get the product off the shelf.
The next thing we will see is a vox of candy with labels on it that read; no sugar, no artificial sweeteners added, no coloring, and no taste in your mouth at all. "You won't believe this is not chocolate!"
Being able to order everything from clothing to groceries with just one click is all about making shopping convenient, right? Sure, but it comes with a considerable upside for retailers such as Amazon. One-click ordering makes us much less likely to abandon those virtual carts, meaning we spend more than we otherwise might if we had to click a few more times or manually enter payment information.
Eventually, everything will go online, and before we know it, walking in a mall will be unheard of. We will buy more, the brands will invest less and one-click ordering will be a part of our lives like taking a bath ( which we can't see being offered online).
Dove came out with a brand new size for their range their men's range of body wash! It costs a few extra dollars, but it might be worth those few extra dollars, right? Wait a minute! Nice try, Dove, those red letters indicating the "XL" size doesn't mean much when we compare the two bottles next to each other.
So there you go folks, another one of our all-time favorite brands had managed to show that they are no better than Skittles, Snickers, or any other b=name we have mentioned here on our list. Next time you go shopping for toiletries, remember to compare old packaging with new ones. Apparently, the only difference is a bright red sticker.
This one is for anyone who ever wondered why that jar of peanut butter isn't $5 instead of $4.99. In a strategy called "charm pricing," marketing researchers have found that we're more likely to think we're getting a deal at $4.99 because we associate the price more closely with $4 instead of $5. On the flip side, there is "prestige pricing," high-end retailers are better off using rounded prices shoppers are more likely to associate with quality and luxury.
Some claim that although 4.99 seems cheaper, the actual space this figure takes up is larger, whereas $5 may be higher in price but takes up less space and to some look cheaper. And besides, who what to talk about cents when you're referring to upper-class buyers?
When Using the Kettle Wasn’t Free
When you check into a hotel, you might have a kettle in your room, which you would assume is for free use. But if you read through the binder, you’ll actually find there’s a fine for using the kettle, and only if reach the end of the binder. Basically, this is one example of how hotels scam their customers, they do the same with the mini-fridge.
The mini fridge is never locked, the door is always transparent for us to see what they have on offer and when you're staying with kids at one of these hotels, no matter how many times you say "Do not take anything out of the fridge", you end up finding yourself with a larger than life bill at the end of your stay.
There's another reason besides convenience that subscription boxes and similar services suddenly seem so prevalent. Basically the hassle of canceling a subscription, even one that we don't often use — keeps companies' pockets full. It's true even though we're also unlikely to consume enough of something to justify the fixed price, and researchers find we would be better off giving in to the occasional splurge than signing up for a flat rate — even if it might seem like a great value.
Nowadays (thankfully) there are companies that work at getting you disconnected. They do the running after, they do the threatening and they do the shaming. Most service providers do not one to come across one of these.
Hiding the Download Button
This isn't clever at all, it's just incredibly annoying. To get the right button, you need to click on a host of fakes. Clicking the wrong one means opening a pop-up ad. We sure are getting tired of this kind of trickery and it does a good job of making us lose interest rather quickly.
And what we don't get is, how come haven't these brands realized that they are losing wanting to download customers, and instead they prefer to make loads of money from advertisers? Go figure. It's all down to priorities.
It would seem that supermarket shoppers don't like pushing around empty carts — it could be that it just feels like something is missing. Top marketing specialists say a cart that's double the size can lead customers to buy 40% more on average than they planned to in the first place. So while none of us like to run out of room, next time we head to the store, we should consider opting for a basket or a smaller cart to avoid supermarket overspending.
And here's a better idea. Use a shopping list, buy only what you need, and save and save a few bucks so you can buy more of the other things you don't need.
Blending the Exit Button With the Background
In another lousy attempt at getting people to subscribe to their services, this ad suggests you have to pay some sort of subscription to continue. Most users probably won't see the white ‘X’ hidden in the top right corner of the ad to exit the screen, leaving you no choice but to click 'continue.'
So remember this. Behind every free-of-charge sign, there is something that costs money. That something is usually much better than the initial product you were planning to buy, and the most important iron-clad rule we have to offer you is this. Every pay-to-subscribe ad has a hidden X somewhere.
Good Ol' Nostalgia
Retro movie posters and old-fashioned video games have been a hot holiday gift for a few years now, and to retail experts, that's no surprise. It turns out that fond memories make shoppers happy — and that burst of emotion is far more likely to make you buy something. Next time a company churns out some throwback product, enjoy the reminiscing but consider keeping your wallet closed.
We won't be surprised if the next ad campaign will feature Pack-man, Tetris, and Donkey Kong. Just look at the noise Mario and his old-time favorite brother Luigi have been making in the past year.
A prospective student's interest might be piqued when they come across this sign, thinking that they can finally get that university degree or diploma they wanted. But if we look closely, we can see that they've sneakily added the word "equivalent" in-between "University" and "Degrees."
Don't let these signs fool you and remember, the rules of this game are pretty easy to follow. There are no shortcuts. If you want a university degree, you will have to go to university, and if you want something that is equivalent to it, then you can settle for Richfield.
Liberal Return Policies
Common sense would tell us that we return more purchases when retailers have liberal return policies on their products. This may be true — but retailers have also found that shoppers are more likely to buy in the first place when these flexible policies are in place. Interestingly, longer return windows also mean there are fewer returns, probably because shoppers feel less urgency to decide whether to return their purchases and can even forget.
We come to learn that behind every rule and regulation, there is reasoning and a story. We find it hard to believe shops have voluntarily extended the return period. they knew the longer you wait, the less chances of you turning up.
"Would you like to add a special item for 99 cents?" If you've ever ordered at a fast-food chain, you've no doubt heard of this casual attempt at upselling. And if you've shopped online, you've certainly been shown items related to the product you're checking out or bundles of related items sold for less than what they would cost if bought separately.
So is this a deal? Only if you were planning to do it, to begin with. When you think of it, $0.99 is nothing, especially when you are about to spend much more on whatever it is you are buying. But stop for a moment and think how many customers in one day, add $0.99. That works out to a little bit more than nothing.
There's a reason that a brand you've never heard of is broadcasting all its five-star reviews in a gush of Facebook ads. You'll probably be a lot more interested in a product — and more inclined to buy, of course — if "everyone" is raving about it. This simple concept is called "social proof" in marketing and it also applies to companies when they have expert testimonials or include sales numbers in their advertising.
Are all of these reviews genuine? We don't know. Did all of the hotel visitors on Booking, really stay at the hotel? We can't say. What we can say is, reviews are objective, nine times out of ten they are written by someone who has a personal interest, and at the end of the day, personal experience os the best measure of product quality.
Strategic Store Layouts
Even the most faithful Ikea enthusiasts will reveal how hard it is to navigate the maze-like store. Want to sound smart? It's called the "Gruen effect" — the simple idea behind this is that exposing you to more products will encourage you to purchase even more products. You can also see this in action at your local supermarket, where you'll need to cross through as much of the store as possible to get that gallon of milk tucked away in the furthest back corner.
Another thing Ikea does very well, is the exhibition rooms at the front of the store, making you see how beautiful the sofa you want to buy, will look with four exquisite cushions, for $65 apiece.
That’s a Big Swing
If we do the math here, one Mb equals 1000k, so if their minimum speed is 256k, it could vary by 1000 to 2000k. Technically, that means the speed could just be 0. We don't want to call this broadband provider out for being dishonest, but if it wasn't for this asterisk, they should definitely be charged with intent to commit fraud with a misleading statement.
Next time we suggest knocking on someone's door, you know is connected to the internet provider you are thinking o joining, and see for yourself how things run. That is the only way to get accurate information. Honesty is beyond them.
Many people would recoil when it comes to dishing out $50 for a T-shirt. But what if you were also shown a $25 T-shirt and a $100 T-shirt? Suddenly the $50 T-shirt doesn't seem so pricey anymore — and if you want to balance price and quality, it seems entirely reasonable. Chances are the retailer wants you to choose a certain one and will price one of the other options — the "decoy" — in an excessive way that will steer you back to the 'more reasonable' option.
The easiest way to get around this is to set a budget before going out shopping. If you decide that $35 is the max you are willing to pay for a new top, then no matter where they place the more expensive one or the less attractive one, if it's more than what you want to pay, the positioning has no meaning.
Deals with Multiples?
Supermarkets love to show off their deals like "10 for $10" or "3 for $6." The reason is quite apparent: Shoppers tend to buy more, sometimes a lot more, than they need to maximize on this "deal." This often holds true even when the store doesn't require shoppers to buy ten cartons of yogurt, for example, to get them for $1 each — simply because of the power of suggestion.
Just think of it. A shop makes $0.30 profit on every $1 you spend. Selling something for cheaper by bulk might decrease their profit of one item, however, increases their over-turnover which eventually results in making loads of money. Buy only what you need.
Is a size eight really an eight? Or is it closer to a 10, or even a 12? Many clothing brands have been putting smaller-size labels on larger-cut clothes for a while now, and while it can make figuring out what size you really are a headache in any given store, the practice shows little sign of slowing. To put it simply, fitting into a smaller size makes shoppers feel good, and shoppers who feel good are more likely to buy.
And where are they going to buy? At that same shop that made them feel good. No two 10-sized from two different brands are the same size, so if you are a brand owner, remember to do whatever you can to make customers feel good. Even if it men lying about the actual size of your clothes.
Far from an attempt at rewarding their regular customers, loyalty programs are all about reinforcing their purchasing behavior. Shoppers who buy more — exactly what the retailers want, of course — are rewarded with a discount or some kind of deal, and that reinforces their behavior that buying more gives them a reward.
So the cycle repeats itself, lining the retailer's pockets even more as shoppers pursue their next reward. The 10th cup of coffee you are rewarded with after buying nine cups costs the brand a fraction of the amount of money you have spent and going to spend in the future.
When Optional is Not an Option
This form will not allow you to request a quote unless you give them your phone number, which they falsely claim is optional. So, now, you know they’ll be calling you incessantly. Scams like this can take the form of a bogus Facebook page or online retailer website. Don’t do it, people: IT’S A TRAP.
If you are not familiar with the company that is asking for your information if you don't plan on buying anything from the service provider in the future, skip it. There are other ways of getting what you need, besides sharing your identity online.
The Trojan Horse Email
This type of email is the black death of scams. It begins with a chain letter, joke, e-card, or personal email being sent from an anonymous address. When the email is opened, a secret “backdoor” can give a hacker access to your computer. Let’s just say, the scammer isn’t going to use this information for fun. Beware of the Mariah Carey CD that will be bought with your credit card.
We appreciate the fact that credit card companies nowadays, insure every purchase you make and every purchase you claim you didn't make, so if your card has been used, you will get your money back, but who wants to deal with canceling cards and using new ones now?
We’ve all seen those fishy ads that read “Need to lose weight this summer?” “Reduce your body fat and build lean muscle without any exercise.” This deceptive scheme lures consumers with the promise of a miracle in the form of a pill that will never work. These products, for the most part, aren’t approved by the FDA and are dangerous at worst and useless at best. If you want to lose weight and get into shape, unfortunately, there is only one way.
Do exercise, balance what you eat, get rid of emotional food consumption, and come to terms with the fact that all of the loose weight without getting up off the sofa ads are a waste of time, and nothing real lies behind them.
When Approximately 40 Actually Means 28
Apparently, the word 'approximately' means that brands can say whatever they want without any consequences. So this is another sneaky way of making consumers think they know what they can expect. “Approximately 40″ could be any number, really. After all, 100 is close to 40 on a scale of one to one thousand.
We can't answer how this brand gets away with it, but there is one question we do have an answer for. Will we ever buy these pepperoni pizza snack rolls? Absolutely not. Not about, not perhaps, and not maybe. Without a doubt, never been so determined in our lives we will not buy this.
When Brands Shamelessly Lied
Reading a label that says “Enriched with vitamin A” makes shoppers feel like they might be buying something at least marginally healthy. The least you deserve is to get what you think you're paying for, right? But it turns out it’s a complete fib — all one has to do is look at the nutrition facts to see that it's a total sham.
There is no Vitamine A just like there are no Vitamins B, C, or D. If you want something that is considered healthy and in fact IS enriched with some sort of vitamines, we suggest looking in a known health store that appreciated the honesty and doest waste its time publishing false messages.
Guess We Will Never Know
This pen has a pitch-black inkwell inside, so this way – it basically looks full all the time. But the dilemma with this is, customers will never know how much was in it to begin with. If we've seen anything from this list, we reckon these Staples pens are only half-full ink.
The worst part is you can only tell once you've bought the pen that the inkwell is black! We suggest having a set weight for pens like this. This way, when you reach the counter to pay for the goods, you can weigh the pen and see if it meets standards. So simple and so genius.
Hello, I'm a Paper Bottle
So you've decided to do the right thing and buy plastic-free products to support a more eco-friendly environment. You see this bottle, which looks like it's made of paper and says it's paper, so it must be paper, right? You come home, thinking you've done something good, spending your hard-earned cash on a "green" product, when it's actually just a plastic bottle that's been green-washed. Good thing this consumer dug a little deeper so we can all watch out for this little scam.
This is like being a vegetarian, ordering a Vegimac, and discovering a fleshy patty between your buns. Or even worst, ordering a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and then discovering it's all that preserved stuff. What are we spending our money on people?
Come On, Garnier!
We have so many questions, but it just boils down to one. Why? Why would a skincare company waste so much space in its packaging? We've heard that some companies say the air keeps the chips from getting crushed; well, there are no chips in this bottle of gel facewash! And what's more, they intentionally covered it up, thinking we wouldn't notice under the label. Well, this guy noticed! For shame, Garnier.
The brand can say that when the product is laying down, it spreads along the entire surface of the tube or say that the exact amount is stated on the packaging, so why the fuss? We say- make the packaging in a relevant-sized tube and stop trying to sell us these stories.
Expectations Vs. Reality
This has got to be a manufacturer defect cause there is no way a self-respecting baker could look at that cookie and think that's decent-looking. That's like making a massive bowl of pasta and only adding one tablespoon of bolognese sauce. Hopefully, these cookies were just poor victims of circumstance and not part of some evil scheme to terrorize some jam-loving customer.
To be on the safe side, this brand could have added to the packaging 'Image simulated for illustrative purposes," and then we couldn't have said anything. On second thought, we always have something to say, so we would probably find a reason for them to be on our list.
Is That Really Bigger?
These bottles are obviously the same size, yet one states that it is bigger than the other. Apparently, many brands and companies do this. It's called hidden inflation, and they'll decrease the product's volume for a couple of months and then increase it and say "X%" more so the consumer feels as if they're getting a deal when they aren't. Don't be fooled by the label, especially regarding notoriously deceptive practices like this.
Suave Men are not the first the play this trick on us, and we have a feeling they are not the last ones either. It's important that we, as consumers, don't fall for this deception and change a brand if needed. You will soon realize that all body washes are the same.
Even the Strawberries Are Fake
It looks like this strawberry sensation is lacking actual fruit and was reduced to mere paint on your plastic bottle. While the promise of a strawberry milkshake might have seemed delicious, it was too good to be true, and now it seems you can't even trust the strawberries in your milkshake anymore! If this is how things will end up for us, then we might be right in becoming paranoid about everything and everyone.
The distance brands are willing to go is unlimited; this all comes at our expense. Maybe we should go back to the old days when food was prepared at home, and the customer service helplines were not as busy as they are today.
Technically, the people at Amrit aren't lying, but a closer look at the back of this bag will show they are still sneaky. You have to be very skeptical of "natural" food these days. Companies and brands like to make unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing their products are "natural" and possibly healthier than they actually are.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of fake "natural" foods out there, and this note at the bottom of the package is just the beginning. Remember, sugar, petrolatum, and sodium chloride are all-natural ingredients, but are they good for you? We say NOT.
Long gone are the days of decent pens that actually work and last longer than a few weeks. Now we're left with these supposedly eco-friendly pens that aren't even that eco-friendly! They're still disposable plastic pens made out of some plastic. Wouldn't the most ecologically friendly pen just be one that isn't disposable? Like a metal fountain pen that can be used for years instead of a few weeks?
Or how about we go back to pencils? Good old-fashioned pencils. Whatever we do and wherever we look, someone will have something to say or complain about so why don't we just stick to what we know and stop trying t improve everything?
No, no, the boot here isn't full of chocolate; it's full of air and not much else. You know you've reached the pinnacle of holiday disappointment when Santa's boot can't even store leftover chocolate, so all you are left with is four meager pieces and a plastic shoe. In this case, Santa's reputation as generous isn't exactly well-earned.
This is just another lesson in life because nothing comes before profit, especially not the consumer, not even on Christmas. We can visualize the kids that got this chocolate gift saying to their parents, "I don't want this Santa boot next year". This is probably as bad as marketing and product design can get.
Let's all take a deep breath before we look at this packaging design scam. This box of markers is a far cry from what we were expecting when we first laid eyes on it with the lid on. How convenient that the sticker sits perfectly over the empty space in the box underneath.
If we didn't know any better, we'd think the empty box in the middle is where we store our disappointment. And if not store our disappointment, this could be a great complaint box, as we have a feeling what we have to say about this packaging scam is not the first and for sure not the last.
More Like Viking Scam
Oh my, look at this box, packed to the brim with some Viking hair product! Except not really. This very misleading packaging should be deemed fraudulent marketing anywhere with common sense and outlawed immediately for deceptive packaging design. In some countries, it is illegal to have unreasonable empty volumes in a container. But of course, some countries have fewer laws protecting consumers than others, which is probably what happened here.
As a consumer, we would prefer it came in a smaller packaging and represented the real amount of cream. It will save space on our bathroom shelf and won't make us feel like we have been coned or deprived of true and accurate information about the product.
That's Pretty Cheap, Oh Wait...
We always knew the fine print was the biggest boogeyman of the bunch, but we never expected it to apply to fast-food drive-thrus. A not-so-perceptive customer might think they've stumbled upon a great deal, but a closer look would tell them otherwise. These sneaky scammers even set the "plus tax" in a smaller font than the "99".
It's so small you almost need a magnifying glass to read it, maybe even a microscope. And do you know what the worst thing is? Once you are in, there is no going back, and the odds are that you will buy this extravaganza double cheeseburger for whatever price it is going for.
We're sure you will agree with us that spam notifications are among the worst first-world problems on the Internet. Knowing when to spot a scam is more important than ever in a world full of misinformation. You won't be able to tell just by looking at this picture, but the McAfee popup here is sneaky because the top X mark is actually fake.
Instead of closing the popup, it will lead you to their website! There is nothing scarier than discovering a virus threat on your computer, and McAfree is no fool. They know this better than us and are taking advantage of our weakness and their misinformation popup messages.
It's unclear what's more alarming: the fact that a big brand like Maybelline thought they could pull this off or how they didn't mind being so obvious about their scheme. But of course, this should come as no surprise — big brands have been scamming customers since the dawn of time. Maybe it's time we put down that Maybelline eyeshadow in favor of something a little more transparent, both in their packaging and in their practices.
This is not only Maybelline. Big brands worldwide are constantly treating us, consumers, like fools, and there is no one to blame but ourselves. If we stop consuming their products, maybe something will eventually change.
Increasing the Sale Price
Is it even considered misleading when the store states that the price used to be better? We've never heard of this marketing trick before. Increasing the sale price? Now that's a strategy nobody has had the guts to try in the history of sales. But here we are, with proof that at least one store decided to inflate their prices.
This might be a strange marketing scheme — making customers buy now before it gets even more expensive! Another reason behind this unexplained act is the fact that this brand realized that the quality of their goods was even better than they initially thought. Good way of dealing with this, we suppose.
12 Equals 16
Budweiser has been tricking its customers into thinking they’ve been drinking quality beer for decades. This cheater pack confirms how Budweiser is willing to take advantage of fast shoppers. Some red-on-red action, and no one will notice. If you're faced with this likely scam, know what you’re after, for starters.
If you’re lusting after a 16 pack, be sure you're buying a 16 pack, not a 12 pack of 16 oz. Budweiser, drop the 6th-grade math problems on your pack and try to advertise something all consumers will relate to. Something like the beverage's ingredients, the pride of its origin, or even the size of the bottle. But 12 equals 16? Come on....
Yes, Trader Joe's is everybody's favorite source of inexpensive groceries, but there's a sea of appalling portions for every decent offering. Just look at this cup of instant ramen noodles that looks less like a meal and more like a mouthful. Basically, every new purchase at Trader Joe's is a game of chance. Maybe you'll land on a decent serving of ramen noodles. But probably not.
When opening your next purchase, you'll probably discover a sad amount of food. Tradot Joe responds: "We do everything we can to ensure a good experience when consuming our products. After filling the cup with hot water, the noodles expand and fill up the cup while still leaving enough space on the surface to ensure none of the noodles are spilled." How can we argue with that?
We're beginning to think that designs like this were intentionally meant to mess with us as part of some grand social experiment. You know, just to see how much they can cheat us before we lose it and start some kind of revolution. As avid tea drinkers, we are both shocked and disappointed.
We can all agree that this is an example of deceitful design in its finest physical form. This is also an example of what not to do when you want to preserve your customers and are willing to invest in anything that improves the customer experience. By the look of this, they are probably investing elsewhere.
There’s always reasonable bad packaging that we can accept, but this is just disgraceful. If this company used less packaging, it would help the environment, cost less to manufacture, and be less deceiving. Guess we will never understand why companies decide to do this. All we know is they were not thinking with the long-term in mind.
This is not how you retain customers and build loyalty. Also, now people know not to purchase this again. Maybe these overseas manufacturers should realize that we have standards. American's no what they want and will not settle for less. We will embrace everyone; however, the is a limit to what we are willing to tolerate.
More Box Than Staples
Typically, when you're buying a box of staples, you'd expect to get a box with staples, right? The staples can only be marginally more expensive than all that cardboard, but you wouldn't have paid money just for the cardboard. This would truly be a terrible design meant to mislead customers.
"It costs us a little to give you what we want, so we'll give you a whole lot of something useless instead." And they continue, "Here is a lovely box made of cardboard that you can use with whatever you want. We, for example, decided to put some staples in it to show that it can also be used for staples." Confused? So are we.
Grave Missed Steak
We hate to break it to you, but this cut of Kobe beef is not worth it. Just look at the criminally bad packaging design! And we haven't even gotten to the fact that it's actually a cheap imitation beef from Italy. For one thing, Kobe beef goes for $600 an ounce, so we believe this is most likely not real Kobe beef.
A little digging will tell you that for Kobe beef to be authentic, it must come from Japan, not from Italy. And another thing, after testing and trying, we can confidently say that we have had better local cuts than imported beef, and there is no reason to travel so far when everything you need is right here at home.
100% Silky Polyester
Expensive silk is an excellent fabric to wear and even better to receive as a gift. It beats the cheap stuff, but the trick is to be sure that the expensive silk you're buying is what it claims to be, as scammers have been bamboozling silk lovers everywhere.
The best way to avoid being scammed is to do your research when shopping and be sure to read the labels. All of the labels. If it says polyester, there is no way it is silk, and if it is silk, then it will say 100% silk. There is no other way of defining this.
The picture on this package of salami is certainly a bit misleading. Of course, you'd expect three salami sausages if you see three on the package! However, only when you open the package will you realize that the three pieces were merely printed on the lid. Food labeling laws are fairly strict but probably not as enforced as they used to be.
Next, we'll probably need to start carrying portable X-ray machines to make sure what we see on the outer packaging is not a misleading message to make us buy more. Brand owner, please note. If we knew that only two pieces were inside, we would have bought more packets.
Now that's a lot of wiggle room, three-quarters' worth of wiggle room for one-quarter's worth of choc 'n nuts. Even though the package says it's 45 grams, that's still a pretty big box for such a small amount of snacks and was definitely an intentional scheme to scam customers. We wonder if anyone put it on the scale actually to weigh it.
No wonder customers are leery of brands because corporations like this have often been untruthful. On second thought, if this will make us consume less candy and gradually reach our target weight, then let it be.
Peanuts Without the Fun
Chocolate and peanuts make a great combination in a snack bar and scammers know this! Here we have photographic proof of how sneaky they can be. The reason they remain relatively confident is that you've already opened the wrapper, making a refund nearly impossible.
Having watched thousands of episodes of “How it’s Made,” we can say that there is no way the factory could produce this product with the chocolate pieces in only that portion of the bar. Use that as a sign next time you're shopping — if all the bars seem to have chocolate in the exact same place — it's probably just printed on the package.
We may not have a magical wardrobe that can transfer us to Narnia, where a box of delicious rose-flavored gummy delight awaits. Still, you can expect a decent service when buying it from the supermarket. To avoid disappointment when shopping, you're just going to have to carefully check each and every box for the weight to know what to expect.
Although, who knows? Maybe that's how they serve it in Bulgaria. Maybe in Bulgaria, everything is about the box, and the number of treats inside in irrelevant cause nobody eats it anyway? Each country has its own traditions, and we must learn to respect that.
The idiom "you get what you pay for" is no truer than in a convenience store. If you stroll down the frozen food aisle, it will be best to keep strolling and not buy any pizza, even if you get a sneak peek of the product. As we see here, placement is everything.
This isn't the first time shoppers have had issues with packaging and placement, and it's probably not the last time, either. There is more pizza cornicione (we bet you didn't know it had a name) than actual pizza, and for someone who doesn't eat the edge (or cornicione), I am not left with much.