'Essentially Robbery': 8 Products and Services That Are a Huge Rip-Off in the U.S.

Money Down Drain

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Money Down Drain
Bill Oxford/istockphoto
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Printer Ink
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Printer Ink

Companies often sell printers at a loss, knowing that they’ll make their money back on expensive ink cartridges. That said, there are a number of things you can do to defray costs, such as shopping for third-party ink, buying a reservoir or laser printer, or subscribing to an ink delivery service. Infrequent users can also see if their public library offers free or discounted printing.

Thoughtful girl studying in library seated at table with textbooks
Taylor Swift Fans Demonstrate Outside U.S. Capitol As Ticketmaster Executives Testify To Congress
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If you’ve ever used Ticketmaster — since it’s a monopoly, there’s a good chance you have — then you know why it’s one of America’s most hated companies. It has so much control over the industry that it can charge insane fees and botch ticket sales without losing customers. But the company’s comeuppance could be around the corner (keep your fingers crossed), as the Department of Justice is currently investigating the ticketer on antitrust grounds.

Related: If Brands Were 'Brutally Honest,' They'd Have These Hilarious Slogans

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Bank of America
Diamonds by Swamibu (CC BY)


This may come as a surprise, but diamonds aren’t special. In fact, the pricey gems are more plentiful than emeralds and rubies, making them one of the most common precious stones you can find. But the diamond industry has manufactured scarcity by devising criteria to exclude “flawed” diamonds from sale. Diamonds, like fast cars, are also Veblen goods, meaning that the demand for them increases as the prices rise. So unless you’ve got money to burn, don’t fall for an empty status symbol.

Related: The Best Online Jewelry Stores That Won't Break the Bank

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