6 Holiday Ripoffs That Would Turn Clark Griswold into Scrooge

christmas ripoffs

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christmas ripoffs
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Nothing gets us in the Christmas spirit quite like getting ripped off or scammed — said no one ever.  As disheartening as it may be, even something as pure and jolly as Christmas is outlined by ripoffs, scams, bad deals, and the like. Here are some of the biggest blood-boiling culprits of such things.

Salesman assists to a couple that wants to choose the best TV

1. Extended Warranties

In theory, these sound like a great idea. Why not pay for protection on an item that cost you a good chunk of change? Lest we forget the caveats and high price points tied to these extended warranties, though. You might end up paying extra for coverage only to find out down the road that some hyper-specific fine print excludes whatever mishap you encounter.

The Ritual Of Advent Countdown To Christmas Calendar Set

2. Advent Calendars

We do not have a vendetta against advent calendars. In fact, some of them are really great. Others are an absolute waste of money and you'd be better off putting together your own. If you encounter an advent calendar with a sky-high price tag, ask yourself: If I put this together myself, would it cost that much? If the answer is "no," run from the ripoff.

Cheerful couple shop for the perfect Christmas tree
SDI Productions/istockphoto

3. Christmas Trees

Before you go getting all riled up, pump the breaks. We're not saying you should go full-on Charlie Brown Christmas tree and leave all frills behind. What we are saying is that whether you're getting a fresh tree or an artificial one, some of the prices are gouge-worthy. 

If you prefer a fake tree, find yourself a good, reliable one and refrain from giving in to an upgrade every other year because some new TikTok trend convinces you you need a twinkling tree controlled by a remote. Real trees, on the other hand, are an annual expense. Your best bet if you don't have a private property to source your Spruce from is to find a trustworthy tree lot to keep coming back to, and learn the difference between  reasonable price tags and outrageous ones to avoid.

stealing xmas gifts
Manuel Faba Ortega/istockphoto

4. Scams Disguised as Deals

Christmastime scammers shouldn't exist outside of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," but alas, some people in the real world have hearts two sizes too small. From free gift cards to online gift exchanges, there are a handful of holiday scams capable of ripping the Christmas rug right out from under your feet. Stay vigilant, folks.

Shot of a young woman using her card and phone to shop online at home
Delmaine Donson/istockphoto

5. Shipping Charges

Some sites might increase their shipping charges to increase their profit margin during the holiday season. If you're shopping outside of a site that offers free shipping, pay attention to the charges in question, and try searching for the product on another site to compare costs. Selecting pickup options when and where you can is also a good way to avoid paying expensive shipping costs.

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Airport scene - Decorated Christmas Tree with a Flight Departures Display

6. Plane Tickets

If you can avoid flying during the holidays, avoid it. You're going to pay more for tickets. You're going to get stuck in larger crowds and chaos. And you're probably even going to be met with some obnoxious delays. But if your loved ones live somewhere not within driving distance, try and fly on the actual holiday itself, or at least avoid peak travel days like December 21, 22, and 23.

Related: How AI Can Save You Money on Travel