11 Things That Shouldn’t Cost as Much as They Do

The struggle against the high cost of living is a familiar challenge for many. Whether it’s everyday necessities or occasional indulgences, numerous items and services seem to command prices far above what seems reasonable.

This inflation often sparks debate and frustration, as consumers struggle to understand the justification behind these high price tags. Let’s delve into some of the things that many people believe shouldn’t cost as much as they do.

Transaction Fees

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Transaction fees are an often-overlooked expense that can add up quickly, especially in an increasingly digital world. Whether it’s fees for using an ATM, making online payments, or transferring money between accounts, these charges can be surprisingly high. Banks and payment processors justify these fees by citing the costs of maintaining secure and efficient systems.

The high cost of transaction fees can particularly impact low-income individuals who may already struggle with financial management, making it harder for them to save and invest.

Popcorn in Cinemas

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Going to the movies is a popular form of entertainment, but the cost of food, particularly popcorn, is notoriously high. Cinemas often defend these prices by pointing out that they keep ticket prices lower and compensate for declining box office sales.

However, for many moviegoers, the high cost of snacks can make a night out at the movies an expensive affair. This significant markup is seen as taking advantage of a captive audience, leading to frustration among consumers.

College Textbooks

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The cost of college textbooks has risen dramatically over the past few decades, often adding hundreds of dollars to the already high cost of higher education. Textbook publishers regularly release new editions with minor updates, making older versions obsolete and forcing students to buy the latest, often more expensive, editions.

Additionally, the lack of competition among textbook publishers allows for prices to remain high. Many students struggle to afford these necessary resources, leading to a market for used textbooks and rental services. However, the overall high cost remains a significant burden on students and their families.

Female Sanitary Products

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Female sanitary products, such as tampons and menstrual cups, are essential items, yet their cost can be surprisingly high. Many countries also impose a sales tax on these items, categorizing them as non-essential or luxury goods, which further increases their price. This so-called “tampon tax” has sparked considerable debate and calls for change, as these products are necessary for the health and well-being of those who menstruate.

The high cost and taxation of sanitary products highlight gender inequality in the marketplace and place an unfair financial burden on women and girls, particularly those from low-income backgrounds.


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Mattresses are another item that often seems to cost far more than their perceived value. The mattress industry has long been criticized for its pricing strategies, with significant markups and frequent sales that make it difficult for consumers to know the actual value of a mattress. Retailers often justify the high prices by pointing to the costs of research and development, quality materials, and the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Perfumes and Deodorants

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Perfumes and deodorants are everyday personal care products that can also come with a hefty price tag, especially for high-end brands. The cost of perfumes is often attributed to the rarity and quality of the ingredients, the complexity of the fragrance creation process, and the branding and marketing efforts.

While it is understandable that luxury items come at a premium, even mid-range perfumes and deodorants are often more expensive than their production costs would suggest. This pricing strategy capitalizes on the association of certain scents with status and self-expression, but it can make these products less accessible to the average consumer.

Wedding Expenses

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Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event, but the cost associated with them can be staggering. Venues, catering, photography, attire, and other wedding services are priced at a premium. The pressure to create a perfect day can lead couples to spend far more than they originally planned.

Legal Services

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Legal services, whether for personal or business matters, are notoriously expensive. Hourly rates for attorneys can be prohibitively high, making legal assistance inaccessible for many. The complexity of the legal system, the specialized knowledge required, and the time-intensive nature of legal work contribute to these high costs.

However, many argue that the legal system should be more accessible and affordable, especially for essential services like representation and advice.

Pet Care

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For many, pets are part of the family, but caring for them can be costly. Veterinary visits, pet food, grooming, and other expenses add up quickly. Emergency veterinary care, in particular, can be extremely expensive.

The cost is often justified by the quality of care and products provided, but it can be a significant burden for pet owners, especially in times of unexpected health issues.

Soft Drinks in Restaurants

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The cost of soft drinks in restaurants is often shockingly high, considering their low production cost. A single glass of soda can sometimes cost as much as two entire two-liter bottles at a grocery store. Restaurants justify these prices by pointing out that beverages are a major revenue stream, helping to offset the cost of food and service.

However, the markup on soft drinks can feel excessive to diners who are already paying a premium for their meals.


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Sunglasses, particularly designer brands, are another item that can come with an unexpectedly high price tag. While they serve the important function of protecting eyes from harmful UV rays, the production cost of sunglasses is relatively low. The high retail prices are often attributed to brand prestige, marketing, and the monopoly held by a few major companies in the eyewear industry.

These companies control a significant portion of the market, allowing them to set prices far above the actual cost of production. As a result, consumers end up paying a premium for a product that is often more about fashion than functionality.

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