Companies and Brands

The Internet Spills 18 Secret Industry Scams

franz12 / iStock via Getty Images

Feeling overwhelmed by inflation and dirty corporate tricks? Tired of having to deal with the ins and outs of late-stage capitalism and want to get a leg up on some small daily decisions? Like most people, we understand that it is getting increasingly hard to make ends meet, and the situation shows no sign of improving.

That’s why we found some of the most popular industry secrets that everyday people are using to save money, time, and dignity.

We took all these tips from Reddit, so your mileage may vary. The point remains, however, that there are loopholes and tricks and secrets for almost every industry, and if you know the right people or do enough research, you can find them.

Why Are We Talking About This?

Shh be quiet please. Senior woman presses index finger to lips makes silence hush gesture sign do not tells gossip secretoutdoors. Elderly grandmother walking in urban city street. Town lifestyles
Source: Andrii Iemelianenko / Shutterstock.com
Companies love their secrets and lies.

Corporations have no incentive to offer you any service or lower their prices if it’s not in the interest of their shareholders to do so. Many companies use marketing tricks or straight up lie to get you to spend more money on their products. However, there are always some tricks or tips that can help you if you’re finding it hard to make ends meet. We can always look out for each other.

#1 Dentistry Secret

Source: busracavus / iStock via Getty Images
A photo of toothpaste.
  • Credit: therock21

Apparently, all toothpaste with fluoride is actually exactly the same.

According to therock21 a representative from a popular toothpaste brand said that whether it’s whitening, gum health, cavity protection, or something else, the only difference is the packaging, colors, and flavors. So, you don’t need to spend hours in the toothpaste aisle. Just pick a flavor you like, and a price you are comfortable with. Just make sure it has fluoride.

#2 Entertainment Secret

The Band Perry 2010 | CRS 2010 After-Hours Party Hosted by CMT and Big Machine Records
Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images
The Band Perry in 2010.
  • Credit: loocaswoodland

A singer from the band, Holding Absence, says that 90% of their band’s revenue comes from merchandise sales. In fact, the biggest reason bands tour is almost exclusively to sell more merch. So, if you are at a concert, and really want to support the band, be sure to purchase some merch.

#3 Dairy Secret

Fresh milk in glass on dark wooden tabletop and blurred landscape with cow on meadow. Healthy eating. Rustic style. Space for design.
Source: Lazhko Svetlana / Shutterstock.com
A photo of milk.
  • Credit: Atworkwasalreadytake

If a brand sells organic as well as non-organic milk, most likely, the non-organic is actually organic. The dairy doesn’t want to miss out on the revenue from the non-organic but also wants to save overhead costs. Save a few bucks.

#4 Commercial Radio Secrets

Source: Grassetto / iStock via Getty Images
A photo of a radio.
  • Credit: DSlamAU

Whenever a radio station is holding a giveaway or contest where “caller number ___,” gets the prize, it’s actually just the caller who sounds best on the radio that wins. So, if you have the face of a voice actor, call in to all of them.

#5 Encounters With the Law

Stylish Side Mirror Car Chase Shot: Highway Traffic Patrol Vehicle Pull over Suspect. Professional Female Police Officer Approaches Vehicle, Asks Driver License and Registration. Cinematic Shot
Source: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com
The worst view you can have on a drive.
  • Credit:–IIII——–IIII–, FrankLawyer, TheoLuminati

Whether you are getting arrested, or talking to an insurance adjuster about your most recent auto accident, the advice is the same: stop talking! If you are getting taken downtown against your will, you need to remember that the cops aren’t interested in lending you empathy. They aren’t interested in understanding your side of the story. Anything you say will be held against you, even if you are 110% innocent, so the only things you should say are: I want a lawyer. And then stop talking.

This is true even if the cops are talking with you about something completely unrelated to you. The more you talk to an officer, the more likely they will have reason to charge you with something. Innocent people have been arrested and found guilty because all they did was talked to the police.

Almost the exact same advice was given when talking to insurance agents on recorded lines. Don’t tell them any more than you have to. Don’t overexplain the situation, don’t volunteer any details that weren’t asked. Answer “Yes,” and “No,” as often as possible. Doing this will help you get cheaper policies, higher coverage during accidents, and peace of mind.

#6 Handyman Secret

Source: Liudmila Chernetska / iStock via Getty Images
A handyman at work.
  • Credit: lyckadese

If you have a sliding glass door that is sticking, or becoming hard to open and close, don’t call a handyman. Allegedly 90% of the time, they will just use your own dish soap to lubricate the track. Save $75 and do it yourself. It works much better than WD40 and can cost as little as a dollar. Other solutions that might have more longevity are silicone spray, garage door lubrication, graphite powder, or silicone-based lubricant.

The only downside to dish soap is that it might collect dust and not last as long.

#7 Diet Industry Secret

Source: KucherAV / iStock via Getty Images
A person making a weight-loss plan.
  • Credit: responsible_hedonist

The worst-kept secret for the diet/weight loss industry is that these diets and programs don’t actually work. Most weight loss corporations’ business model counts on return customers in fact, 95% of customers gain all, if not more, weight than what they lost back within 12 months. If the weight loss industry actually worked, it wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry.

#8 Soap Secrets

Source: jm3 / Flickr
Bars of soap.
  • Credit: xyenz08, mooman89, SubtextuallySpeaking

At a certain big box chain store that wields and deals in soaps, shower gels, and lotions, oftentimes, scents will get “discontinued.” Then, after a few months, the same scents will be re-branded, re-colored, re-packaged, and featured as a “brand new scent.” So if your favorites get discontinued, don’t fear, they will always be back.

Another industry worker who worked on the manufacturing side says that companies always put the absolute bare minimum of the “enriched with ___,” ingredients. So, whether it’s aloe vera, vitamin E, or any extract, the more unethical companies put just enough of what’s required in order to list it on the label. Mooman89 claims, “We made our batches in sizes of 40,000 pounds and would only add around two ounces to the entire batch.”

Foaming soaps are one of the most misleading forms of soaps on the market. Foaming soaps are made from 65% or more water, so the companies make a killing from those products, due to the low overhead costs. Something you can do if you are a foamy soap connoisseur is to simply save the foaming soap bottles, and refill with 1/3 gel soap, and 2/3 water. Shake extremely gently to mix the solution and voila!

#9 Online Review Secrets

Source: Andrii Yalanskyi / iStock via Getty Images
Three star reviews.
  • Credit: PauseAndReflect

Almost the majority of all online reviews, ratings, and social media presence by companies whether they be on retail websites, Yelp, social media, Glassdoor, or even Google Maps are mostly fake. Companies will spend their budget on social media managers who will create multiple accounts to boost engagement, create fake reviews, and leave fake ratings.

Something that businesses on Glassdoor particularly are notorious for is making their current employees write positive reviews, or the owners creating fake profiles to up their ratings, and sink the true reviews. So, the lesson is basically to just not believe any reviews you read online, and make sure any company you are purchasing merchandise from has good return policies.

#10 Soft Serve Secrets

Source: Jekurantodistaja / Getty Images
Soft-serve ice cream.
  • Credit: Dewy_Wanna_Go_There

A certain fast-food giant who is known for its funny mascot and ice cream machines constantly breaking down has a secret. That secret is that the ice cream machine is never actually broken. Unfortunately, the soft serve machine that is used in their ice cream, shakes, and café products takes around four hours to clean, and not every employee knows how. The machine will shut off when it needs to be cleaned, and won’t turn back on until it is. So, if it’s broken when you pull up to the drive-through window, chances are, they are understaffed, too busy, or just don’t feel like cleaning out the machine.

#11 Education Secrets

Source: usarmyafrica / Flickr
Reading to children.
  • Credit: twitching2000

This isn’t necessarily a secret, as much as something that has been proven by science, but if you are a parent that wants your child to absolutely thrive in school one of the only things you need to do is read to them from newborn to around third grade.

Read to them every day, as long as your schedule allows. Of course, things like learning disabilities and challenges do exist, and this won’t work for every single child, but it will give any child a leg up. If not for the educational benefits, at least for the benefits of spending uninterrupted time with a parent.

#12 Author Secrets

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks workers | Close-up image of a stressful businessman tired from his work on the foreground
Source: unomat / iStock via Getty Images
A frustrated author.
  • Credit: the_ocalhoun

Are you a self-published author or with a low-level agency and want your book to appear on the New York Times Bestseller List? All you have to do is buy a lot of copies yourself- We’re talking like $200,000 worth of your own books. Then, you can get that money back by re-selling the stockpile you bought yourself once your book hits it big time. Allegedly, The New York Best Seller List will exclude books that are actually high sellers if the staff aren’t fans of the book.

So, if you are an author who isn’t selling books, the biggest secret of all is this isn’t a reflection of you or your work at all. The system is rigged, just like any other, and the most money wins.

#13 Pet Travel Secrets

Happy smiling young golden retriever dog under light gray plaid. Pet warms under a blanket in cold winter weather. Pets friendly and care concept.
Source: Prystai / Shutterstock.com
Take care of your dog.
  • Credit: KingBadford

Checking your pets in kennels isn’t the safest way for Frodo to travel. The pets in the bottom of the plane are subject to horrible conditions including lack of temperature control, being left on belt loaders in the hot sun for long periods of time, and hearing damage from the engines. For context, this information came from a former aircraft fueler. His observations only came from loading and unloading the aircraft.

If you think about how often airlines lose, mishandle, and throw around your luggage, it might not be too hard to imagine an airline mistreating pets, too. Many airlines will treat pets very well, so this obviously doesn’t apply to every airline. Use caution, and make sure you check the specific airline you are flying with before checking your animal with luggage. Pets can often ride with you up top as a safer alternative.

#14 Service Industry Secrets

Source: Antonio_Diaz / iStock via Getty Images
Front desk of a hotel.
  • Credit: That_One_Girrrrl

The nicer you are to service industry staff, the more helpful they will be. Imagine, if you treat human beings like humans, they will reciprocate that energy.

Customers tend to lash out at cashiers, wait staff, customer service representatives, cooks, and hosts when they are experiencing inconveniences outside of the employees’ control. So, don’t scream at the cashier who can’t accept your expired coupon, or who is required to ask you to purchase a store credit card. Instead, take your anger all the way to the top of the food chain, and place your anger appropriately on the corporation leaders, where it belongs.

#15 Beverage Secrets

Barista woman testing the aroma of fresh coffee beans sniffing
Source: Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
A photo of coffee beans.
  • Credit: djpiraterobot, FinallyDoneLurking11, ScholarOfYith

The lighter the coffee roast, the more caffeine it has. The caffeine is most concentrated in the bean, the more it’s roasted, the more it cooks out.

Usually, the cost of one cocktail usually covers the cost of the entire bottle and other ingredients used to make it. Most places use low-shelf liquor and inflate the cost. On the other hand, bars and restaurants rely heavily on the overhead profit made from drinks and cocktails to stay in business. All other food and beverages yield very small profit margins.

If you order a stronger drink, you won’t get more alcohol, just much less mixer. It is not stronger and tastes worse. You can make better drinks at home.

#16 Gym Secrets

53 LB Kettlebell with a CrossFit Gym in the background (vintage and moody filters added)
Source: Niccolo' Simoncini / Shutterstock.com
Photo inside a gym.
  • Credit: BigAlCasey, sweatybumhands

It is notoriously difficult to break a gym membership contract. The secret is, though, that those contracts would hold no actual validity if taken to court. It is basically contractual theater to make the gym user believe that they have no choice but to keep paying the monthly fee, even if they don’t use the facilities. Something you can do to break your contract is to cancel your credit card or change your payment to a Visa gift card with $0 of balance, then jog far away, content with your newly found freedom.

Please note that this is only advice for the USA, not anywhere in Europe, as apparently gyms in the EU can be very litigious

#17 Vet Secrets

| Veterinarian examines the pet
Source: MixMedia / E+ via Getty Images
A cat at the vet.
  • Credit: Pabs23

Around four years ago, a viral TikTok claimed that if you aren’t in the room when your pets get euthanized, they will cry and look for you. Pabs23, a veterinary nurse, argues that this isn’t true. Your pet isn’t aware of what’s happening, it is a very gentle, pain-free, and relaxing process for them.

Don’t feel any unnecessary guilt if you don’t want to be present for the process. Your pet will have a lovely send-off either way. Be in the room if that feels right for you, wait in the lobby if it doesn’t. It won’t make a tangible difference to the patient, and no one in the clinic will judge your decision. Losing a pet is personal, and the staff’s responsibility is to support both of you.

#18 Key Secrets

Keys from room hotel on the door
Source: yavorskiy / iStock via Getty Images
A photo of a key.
  • Credit: ComputerSavvy

Do you live in an apartment building or stay in a hotel with coin-operated laundry? A product exists called Hex Key that is sold online that will start the machines for free.

For better or for worse, the lock industry uses the same key patterns over and over for different customers, so you can buy keys for virtually anything.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.