Special Report

The Most Unreasonably Priced Things Americans Buy

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Extended warranties
> Pricing: around $100

It is natural to make sure that a major purchase like an appliance, car, or TV is protected. Yet extended warranties are almost never worth getting. Odds are nothing bad will happen. Even if it does, manufacturers are required to offer a standard warranty that will likely cover your item.

If your purchase is damaged outside of the initial warranty, there is a good chance that the manufacturer will fix or replace it if the company is responsible for its issue, according to Consumer Reports. Even if not, repairs may be less expensive than the extended warranty, which may cost over $100.

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Unlimited data plans
> Pricing: $60-$75 per line

Unlimited data plans are like the all-you-can-eat buffets of the technology world — they may sound appealing, but how much are you actually going to consume? Single-line unlimited data plans tend to run about $60-$75 a month per line at major carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. But you can get a few gigabytes of data from discount carriers like Mint Mobile or Boost Mobile for a fraction of the price.

With many people working from home, the amount of data streaming is decreasing, as people rely more on their home internet service — not to mention the increasing prevalence of public Wi-Fi networks. It is also worth noting that “unlimited” data plans may be a misnomer. Often, providers will throttle down speeds of unlimited data plan users when the network is busiest.

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Airport food
> Pricing: 50%-100% markup

Many Americans like to grab a drink or a snack at the airport while they wait for their flights. Since American airports no longer allow liquids through security, buying something at a shop in the airport may be the only option if you get thirsty — unless you want to keep getting up to go to a water fountain.

Food and drink at airports are generally not supposed to be marked up by more than 10%-15% from outside prices, but this is not well enforced, and water, chips, juices, and more can be 50% or even 100% more expensive at an airport compared to a convenience store.

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> Pricing: 80% markup

Buyers may not be aware, but you can haggle on prices for mattresses the same way you can with a car. Mattresses are often sold with 100% markups to leave room for commissions and special discounts for holiday sales. With such significant markups, mattress sales people can afford to offer discounts.

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Bottled water
> Pricing:

Since it is essentially just filtered tap water, there is no reason to spend an exorbitant amount of money on bottled water. If the tap water in your area leaves a bad taste in your mouth, consider a water filter. That way, you can save money on water, and produce less plastic waste as well.

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