What You Pay For

by Melissa Brunner

I tend to be a pretty thrifty person, so when a saw a Yahoo! article today spilling the beans on five items that have some of the highest price markups, I clicked to read more.

One item on the list I definitely avoid - minibar snacks. It's pretty ridiculous to pay $5 for a candy bar you can get for $.80 at the store. Snacks are quite important to my husband and I, so it's always a packing priority when we take a trip. When he tagged along to an MDA conference in Beverly Hills, he was quite proud to discover a CVS on Rodeo Drive! I came back from a training session to soda pop and M&Ms - it was awesome!

Celebrity perfumes also make the list - you're paying for a name! The article suggests shopping online (or I'd say a store like Gordmans) if you insist on wearing JLo or Beyonce's latest.

Precut veggies are a matter of convenience. The article says you'll often pay double for the luxury of not peeling and slicing yourself. Greeting cards are another high markup item. The article says they're often priced about 200% more than they cost to produce. But, hey, it's the thought that counts!

Rounding out the Top 5 list are brand-name pharmaceuticals. Get this - some have a 3,000% markup! And, according to the article, the U.S. Government Accountability Office says consumers saved $1 trillion over a 10-year period by using generics instead of brand-name drugs. Talk about motivation to ask the pharmacist for a generic alternative.

You can read further details on the list here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/5-major-markups.html. I'd love to hear what you have to add to the list - what do you think is worth the price and what are your secrets for cutting costs?


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