rip off http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6144/all en-US Hobby Lobby, Who Exactly Are You Trying To Fool? http://www.wisebread.com/hobby-lobby-who-exactly-are-you-trying-to-fool <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hobby-lobby-who-exactly-are-you-trying-to-fool" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3298927456_769577354c_b.jpeg" alt="Beware Hobby Lobby" title="Hobby Lobby Store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Anyone who reads Wise Bread regularly knows that I love a deal. I&rsquo;m a deal hound &mdash; I sniff them out and save a lot of money every year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools">Get a Deal Every Time You Shop</a>)</p> <p>So, when I was strolling through a local Hobby Lobby today looking for a new sketch pad and some empty boxes, I happened upon this sign:</p> <p><img height="299" width="500" alt="" src="http://i.imgur.com/pdJEi.jpg" /></p> <p>Wow, 90% off home accents, including pillows. Sweet! Our current pillows have begun to fray and have definitely seen better days. This was serendipitous. I abandoned my search for a sketch pad in favor of some pillow hunting instead.</p> <p>With most accent pillows being between $20 and $40, I figured I would find something that suited our home for between $2&ndash;$4. Hey, maybe less if they had originally been $10-$15, like the ones Target often sells. The plethora of pillows that greeted me was great. I knew I&rsquo;d find something.</p> <p><img height="299" width="500" alt="" src="http://i.imgur.com/7ks81.jpg" /></p> <p>Within a minute, I had found several that I liked. I picked up one, checked the price tag, and felt my jaw drop to the cold floor. After I picked it up, I checked the price again.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s the cause of my nasty surprise:</p> <p><img height="242" width="269" alt="" src="http://i.imgur.com/A0UJi.jpg" />&nbsp;&nbsp;<img height="242" width="300" alt="" src="http://i.imgur.com/tIQn1.jpg" /></p> <p>Yes, you read that right. These pillows had an &ldquo;original price&rdquo; of between $90 and $120! Did I walk into the wrong store? Was I actually in an upscale boutique in New York.</p> <p>No, I was in the clearance aisle of a Hobby Lobby in Colorado.</p> <p><strong>What was the explanation?</strong></p> <p>Well, perhaps the pillows were made of exotic fabrics, hand-woven by monks who ate only elderberries. A peek at the label showed that the exotic fabrics included polyester, rayon, and sometimes, cotton.</p> <p>Maybe the brand was something I had never heard of. One that stands for very high quality. Borgata. Sounds pretty fancy. I did a web search and found plenty of Borgata pillows at prices ranging from $30-$55. Most were around $40.</p> <p>I have to ask myself, were these pillows ever sold for the original price? Did they even get close to it? Or was this some ploy to bring people into the clearance aisle to grab pillows, only to give them sticker shock and have a good laugh. I would have asked a store clerk, but it was lunch time and the only two that were around were dealing with lines 6-people deep. No one had any pillows by the way.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m not saying $9-$12 is a lot to pay for a pillow. Not at all &mdash; it&rsquo;s decent. That&rsquo;s not the point. It&rsquo;s the whole &ldquo;90% OFF&rdquo; thing that bothers me. Look again, and you'll notice the full sign reads &quot;90% Off Our Everyday Low Prices.&quot; Really? $120 for a throw pillow is an everyday low price? Maybe for the Sultan of Brunei, but for an average family on an average income, it's not even in the same ballpark.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s almost a bait and switch, because people have a good idea of what pillows cost, and what 90% off that price is. If I said &ldquo;90% off cappuccinos!&rdquo; and then you discovered that my sale prices were $2-$4, you'd feel cheated. And rightly so. 90% off cappuccinos would mean 50 cents, tops (unless you're usually buying $18-$36 coffees, in which case, seek help immediately).</p> <p>Is Hobby Lobby just blissfully unaware of how insane the original prices are for very ordinary pillows? Are they fooling anyone? And have you had similar experiences of vastly inflated prices to keep the sales prices high? Please, share your stories.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hobby-lobby-who-exactly-are-you-trying-to-fool">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-everyday-products-with-the-biggest-markups">The 9 Everyday Products With the Biggest Markups</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold">8 Sneaky Ways You&#039;re Being Upsold</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-outrageously-expensive-whole-foods-products">The 7 Most Outrageously Expensive Whole Foods Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs bargains expensive pillows hobby lobby overpriced rip off sales Mon, 04 Apr 2011 09:48:05 +0000 Paul Michael 515908 at http://www.wisebread.com Holiday Lessons Learned: Advice To Avoid Rip-Offs NYC http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-lessons-learned-advice-to-avoid-rip-offs-nyc <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/holiday-lessons-learned-advice-to-avoid-rip-offs-nyc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wb-losemoney.jpg" alt="img_1334" title="img_1334" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><span>This holiday season in the city has been rough for me. I moved out to NYC for a few months thinking I&#39;d be set with my savings and supplementary, lucrative temp work. It was the first year I had saved and budgeted, and my calculations told me I was financially stable for a good three months. However, at the approach of the New Year I still felt the financial strains. Looking back now, I want to hit my head at some of the foolish mistakes I could have avoided as a city newbie. I&#39;ve learned that you&#39;ve got to be quick city -- I mean this in a financially saavy way-- and hopefully my experiences with rip offs can help those who are planning an NYC trip or move to avoid learning the hard way. </span></p> <p><span><strong>Always keep receipts:</strong> With the holiday shopping frenzy going on, shoppers aren&#39;t the only ones distracted, frustrated and scatter-brained. Employees will often ring up the wrong prices, not implement proper discounts, and make various errors. You should not only keep the receipt, but always check it before leaving the store, even if the price for your purchase seems right. My own experiences? I&#39;d been charged three times for one item, charged full price for a 50% discounted item and had mistakenly bought a falsely priced sale item. Had I take a minute to skim the receipt before hurrying out the door, I could have avoided the phone calls to the bank, the trips back to the store, long customer service lines, and the lost money.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Always ask for cab receipts:</strong> This isn&#39;t only during the holidays. It is always wise to ask for a cab receipt, even if you pay in cash (and especially if you pay by credit card). First off, if you leave anything valuable in the cab, such as shopping bags or cell phones, you will need the medallion number for the cab to track down your property. A simple receipt, which will have the medallion number on it, can save you the hassle of having to chase down one of hundreds of yellow cabs in the city. As you can see, this will virtually be impossible. </span><span>Also yellow cabs now have credit card machines. This seemingly nice convenience can actually become a nightmare if, as it often happens, the machine isn&#39;t functioning properly. NY cab drivers often complain that the service doesn&#39;t work. I&#39;ve used my debit card in one of these machines and twice, I received an error message: &quot;can&#39;t process at this time.&quot; I had to then run to an ATM, incur a $2 fee plus a bank fee for using a non-bank machine and pay the fare in cash. However, when I checked my bank account the next day, I saw two pending charges for the same cab fare. A week passed before I was refunded. This could have all been resolved much more easily had I asked for a receipt and known the cab&#39;s medallion number.</span></p> <p><span><a href="http://www.nyccabfare.com/" title="NYC cab fare finder"><strong>Calculate cab fare</strong></a><strong> before taking a trip:</strong> This may not be feasible for short trips around Manhattan that will only cost a few dollars. But for trips to the airport or further destinations, it may be in your interest to calculate a fare and get an idea of how much it should cost. Many times, cab drivers in any city will detect you’re a tourist and will conveniently take a longer route to charge you more. </span></p> <p><span><strong>Know where you’re going before getting in the cab:</strong> This relates to the above advice. It is smart to do a quick google maps direction search, or something of the like, before taking longer trips on cabs. I landed in JFK in a very tired state of mind on a red-eye flight and a normally $30 cab ride somehow came out to $50! I didn’t know the shortest way to my own new apartment, so the cab driver gave me “options”. I picked the freeway assuming it was the fastest, but of course, when I looked on the map later, I saw the driver had taken the longest route possible. Even for shorter trips, study the city! Get an idea of which areas are where – although not all cab drivers are dishonest, very few will dissuade you from mistakenly taking a longer route.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Don’t try to break the law, aka SLOW DOWN:</strong> Holiday season means crowds and people rushing everywhere. This also means that police officers are aplenty, ready to issue citations to drunk drivers, speeding road raging maniacs, and even impatient subway rules violators. Think twice before rolling through a stop sign, speeding on the freeway or, like me, running through an emergency exit in the subway (even if the turnstiles are broken!). Believe me, the police are feeling the least generous during the holidays so don’t expect any mercy and do expect hefty fines. </span></p> <p><span>Of course, these experiences aren’t limited to any one place, city, or season. NYC may just prompt particular precautions: because the city moves so fast, your brain has to work just as fast. Factor in the holiday madness and your brain has to work on overdrive. </span></p> <p><span>Now, please excuse me as I go return all the pity gifts I bought myself to relieve the tension of all the rip-offs.</span></p> <p><em><span>Anyone else experience holiday city madness and rip-offs? Share your experiences so we can all benefit from becoming smarter travelers. </span></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joann-hong">Joann Hong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-lessons-learned-advice-to-avoid-rip-offs-nyc">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money">8 Reasons Time Is Worth More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-silent-budget-killers-you-dont-notice">11 Silent Budget Killers You Don&#039;t Notice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-you-spend-money-to-save-time">How do you spend money to save time?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting avoid rip off cab holiday money new york NY nyc receipts rip off save taxi Fri, 28 Dec 2007 22:02:10 +0000 Joann Hong 1551 at http://www.wisebread.com $6500 repair bill to remove a stone from a moon roof http://www.wisebread.com/6500-repair-bill-to-remove-a-stone-from-a-moon-roof <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/119367935_d18568af8e.jpg" alt="Merc" title="Merc" width="320" height="241" /> </p> <p>How many times have you felt like someone was ripping you off? Hopefully, you can trust your gut instincts, just like the guy in this video below.</p> <p>You can watch the full 7 minutes for yourself, but the basic story is this. He went to a Mercedes Benz repair shop complaining of a problem with his moon roof. The shop took a look at it and said he needed a complete new moon roof. </p> <p><strong>Total charge from Merc = $6500 </strong>(remember, this is Mercedes so it&#39;s going to be high, but gee whizz).</p> <p>Being a customer worthy of Wisebread status, although I hope he got that Merc on a discount, he went elsewhere for a second opinion. I presume one of those smaller shops that don&#39;t have such huge mark-ups. You can imagine his surprise when he discovered the moon roof was simply jammed due to a small rock in the mechanism. </p> <p><strong>Total charge from other shop = $143 </strong></p> <p>All it took was a pair of tweezers to remove the offending pebble. So, armed with a hidden camera our seriously ticked-off customer goes back to the dealership. Here are the results.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://embed.break.com/MzEyNDQ5" /><embed src="http://embed.break.com/MzEyNDQ5" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><font size=1><a href="http://www.break.com/index/mercedes-dealership-tries-to-screw-customer.html">Car Dealership Tries To Screw Customer</a> - Watch more <a href="http://www.break.com/">free videos</a></font> <p><strong>Moral of the story:</strong> A second opinion is worth its weight in gold. Oh, and as I have said earlier, be wary of dealerships. They&#39;re not all bad, but some are just out for maximum profit. </p> <p><em>Main photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/saschaaa/">Saschaaa</a> (with a new plate by me) </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6500-repair-bill-to-remove-a-stone-from-a-moon-roof">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-buy-scamming-customers-with-intranet-updated">Best Buy scamming customers with Intranet - UPDATED!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-mystery-shopping-scam-that-could-cost-you-a-fortune">The mystery shopping scam that could cost you a fortune.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-phishing-scams">How to Avoid Phishing Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-vicious-home-rental-scam-dont-get-conned">The vicious Home Rental Scam – don’t get conned.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs car dealership consumer rights deception Mercedes rip off scam service center Thu, 14 Jun 2007 20:05:52 +0000 Paul Michael 738 at http://www.wisebread.com