Everyone knows movie theater popcorn is no bargain, but would you have thought it was served with a 900 percent markup? With a cost of 60 cents and a bucket price near $6, you're losing a quick fiver -- and that's before you splurge on the giant soft drink and a big box of candy. But those aren't the only high-profit items you're likely buying on a regular basis. The Student Money Management Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, figured out some high-margin items.
7 Products With Outrageous Markups
With a cost per pound of potatoes near 15 cents and a retail price near $6 per pound, you're paying a 3,900 percent markup for those crispy fries. And we're not even counting the cost of trans fats to your health.
It's the ultimate upsell: "You want a drink with that?" A cup of soda costs 15 cents; you pay $2.95 -– a bubbly margin of 1,875 percent.
You know this one: the "latte factor" so often cited by frugalistas, but it's still worth noting. A home brew cup of joe costs about 50 cents. Spend $2.45 on a grande, and you've paid a 390 percent markup.
Does your vehicle really require premium oil? Check the owner's manual for specifications. The markup on "high-performance" oils can be 80 percent, costing you $20 more than a regular oil change.
Those bountiful food troughs may seem like a tasty bargain, especially for those with ample appetites, but the odds favor the house. The average buffet is $12, but the servers know that most stomachs can't hold more than $8 worth of food. It's a 50 percent markup in their favor.
"Mascara will expire in three months, whether you buy it from CVS or Chanel," the report says. "When deciding how much to spend, think about the lifetime of each item. Case in point: drugstore mascara will cost you about six cents per use, whereas Chanel will cost you about 33 cents -- and you probably won't finish using either before the expiration date." Bottom line: You're paying an extra $25 -- a 450 percent markup for –- for the brand on the bottle.