Many shoppers are careful to look for deals when searching for expensive items like new televisions or tablets, but pay less attention to their everyday purchases like toiletries or kitchen essentials. Unfortunately, these everyday purchases are also the items for which shoppers are most likely to overpay, meaning that they could have gotten the exact same item (and even the same brand) for a lower price.
After analyzing millions of purchases over the last year, we found that of the top items people tend to overpay for, almost half of them are common, household toiletries. Here are the eight items people overpaid for the most in 2015.
1. Toilet Paper
The price of toilet paper is fairly volatile, with the price fluctuating over the course of a year, a month or even a day. As a result, it’s extremely difficult for a shopper to know whether they’re getting the best price on their purchase. Even buying in bulk was not enough to protect buyers from overspending on this bathroom staple.
To see just how volatile toilet paper prices are, check out this graph of how the price of toilet paper changed over the course of a year:
2. Plastic kitchen containers (Tupperware)
Plastic kitchen containers were the top kitchen-related purchase made by Paribus users this year. It was also the kitchen item for which shoppers were most likely to be overcharged. Nobody seems to know the market price of tupperware.
Like toilet paper, paper towels are an essential item with constantly shifting prices that make it incredibly difficult for consumers to get the best deals.
Here’s a graph showing how the price of Bounty Toilet paper rapidly increased in response to demand before the holidays.
4. Video Games
Video games are the electronic-related item people are most likely to overpay for. And the most popular games—like Halo—are also the ones most likely to be overpriced, at least initially. Videogame prices tend to drop relatively quickly. One Business Insider article found that many video games tend to drop in price after just 2 weeks of being on the shelves.(1) That price often continues to drop until the end of the year. While this is good for gamers who are late to the party, it means many shoppers often pay a premium for buying a game early.
5. Board games
You can’t put a price on family fun, but you can definitely pay too much for a board game. Unfortunately, The most popular family games—like the Pie Face Game, or Cards Against Humanity—were also some of the games most likely to be overpriced. Unfortunately, many shoppers shelled out for these games at their inflated prices.
6. Wireless Routers
Wireless internet is increasingly transforming from a luxury to a necessity in many American homes. Unfortunately, many shoppers are seduced into overspending for a router that later goes on sale at a cheaper price.
Parents always need diapers, and often don’t have time to wait and patiently compare prices between brands. Maybe that’s why shoppers were likely to overpay for diapers regardless of the brand or retailer.
These shaving tools are one of the most commonly overpriced items at the store, often boasting more than 4000% mark-ups. (2) Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that these overpriced gadgets are also subject to constantly fluctuating prices.
Shoppers are not to blame for overspending on these items. With retailers changing millions of prices per day, particularly on essential items that shoppers need the most, it is nearly impossible for shoppers to ensure they’re getting the best deal.
Fortunately, technology makes it possible for shoppers to get deals without thinking about it. Here at Paribus, we’re committed to making sure our users get the best prices on whatever items they’re buying, by automatically monitoring their purchases and automatically getting them a refund whenever an item they’ve purchased drops in price.