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Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
February 21, 2024 ·  4 min read

Products That Are Extremely Cheap To Make But Have Huge Markups

There are certain products that are quite expensive, but the cost of manufacturing is really cheap. Sometimes, the company marks the price up to offer a discount. Or, it could just be plain greed and a market monopoly that makes a company put the price of a cheap product really high. Regardless, it is the consumer that gets screwed in the end. So let’s see some of the products which are really cheap to make but cost a boatload. 

Products That Cost A Lot But Are Cheap To Produce

1. Eyeware

No pair of spectacles cost more than $14 to make. But you are quite familiar with royal brands that sell their glasses for a whopping $600. This, for those who are unaware, is a profit percentage of around 1000%. 

Image Credits: Pexels

2. Greeting Cards

Archies made a fortune out of this sham. After all, how expensive can a piece of cardboard be? The cost of making a single card should ideally be less than $2, but these are sold at around $4- $5. Although these prices aren’t earth-shattering, it is greed that is despicable. 

Image Credits: Unsplash

3. Cartridges

Not the ones used in bullets- although a bullet would probably be cheaper than a printer cartridge. Just FYI- they are manufactured at $2- $3. But they are sold at a whopping $25- $50. Why not stick to black and white- they look clean too!

Image Credits: Pixabay

4. College Textbooks

The only reason why pirate sites like Z-Library, and are so famous and admired is that college textbooks are exorbitant in their price. Why would anyone want to buy a book that costs $410? What could possibly be written that it would sell at such a price? The cost of manufacturing the book is $10.

Image Credits: Pixabay


5. Candle

A candle costs around $7 to $50- if they are scented and designer branded. But they are still created at a low price of $5. So it is the brand that sells- not the product itself. 

Image Credits: Pexels

6. Soda Cans

A single can of soda is quite cheap to produce- just $0.30. But the companies actually profit more if they sell less. So just 12 oz of liquid is being sold for $2!

Image Credits: Pexels

7. Epipen

What can explain the greed of private corporations more than Epipen- a medication whose scarcity can be quite fatal? Epipens have a very high price- somewhere around $100 to $700- but they actually need just a few dollars to make. Human lives aren’t worth that much, you see.

Image Credits: Flickr | Tony Webster

8. Smartphones

People run after $1000 Apple iPhones, simply because of the brand, and the status associated with it. If one were to remove the logo of the half-eaten apple, the phone would probably sell for $400- at its highest. 

Image Credits: Pexels

9. Mattresses

Not only are our waking lives painful, but our dreams are costly as well! Mattresses cost around $75 to make, but they sell for $1,000. And if you want your sleep to be more comfortable, you will really have to shell out the big bucks.

Image Credits:Pixabay


10. Bathbombs

Do you want your bath time to be pleasant? Well, fork out $10 for a bath bomb, which takes just a dollar to create.

Read: Photographer Captures People And Their Bedrooms To Show Their Different Ways Of Living

Image Credits: Pexels


11. Bottled Water

You would think one of the most essential resources for human survival would be exempt from greed. Unfortunately, no, because bottled water can have a markup of 4000% – from a 5 cent production cost to a $2 marketing price.

Image Credits: Pexels

12. Movie Theater Popcorn

First, they disallow any kind of outside foodstuff or drinks into the theatre. Then, they sell the allowed foodstuff at an exorbitant price. An elaborate ruse to get the audience to pay about $5 for a bag of popcorn that takes 37 cents to make.

Image Credits: Pexels

13. Branded Cereal

The branded cereal packs are household names, by now. Why not? After all, they are quick and efficient in what they do – getting the day started with a light meal. However, the brand name usually comes with a markup of nearly 40% so try out the generic cereals next time.

Image Credits: Unsplash


14. Prescription Drugs

Another essential resource to saving human lives – another case of tremendous markups. In many countries, including the US, manufacturing companies are allowed to sell prescription drugs at whatever price they think they will sell best. That, coupled with the monopoly of a handful of companies, means prescription drugs remain highly-priced.

Image Credits: Pexels


15. Halloween Mask

Forget love or sleep. Even fear is expensive. If you want a simple Mike Myers Halloween mask, it will cost you $70. As it turns out, it costs $20 to make it. I can understand why Jason Voorhees decided homicide was the answer.

Image Credits: Unsplash


16. Wedding Cakes

Given the frequency and specialty of the occasion, a mark-up on wedding cakes is probably justifiable. After all, they have to stay in business too. However, just for your information, sometimes the markups can be as much as 1000%.

Image Credits: Pexels


17. Beauty products

When Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian made their fortune from makeup products, they probably forgot to mention that the profit margin on their product was exorbitantly high. A lipstick that costs $10 to $100 probably takes less than $3 to make.

Image Credits: Pexels


Most of the expensive products are quite cheap to make. It is just a lack of competition in the market that drives their prices up high.

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