How to avoid buying overpriced items

Posted at 6:51 AM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 06:51:44-05

CLEVELAND — Are you paying too much for everyday items? Odds are you are thanks to retail mark ups.

Sometimes, it's hundreds of times more than the actual cost.

The price depends on the product. It could be high in demand or difficult to make. And for retailers, raising prices on products is oftentimes the only way to make a profit.

But you can avoid paying more if you just pay attention.

If you've ever been to college, you know just how expensive textbooks can be. says they're some of the most ridiculously overpriced items out there with a 40% markup. Students can get around those prices by asking their professors for coursework in advance or renting the books they need.

The average markup on name brand cosmetics is 78%. Shoppers can save a buck by using coupons or stocking up on free samples of products they really like.

Markups on airport food ranges anywhere from 200% to 300%. Save money by bringing snacks from home.

Other items to look out for include mattresses with a 50% markup. To save, try to shop during sales or negotiate for a better price. If that doesn't work, search online to see if other retailers have a better deal.

Markups on diamonds can range from 50% to 200%. The key to getting a fair price is to buy from a reputable jeweler. Check for ones listed with the American Gem Society.

Prescription drugs markups can range from 200% to 3,000%. Ask your doctor for generic substitutes to save some cash.

Another ridiculously overpriced item is movie theater popcorn. It has a 1,000% markup. The best way to save your money on that is to skip concessions and fill your stomach at home.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.