The problem with capitalism is it produces more products than can be consumed, and not all products are created equal. Some things, touted as serving a purpose, actually do nothing at all except line the pockets of an anonymous rich person.
Consumers are trained to believe they need these products even if they don't, so a loyal customer buys them again and again and again to the serious detriment of themselves and of other, useful products.
"What should people seriously stop buying?"
Here were some of those answers.
None Too Smart
"Online IQ test. If there was a way to fail an IQ test, paying for one online would be it."-theoceanisdeep
"Why even bother with IQ tests? Are they required on resumes now? Or have any use whatsoever?"-redheadmomster666
"I've had quite a few interviews that required tests that looked like IQ tests. Probably 10 to 20% of my last 30 interviews."-RoIIerBaII
"Animals they can't take care of for the rest of their lives."-mcontant
"And if you realize you made a mistake, rehome them! Don't set them free. Most will wreak havoc on the native ecosystem. Just look at the Everglades."-ferretatthecontrols
Scammin Your Bowels
"Does anyone else notice that those Herbalife smoothie places keep popping up all over but they are so shady about it."
"They look like average mom and pop smoothie places with no Herbalife branding on the outside or any where inside but then they start making your smoothie and bam they pull out the Herbalife powder!"-libananahammock
Take each and every one of these entries as an exceptional "buyer, beware."
Every 90s Goody Bag
"Cheap children's party favors. We aren't talking the colorful pencils and paper pads that actually have some use. I'm talking about the nondescript plastic forms with popular media stickers and other garbage."
"The amount of trash plastic available for this niche is staggering- especially given that most of those toys hold a child's attention for 2 hours. Also- happy meal toys."
"Great for a collector, because most of them get thrown out 6 months after being found behind the couch. Legos are highly resealable/giftable and tradeable."
"Hot wheels last forever. Most toys have at least a possible second life. But party favor crap- is just crap."-Kinetikat
"Most saltwater fish if they aren't willing to put in the effort, and certain species that just can't be kept in captivity even with the effort."
"90% of saltwater fish you see in the store except for most clowns, some tangs, some seahorses, and I think maybe cardinal fish are all wild caught."
"More than any other pet, when you take home a saltwater fish you have purchased a piece of the environment and you should treat it with every bit of respect it deserves."-RhynoD
The Most Transmissible Art Product
"GLITTER. Sparkles, glitter and sequins on everything, especially kids items."
"You think it's hard to get that sh*t out of your house after craft time?"
"It's MICROPLASTIC, and it's going into our waterways and oceans. Yet the toy stores and clothing stores are adding more sequins and glitter every day. Makes me furious. Just stop buying it!"-candidlycait
People Who Made A Lot Of Money From Something Totally Random | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Ah, The Wellness Industry
"Detox teas or anything that claims to help rid you of 'toxins' in your body. If you can't do that sh*t on your own already then you need a kidney or liver transplant, not a tea that a fit mom is trying to sell you."-TheBereWolf
"Also those ads that claim you have an outrageous amount of 'toxic poop' inside you. 5, 10, 20+ pounds. It's absolute poetry that people who are full of sh*t try to say it's YOU that's full of sh*t."-SxeySteve
Even more, the industries behind producing these things are most likely absolutely evil.
Too Much Plastic
"I take issue with Japan in particular. It's a country obsessed with packaging. It seems like every other thing is wrapped in multiple layers of plastic."
"I once received a gift of strawberries and - I kid you not - it was encased in plastic. Each fruit was individually wrapped in clear plastic film and rested in a moulded plastic tray which in turn came in a rectangle hard plastic case."-Eurymedion
Not Just A Plaything
"Hermit crabs are a lot more complex than people think. I have a friend who rescues them - collects all the holiday souvenirs people get tired of."
"She has a 200+ gallon habitat set up that takes up one wall of her living room with a complete ecosystem in there."
"They don't just need sand and a sponge with water and some kind of vague nutritional powder; they have levels of substrate to dig in, several kinds of water features, plants, climbing toys, lights, a lot of different foodstuffs (my husband saves the sheds from his pet snake for her; apparently crabs love them)."
"Carefully chosen pillbugs to help maintain and clean the substrate, and I don't know what all else. She gets so mad when she sees crabs as prizes at fair games!"-knitreadrepeat
Who's Heating YOUR Water?
"Not a sexy or flashy response, but no one should be buying a boiler, furnace, or water heater below 90% efficiency. The ~80% efficiency equipment is ancient technology and you are throwing your money away while also spewing more greenhouse gasses!"
"Many of you have pointed out instances where the 80% is an appropriate choice, whether it be flue issues, a steam system, or you don't have the fund for the 90% upfront."
"On top of this I'll clarify that these upgrades should be made at the end of the boiler's life, it will almost never make financial sense to replace a functional appliance with a more efficient one, and the greenest equipment available is the one you already have."
"Heat pump crew, I'm with you, but currently, with US fuel mixes and electrical costs, there are very valid arguements against them."
"Everyone talking about how they have a 60 year old boiler that runs like a tank, this is some serious survivor's bias, if they all worked that well no one would have to replace old equipment and the industry would have died except for new construction."-DelxF
Did you see something on this list you need to stop buying? When people stop buying a product, it not only leaves circulation but also sends a message to the distributors to stop selling that product altogether, thereby accomplishing the ultimate goal one has when they boycott an item.
There is no ethical consumption under capitalism. But there are at least levels of ethics in there--and we can get a little more ethical.