Aren't infomercials great? All those white people messing up simple tasks... well, now there's a product for your madeup problems. Here are some of the favorite overreaches of consumer culture.

w1llyman asked: What "problem" was invented just to sell a product?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


Yes, I constantly worry about any part of me being whiter, which is impossible.

Not having stark white teeth, which is unnatural. In a related note, I just saw an ad for a product to make your EYEBALLS whiter! So now we have that to worry about.

ALoudMeow

I mean...people bleach their assh*les, so eyeballs isn't shocking.

katgib13

Yeah, but I don't lick eyeballs.

jrhoffa

Oh, this scam.

Printers telling you they're out of ink wayy before they are actually out.

Juturna_

Printer ink is a whole can of worms in part created by consumers, and by the industry through its response to an issue.

In the early days of the inkjet printer, the print heads themselves were a part of the printer. Ink 'cartridges' were merely tanks of said ink in a convenient package to insert, and were fairly readily refilled with bulk ink, if you didn't mind a little potential mess. Those early printers also lacked ink level monitoring of any kind, or any way of detecting if the print heads were getting too hot or gelling up. As a result, people would run their ink until nothing would show on the paper, which led to the tiny vibrating heads overheating (ink cools the electromechanical heads) and 'burning up', so that a fresh supply of ink wouldn't make the printer work again. Many printers were warrantied after just the first set of cartridges were run through them.

This became very costly. The fastest fix was to put the heads themselves in the cartridge, so you'd replace them with the fresh tank of ink, and avoid a warranty issue. This raised the cost of the cartridges, as essentially 1/3 of the cost of the printing hardware was in those heads. They also phased in monitoring of ink levels and the heat level of the heads, because you could still ruin a cartridge printing too much too fast, and that meant warranty issues for cartridges. As OEMs were remanufacturing their own cartridges, it also preserved the 'cores' for them. The monitoring should have removed the need to have the heads in the cartridge, and some printers did in fact go back to 'ink tanks' - but most did not, as the ink cartridges now represented a big profit center.

If you don't believe this, check out Epson 'EcoTank' printers. They use refill bottles, not cartridges, and cost a premium over their line of those printers that do use cartridges. Better believe they don't want to lose money on a truly fixed and functional technology.

Euchre

No wonder kids have self-image issues.

Contouring. Cosmetic companies have 13-year-olds thinking their bone structure is wrong and are selling billions of dollars of bronzers so women can fix their face. I've been a makeup artist for over a decade, a little shading was always a thing but now it's a completely different thing.

k1-wife

Facetune feeds into this too. It's so easy to alter an image of yourself or see altered images on sites like Instagram, which quickly leads to dysphoria and wanting to "fix" yourself with cosmetics or surgery. Makeup is such a fun form of expression but it's more profitable if companies make you think you need it to look like yourself.

wick34

You should want clovers as part of your lawn.

Clover was removed from lawn seed mixes, and the world was brainwashed to think it's a weed. Clover pulls nitrogen out of the air for free and puts it in the soil. Grasses grow mainly on nitrogen, and they deplete the nitrogen in soils when there is no nitrogen fixing plant as part of the ecosystem.

So now your lawn starts dying, and they can sell you high nitrogen fertilizer.

Get some clover back into your lawns.

/edit: another thing you can do is promote the bacterial content in your lawns. I just did a

video on bacterial vs fungal soil, which may be timely if anyone is interested. I also make, crush, innoculate and spread my own biochar into the soil, which can seriously next-level a lawn or garden. I have videos on that too, the science behind it, how to make it, etc. Golf courses around the world are getting into making biochar.

Suuperdad

My old roommate's yard was full of clover that he kept trimmed. It looked amazing.

montagr

Most juicing is ridiculous. *Sips juice*

The "making juice is hard" problem that was created just to sell that sh!tty 800 dollar juicer.

I mean, just watch the initial advertisement. It tries to make it seem like juicing vegetables is absurdly difficult, when it's literally just "put carrot into machine, press button.

Infranto

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that $800 thing isn't even a juicer. Don't you buy bags of juice from the company, and the only thing that machine does is squeeze the bag and dispense the juice into your glass? It's like a Capri Sun brick for entitled hipsters.

Nanojack

Teeth whitening.

So this has been such a mainstream thing for so long I don't how many people will relate. Today, we are bombarded with teeth whitening ads. This NEVER existed before. Not the products. It was available in drug stores. But a campaign designed by Colgate was launched against " unsightly 'yellow' teeth." Someone tell me that they do a "tissue test..." Their latest ploy to get people to hold bleached paper products to their natural teeth and deem their (likely) pristine teeth unsuitable. Dentists are loving this trend though, a whole new possibility of revenue for them. Whitening services and also enamel and cap services when people bleach their freaking teeth too much! Beware. There is a natural colour grade dependent upon the person for tooth colour. Some are naturally darker some lighter. Over bleaching can and WILL lead to enamel erosion.

KitchenV

Luckily I have a cool dentist who gives people a really supportive speech about how a wide variety of tooth color is healthy, and that bleaching is something that's only cosmetic and can damage your teeth. If you keep saying you want it, she'll tell you the least damaging way to do it, but she still advises against it. She also takes a "conservative" approach to appearance issues - if it's not impacting your health, then it's up to you.

TheAnimusBell

Bottled water is a menace.

Bottled water.

About 25 years ago or so, soft drink companies were worried the reputation of their products were as the most unhealthy thing you could drink, and there was a lot of health advice to just drink plain water. Sure, the soft drinks aren't the best thing to drink, but if people cut back on drinking them in favor of water, they'd lose money, as people drank straight from the tap. So, instead, the soft drink industry decided to bottle water and sell it, as if it were substantially better than most tap water. The grandest irony is that if you read the fine print, the vast majority of bottled water is normal municipal water, as in the exact same tap water as anyone can drink in the city where it is bottled.

So, we now have a billion dollar bottled water industry that virtually didn't exist 30 years ago.

Euchre

Hallmark holidays.

Valentine's Day.

Hank_Scorpioo

Any holiday really.

High_n_tight_77

St Patrick's day and Cindo de Mayo was developed as a drinking holiday.

EDIT - I don't need my inbox saying what happened. I know what happened, I'm saying corporations made this into a drinking holiday.

jacoobz

These days were not "developed" as such. In particular, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico winning a battle against the invading French Empire of the time. Most people in the States boozing on those days don't know why they are celebrating, but that doesn't mean these holidays were created for this purpose.

classactdynamo

Cut off dead hair.

Shampoos and conditioners to fix split ends. Split ends have to be cut off.

marya123mary

This. Hair is dead. It cannot be healed. There are products that can mask the damage temporarily, but nothing can fix it. Regular trims, heat protecting sprays and a good treatment (like Olaplex) to help keep your hair from further damage are great.

katgib13

Diamonds are a scam.

Needing to have a very expensive, diamond encrusted, piece of jewelry for a wedding ring. The concept of 3 month salary rings was invented to make people spend more money at jewelers. The campaign of "A diamond is forever" made the fad more popular.

Lonelysaturn

I never understood how appraisers could tell the difference between a lab grown diamond and a real one. Like do they look at it under something and say "you see right there you can see a spec of blood from the African child who died to get this diamond."

aidanderson

The lab grown diamonds are too flawless. Natural diamonds have minor impurities and flaws, but labgrown diamonds do not.

You're literally paying more for a lower quality product.

1-1-19MemeBrigade

Flex Seal!

My boat being sawed in half.

dalnot

Sure, but then how would you know THE POWER OF FLEX TAPE!!! Just cut, peel, stick, and seal!

Vincent__Vega

What do I do about the maniac sawing boats in half?

PM_ME__UR_HOOTERS

Drives. Me. Nuts.

YouTube not letting you continue playing a video when you close out the app🙃. Suppose on a galaxy you can have a tiny screen and do otherwise but still...Smh

MrFrosty10

Everything being disposable.

The 1-year lifespan of lightbulbs. Filaments used to be incredibly long lasting.

Same with nylon stockings getting holes. Originally nylon was strong enough that you could pull cars with it.

Planned obsolescence is a thing.

MonarthTheContrarian

...and not including the headphones with the phone.

Removing headphone jack on iPhones turned into 160 dollar Bluetooth earbuds.

Dmack1470

How do AirPods stay in your ear?

They don't work for everyone. If your ear is shaped differently than whatever population Apple used to shape the AirPods, they won't hold in. Sometimes you might have to fiddle with them a bit to find the sweet spot, other people they simply don't work at all.

If EarPods (the wired version) stayed in for you, AirPods should.

I had trouble with the basic, simple cylindrical ear buds w/ silicone tips not fitting me well, but AirPods have been fine for me.

alinroc

We must all rise against this.

Raw cookie dough causing salmonella to sell ovens.

MagpiXD

Big oven has been suppressing the truth for decades. Wake up sheeple and smell the deliciousness of raw cookie dough.

jwr410

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