Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

"Caveat Emptor."

The famous English proverb is a Latin phrase warning customers they are solely responsible for the quality or suitability of the goods before committing to a purchase.

The warning is something many consumers don't take into consideration, and they wind up regretting a transaction that left them stuck with a mediocre product—or worse, being majorly ripped off.
If the merchandise or a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Curious to hear about customer regrets online, Redditor jezbez asked:

"What terrible product sells by the millions?"

Many items for sale seem to focus more on advertising than ensuring product integrity.

Growth Enhancement

"Penis enlargement pills."


"The pills keep getting larger but my penis is still the same size - am I doing something wrong?"


Red Flag

"Any product where marketing is 95% of the production budget."


Late Advertisement

"Anything you see on the 1 AM advertising shows that take 1 hour to show you a single product."

"They are also sold on like Walmart shelves in the 'as seen on TV' section."


Getting More Ink

"Printer ink cartridges."


"I hate the printers that refuse to print a black and white page just because it's out of yellow ink."


More Ink Nightmares

"F'king hell, I hate printers, from their 'ceases to continue working after minimal use' thing to the 'ink whose price suggests it is drawn from the glands of rare sacred animals on another planet' crap. I'm sure there are lots of good, decent people who work in the printer industry, but I'm sure there were lots of good, decent people working on board the Death Star too."


The effectiveness of some household wares and health & beauty products were questioned.

Toxic Flea Repellent

"Hartz brand pet flea treatments/medication. It's dangerous and has been the cause of death for many pets. IIRC it's a nerve agent that's supposed to make the pet's blood toxic to fleas."

"I used some on my cat once and she started freaking out, then had trouble walking normally (her legs were twitching and kicking, clearly out of her control), and tears of brown thick liquid started streaming down her face. I picked her up and frantically gave her a bath hoping to wash any of the remaining chemicals off the back of her neck before any more of that poison seeped into her skin."


Dietary Supplement Corporation



"I know literally no one that buys it. I'm convinced they're a drug front or are faking their financials."


Weight Loss

"Diet shakes/pills/teas etc."


"My boyfriend was trying to lose weight desperately for a job."

"He made a list of everything he wanted. He wanted a girdle (to suck in his belly), eggs, and 4 different diet pills. The cost of just 1 box was well over 50 bucks. And he wanted 4."

"I told him the diet pills will never work, and they might make him sick. Bought 1 box anyway. He lost a couple pounds. Water weight. In order to lose more, he starved himself and ate 3 eggs, once per day, or nothing at all."

"He would have a smoothie a few times a week, which has several hundred calories."


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Clogging The Pipeline

"Detoxification miracle products."

"Get all the toxins out of your body!"

"You have already have a pancreas and liver."

"and kidney(s)"

"Glad to see so many people actually are educated about their digestive systems. One of my favorite areas of study right now are the gut microbiome and it's ever-increasing known impact on our overall health. So far it really seems like one of the most important factors (if not the most) is the quality of care you give your ol' poop machine. So yeah, don't consume garbage branded as detox products that f' upyour colon."



"Stuff with microbeads."

"Seriously, how was this ever legal in the first place and why is it still legal?"

"Edit, apparently mictobeads were mostly banned in the US (where majority of redditors are from) in 2018 (enacted 2015) but I missed that. However, this is not a strict ban as they are still allowed in "non-rinse off" products such as make-up or pillow stuffing and you can order large quantities of them on Amazon. So while this is a step in the right direction, it is certainly not good enough. Furthermore, they should be banned worldwide like CFCs were as their environmental impact is equally as bad."


"Totally Unnecessary"

"Douche - like Summers Eve."

"That stuff is totally unnecessary if you're hygienic."


Entertainment services have found ways to exploit customers by enticing them with features that promise elevated experiences but ultimately fall short of expectations.

Virtual Upgrades

"WILDLY Overpriced micro transactions in video games, it's genuinely absurd. 25 dollars for a little outfit for your character in a first person shooter where you do not see your little outfit is a perfect example."


Someone Else Is Keeping Score

"NBA 2K franchise. just keeps getting progressively worse, more ads, more incentives to spend money, gameplay barely changes."



"Cable TV (from major providers)"

"They made money f'king people over and then when streaming services changed the game they decided to continue finding new ways to f'k you over. God help you if you live in a rural area."


Big Brother Is Watching You, Tracking You & Taking Notes On You

"My data."


"I saw you were thinking about toast today. Here's 10 ads on toast."


"I saw you watched a video review for a vacuum cleaner. Here's 30 more even though you've already purchased one."


Virtual Cash

"Shark cards, gold bars, or any other micro-transaction which gives you virtual money in a world you'll be playing alot *anyway*, so you'd be getting that money anyway."


The gimmick of the surprise toy is my pick for the worst use of money ​on terrible products.

It's confounding to me how people flock to acquire these surprise packages, unwrap them, and never play with the toys inside. The excitement is in the reveal, and that is it.

This reminds me of the "blind purchase" concept of the popular "Gashapon" vending machines all over Japan.

Enthusiastic collectors spend a lot of money in the hopes of getting "the one" toy to complete the series in the desired set.

The addiction to Gashapon is like a slot machine for young adults. And the mania for it is over a piece of plastic resembling their favorite manga or anime character that eventually collects dust somewhere up on a shelf.

But hey, it's their money to do with as they please.

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