17 Products Getting Worse In Quality But Costing More

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In a time when technology should make things better and cheaper, it’s surprising to see some products and services decline in quality and become more expensive. This article explores this trend and what it means for consumers and the market.

Snacks and Chocolates

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Shrinkflation is a phenomenon where the size or quantity of a product is reduced while its price remains the same or even increases. One can find examples of shrinkflation everywhere, with chocolate bars getting smaller, crisp packets filled with more air, and candies decreasing in weight.

Concert tickets

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The Wall Street Journal declared 2023 as the “year of the $1,000 concert ticket,” marking a new high (or low, depending on your perspective) in the pricing of live music events. Once upon a time, buying a concert ticket would not break the bank. With prices skyrocketing but the quality of experience reducing, you might be scratching your head, wondering if it’s worth all the fuss.

Air Travel

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Once seen as a luxury, flying has become more about efficiency and cost-effectiveness, often at the expense of passenger comfort. Issues like limited legroom, high ticket prices, overbooked flights, and lost luggage add to travel stress.


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Housing prices have risen over the last few years while quality is declining. Houses are being built quickly and cheaply, with little regard for longevity.

Going to the movies

In 2021, the typical cost of a movie ticket in the United States reached 9.57 US dollars, a rise from 8.65 dollars in 2016. This equates to an almost 11 percent hike over five years. And let’s not overlook the popcorn. While the quality has mostly stayed the same, its price has undoubtedly taken flight.


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Modern appliances often lack the durability and lifespan of older models despite technological advancements. If a washer, dryer, or refrigerator doesn’t break, how can a new one be sold? The appliances are much more expensive now and tend to fail within five years.


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Packed with gadgets, today’s cars break down more often yet cost more. Issues like recalls for faulty parts are common. Despite this, the average price of a new vehicle in the US hit $46,437 in January 2023, marking a year-over-year increase of 4.2%.

College Tuition

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College tuition has steadily risen, with costs increasing faster than medical services, childcare, and housing over the last 20 years. However, despite the escalating costs, many students have raised concerns about the decline in the quality of education. There was a time when a college degree was once considered a golden ticket to a successful future. That might not be the case now.


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Over the past decade, there’s been a noticeable decline in clothing quality. Clothes fade, stretch, shrink, and unravel more quickly due to cost-cutting measures. Despite this drop in quality, clothing prices continue to rise.

Restaurant Food

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In recent times, restaurants grappling with rising grocery costs and labor shortages have resorted to increasing meal prices and reducing portion sizes. The average cost of food rose by nearly 4.3% between August 2022 and August 2023, following a 10.4% increase in 2022 and a 6.3% increase in 2021. Supply chain issues are causing restaurants to use lesser-quality ingredients and limit their menu options. It’s a real challenge for food lovers out there.


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Mattresses today often sag faster and don’t provide the same level of comfort and support as they used to. This could be due to various factors, including changes in manufacturing processes or the use of less durable materials.

Cable TV

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Cable TV has become frustrating for many, with increased commercials, numerous unwatched channels, and high monthly bills. A more user-centric approach, where viewers pay for what they watch, could improve the experience.

Health Insurance

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Health insurance costs are rising due to administrative expenses, high drug prices, and increased charges by medical professionals. Despite paying more, people often find the insurance doesn’t fully cover their needs. Healthcare premiums have increased by 6.5% in 2023, with a potential for even higher increases in 2024 as these costs are passed down to consumers.


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Newspaper prices have seen a significant increase, with the cost in the US rising by 43.43% on average from 2013 to 2022. However, despite the price hike, the quality of newspapers has declined. Many newspapers have had to resort to thinner editions and shorter op-eds. Additionally, experienced journalists are being laid off, leading to a decrease in the quality of content.

Gym Memberships

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Gym memberships have become more expensive, yet many members feel the quality of services and equipment is declining. Factors such as administrative expenses and inflation contribute to the price hike. However, this situation has led to dissatisfaction among gym-goers, who feel they are paying more for less.

Cleaning products

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Eco-friendly cleaning products, while better for the environment, often seem less effective than the robust cleaners of the past. Despite their lower performance, the prices of these products are much higher. The cleaning industry needs to balance environmental concerns with effectiveness and affordability.

Bottled Water

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Bottled water prices have been steadily increasing. In less than two years, the price of a 12-pack of bottled water has increased by 141%. Despite the higher cost, bottled water quality is much the same.