Greedy Corporations and Their Ridiculous Packaging Scams

By Robin Mei - April 04, 2019
Credits: Image: Yyir

The Stuffed Marker Container

Credits: Image: angel_muffin

We all know that things are not always as they seem, but this image of ArtSkills Mega Marker Bucket with allegedly 150 pieces (of what, if not the markers?) in it truly pushes the boundaries of corporate greed way over the limits of decency.

We can only imagine the surprised look on the face of a person who purchased it only to find 75 markers in it and a set of (presumably) 75 pieces of paper stashed in the center of the bucket.

A Lazy Pizza Maker

Credits: Image: drewsoulman

When a box promises “hot and delicious” pizza in it, the last thing one should expect to see when opening it is this: a withered-looking hunk of baked dough topped with some cheese and literally three slices of pepperoni on it.

Even though the pepperoni and cheese checkboxes were not marked on this pizza box (another packaging oversight, we’re assuming), no one is really supposed to feel like they “scored” free toppings on what otherwise would be a pizza with nothing but sauce on it.

How Many Chips, Exactly?

Credits: Image: @bobbysmiff

Next time you’re buying snacks for games night with your friends make sure to check how many of the crispy bites are in the bag. We wouldn’t want you to end up with a pile of deceivingly inflated (but essentially empty) bags of chips that will be gone before the first Monopoly roll even happens.

It would be such a shame that your party comes to an end way sooner than expected only because your friends were too hungry to keep bartering for Boardwalk.

They Feel One Cookie Is Better Than No Cookie

Credits: Image: uphancylewell

We’re pretty sure that the company which produces these shamefully packed treats has some “meaningful” explanation of why some portions of their containers are so tiny that they fit only a single cookie. We simply cannot help but sympathize with anyone who ever bought a box of these things.

Even if the weight on the packaging is correct and technically in accordance with consumer law, it’s still disappointing to see brands feeling the need to do such things.

A Bottle-Half-Full Attitude

Credits: Image: VA3Official

If you want to boost your cooking with some spices, you may want to check this out and know that buying a mid-size bottle of the aromatic herbs doesn’t necessarily mean that the actual amount of seasoning will be mid-size as well.

In some instances, the chances are it will be way less than you might expect to get for the money you’ve paid. Unless you’re a big fan of “sponsoring” the company and its sneaky marketing, you might just be sprinkling your money away.

These Cookies Are Crumbling. Jam Not Included

Credits: Image: green_buddha_cacti

If this wasn’t just a random, unintentional production error for which the company will apologize to their customers, but instead their business regular practice, this brand would hardly justify the loyalty of any consumer. Some might even argue that it actually deserves to be publicly shamed this way.

Even if a graphic designer who created the illustration went too far with their photoshop skills, there’s still nothing to justify these tiny little drops of jam on top of these cookies instead of a full spread.

The Dirty Truth Behind Some Packaging

Credits: Image: gr3y

When one buys a cosmetic product, should it be expected that its label is designed to cover the fact that the tube (or whatever form the container might be) is only half full? Well, according to this picture it should.

Even if we count in the space a product probably needs before the bubbles settle down right after filling, we feel that this amount of air instead of the expected gel is kind of… dirty.

Using Plastic as a Space Filler

Credits: Image: TicketOak23

Even if we are fully aware of the fact that most (if not all) cosmetic products are sold by weight and not by volume, it still seems kind of frustrating and sad to see how little product can be found in many inappropriately large containers.

Whoever bases their expectations of how long this hair pomade could purely on the size of the jar (without checking the label details), will probably be very disappointed to discover the little space-filler cup in it.

Sometimes Companies Like to Tea(se)

Credits: Image: 3cuas

It certainly feels nice to see (and buy) a beautifully packaged product, but whoever decided to dump their collection of teas in these ridiculously big containers is either clueless about their customers’ expectations or deliberately trying to deceive them.

Although the label says there are 28.3 grams of tea here, that doesn’t mean we all really know how much tea (in volume) that really is just by eye-balling things. Judging by the amount of empty space here, this looks like it’s a complete rip-off.

Bigger Isn't Always Better

Credits: Image: Connor121314

The only reasonable explanation of why the bigger bottle of the same product has a significantly smaller number of tablets than its smaller shelf-mate is that the manufacturer has realized that they don’t need to waste their money on unnecessary over-sized packaging when customers can read how many pills are in it.

Any other reason wouldn’t make much sense, although it wouldn’t be the first time seeing corporate greediness trying to convince consumers they’re getting something that they really aren’t.

Counting Correctly Is Highly Overrated

Credits: Image: BagelsRTheHoleTruth

If the packaging says there are approximately 40 pieces of pepperoni pizza snack rolls in the bag who on earth would expect to find only 27 of them after opening everything up?

Does that mean that every time we plan a party, we have to buy at least another couple of bags to make sure that we’ll have enough for all of the guests? If the answer is yes, then this is nothing but another clear case of corporate greed.

Sticking It to the Consumer

Credits: Image: not_james

Looks like Lisa Frank’s sticker roll assembly line failed quite miserably when they packed this one. Instead of a whole roll (as the name promises) the person who bought it got only 20 stickers on a single sheet “nicely” wrapped around a cardboard tube.

It makes us wonder if something comes in a cylindrical shape and it’s called a roll should we always assume that there might be only one skimpy layer packed? We’d like to think that the answer is no.

Half the Content, Double the Profits

Credits: Image: jhop12

If someone decides to treat themselves with some delicious strawberry-filled dragon’s beard candy (also known as Chinese cotton candy) or even worse wants to surprise the whole family with a big box like this one here, it seems that they should be prepared for a real shocker that might leave some of the kids going away empty-handed..

There’s just enough of dragon’s beard candies to fit in the box window — the rest of it is only plastic! Surprise!

Cardboard on the Surface, Plastic Underneath

Credits: Image: Martwin31

There’s probably nothing worse and more damaging than the ecological scams like this one here. This “eco” cardboard pen was allegedly made to reduce the usage of plastic, but it turns out to be just another sad example of  a “Potemkin village.”

When the cardboard tube is removed, the whole thing beneath it is actually all plastic. We all know that this is probably plastic that can’t be recycled, and somewhere out there is a consumer who thought they were doing something good for the environment.

The Sneaky Staple Trick

Credits: Image: nzscion Report

This box of staples looks more like a cardboard box filled with more cardboard than anything that has to do with a stapler.

We’re pretty sure that the person who bought it didn’t actually expect to find only ten staples bars and a whole lot of nothing in this obviously over-sized box, and the chances are the staples in it cost pretty much the same as all that cardboard used to fill the empty space. Isn’t that just sad?

The Half-Empty Den of Gummy Bears

Credits: Image: WalkingRolex

This box of Haribo gold bears is such a perfect example of how some brands keep disappointing their customers with colorfully designed but obviously misleading packaging.

When someone buys a big box of their favorite candy like this one, wouldn’t it be logical to expect it to be full? Apparently not. Next time when you plan to buy something like this, maybe you should flip the container upside down to check how much content there really is in it.

Seriously — Where's the Beef?

Credits: Image: rawghi

Plan to make a fancy Kobe steak dinner for the whole family? Not with this product! The individual who got this might not have checked how many grams or ounces of meat is actually packed in there, but still, this design deserves a public calling out.

Japanese Kobe beef is one of the most expensive types of meat there is, so when a person decides to fork over the cash for such a taste bud treat you’d hope this wouldn’t be what they get for their money.

Silky Smooth Is a State of Mind

Credits: Image: Gumder

100 percent silk and 100 percent “feels like silk” are two completely different and incomparable things, so we can’t even imagine how the person who bought this piece of clothing really felt when they opened the packaging that said “100% Silk” only to discover the sad truth about the fabric.

The label inside reads “100% Silk Feeling” for fabric that is otherwise made of pure polyester. On the upside of all of this, polyester still feels great against your skin… Not.

Giving Quality the Boot

Credits: Image: PigeonsOnYourBalcony

Can you even picture the disappointment of a child who gets this chocolate boot for Christmas, expecting to be full of delicious candy treats, but then opens it only to find four pieces of chocolate waiting for them there?

The rest is nothing but a useless red plastic boot filled with air, which as we all know has no sugar and therefore is no fun at all. It’s not even a decent toy for kids to play with, but rather another sad example of cost-cutting.

There's No Beauty in Being Tricked

Credits: Image: jleedoughnut

Lots of beauty products like this one have a type of base that moves up as the product is used over time, but who would have ever expected that the whole lower half of a package would be practically empty before it’s even used once?

We know that most manufacturers would argue that creams, lotions, oils and many other cosmetic products are sold by weight and not by volume. We still think this one is still a little too deceptive.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo. Enjoy Your Cardboard!

Credits: Image: turnerxyz

This Pop Girl make-up case has a very funny slogan that reads “What a girl wants!” but offers pretty much nothing in it. Well, if that’s their idea of girls’ “needs” chances are they aren’t going to survive on the market for too long.

Imagine being the kid who’s saved up their allowance for a few weeks to buy this only to find they’ve spent most of their cash on an empty space. Talk about planting the seed of consumer mistrust at any early age.

The Fine Line Between Truth and False Advertising

Credits: Image: Icecreep109

It is believed that many companies that survive in the consumer goods market use an age-old marketing trick to make their customers feel appreciated and valued. Reportedly, they will reduce the volume of a specific product for a certain period of time and then increase it by a small amount, followed by a “better value for the same price” claim.

It looks like Suave did precisely that with their “bigger size” bottle that contains slightly less than 20 percent of the content compared to the older, “smaller” one.

Building up Disappointment

Credits: Image: anatolyzenkov

Not even kids are spared from being duped by manufacturers. The same techniques for making things look bigger and better than they really are can be found frequently being used in the toy industry too.

To make this “big” plastic bucket of Lego knock-off pieces look packed the manufacturer put a printed paper cone inside the bucket, apparently to make it “less noticeable.” Really? Not even kids are that naive to fall for a scam like this.

Huge Box, Tiny Bag

Credits: Image: iamtherealsuppaman

Imagine the following conversation: “Hey dear, could you get me some chocolate on your way home?”

“Sure, how much would you like?”

“The biggest box you can find. I think my sugars are going low and I really need something to give me a kick.”

When a customer buys a box of pretty much anything, they have every right to assume that the box (or any other type of packaging) is full, not half-full.

Being ZGood at Math Only Leads to Disappointment in Life

Credits: Image: husekjiri

When one reaches for a package of smoked salami with three delicious looking examples of what awaits them illustrated on the package, how many pieces should that person expect to see on the inside? Common sense would say three, but it seems that harsh reality often wins out over expectations.

Krahulík, a Czech producer of traditional sausage, apparently thought that the promised number of their yummy salami and the actual number of salami inside don’t really have to match.

What a Waste of a Good Box

Credits: Image: zoickx

There’s probably not a single person on Earth who has ever bought a box of cereal that was filled to the top, but it looks like some brands have started to push the acceptable limits to the point of breaking their customers’ spirit with almost empty boxes.

These “smartly” designed boxes can fool people once or twice, but if manufacturers keep doing what they’re doing sooner or later people are going to stop buying, right? Or not?

It's the Thought That Counts

Credits: Image: MisterKiko

Sending delightful greetings from Bulgaria with a box of their traditional delights (also known as lokum, a confection made of sugar and starch and often flavored with rosewater) could quickly turn into a real fiasco if you happen to buy this particular brand.

We can’t be too sure if the rest of the Bulgarian rose lokum producers have the same practice of packing their jelly sweets into similar super-sized boxes, but this one here is giving the rest of the industry a bad name.

Homemade and Factory Fresh

Credits: Image: m0dsrgay

Even though this may be technically correct the wording on this wrapper is rather misleading. When a brand wants to position itself as “homemade” it might want to at least acknowledge the point that its recipe was probably homemade only once — after that, everything was moved into a factory.

After seeing this, one might guess that the only way to enjoy anything “homemade” is to make it yourself at your own home. Otherwise, you can never be quite sure.

Cutting Corners on a Circular Pizza

Credits: Image: ArtistWolf

It looks like this wasn’t just an unfortunate coincidence, but the evil plan of someone sitting in a head office somewhere. If this “cropped” pizza wasn’t placed perfectly in its box, we might have even assumed that this happened by mistake. Unfortunately, this company knew exactly what it was doing.

It seems like a pretty dumb thing to do in the first place. If the same amount of topping was evenly spread out no one would even care.

Enjoy Your Music in Mono With This Earbud

Credits: Image: whosalec

Seems like someone’s expectations have been seriously let down with this earbud brand that apparently sells this usually paired product’s components separately. A person who purchased i7 Wireless Music Earphone has rightfully assumed that they would be getting both a left and a right bud but ended up with this.

Only one headphone was packed up in the box along with a ridiculously small cable, even though the illustration on the packaging suggests there are two earbuds in there — as you’d be forgiven for expecting.

Technically, There Is Some Chocolate in There. Technically

Credits: Image: Wieprzek Report

Whoever was looking forward to treating themselves with some chocolate but chose the healthier option in the form of a muesli bar must have been pretty disappointed to find out that the only chocolate in there were several tiny strategically placed bits.

The rest of these Batonik Musli bars were all shamefully chocolate-free. We bet all the calories of a regular chocolate bar were somehow packed in there, but all the pleasure of eating chocolate was left out.

The Cup-Inside-A-Cup Stunt

Credits: Image: Yyir

If an ice cream shop genuinely cares about their customers and their business, a trick like this one may not be the best idea to use. Filling up a cup from bottom to top is simply something every customer expects, and rightfully so.

This central London gelateria should have known better when they decided to put a small ice cream cup into a larger one to make it look more attractive, but we’re not sure that their customers really appreciate this crafty packaging illusion.

Building Up Expectations

Credits: Image: Brianshurst

A big box of blocks with 200 pieces sounds like a great present for the kids, but only as long as the product delivers what the packaging promises. Otherwise, it’s nothing but a terrible disappointment waiting to happen.

Seems like these Brik Zone Classic Blocks for young builders doesn’t care much about a kids’ expectations when they made the decision to put this rather modest bag of blocks into this misleadingly oversized double bottom box.

Cheerios, We Wanted More From You

Credits: Image: The_Killer_Pop-up

You might have noticed that lots of food and consumer goods manufacturers are constantly decreasing the weight and volume of their products. What used to be packed in 100 gram (3.5 ounces) units are now reduced to 90 grams (3.17 ounces), but Cheerios really went too far with this one.

The “large size” Cheerios box actually weighs less than the standard size box: 15.4 ounces versus 17 ounces found in the usual offering.

By Bucket They Mean a Handful

Credits: Image: finishcarts

When an advertisement in a movie theater says ten bucks for bulk candy and adds “fill as much as you want,” the last thing a customer expects is a miniature cup with a bucket handle.

If they were just a little smarter and left the handle out of this picture and simply advertised a “candy cup” chances are Venom fans would gladly fork over the cash for (overpriced) candy just to get a souvenir with Eddie Brock’s (Tom Hardy’s) face on it.

There's Something Fishy Here

Credits: Image: joefife

Seems like someone’s fine dining family dinner turned into some unplanned super small portions with this package of delicious looking smoked rainbow trout from the RR. Spink & Sons company.

We can be pretty sure that this almost 200-year-old Scottish fish company didn’t deliberately risk losing their customer’s trust with a deceptively designed package, but they’ve surely discouraged many others to avoid RR. Spink & Sons’ products next time they’re craving something that will fill the smoked fish combo urge.

The Magical Corkscrew

Credits: Image: lookiedat

If Houdini himself (an American-Hungarian illusionist, also known as “Handcuff” Houdini) was involved in designing this Houdini (the brand) corkscrew’s packaging even he would not have thought of such a bait-and-switch scam.

Often advertised as “a high-quality lever-style corkscrew” that could be purchased “at a great price” all over the country turned out to be a pretty lame product whose “weighty” feel was achieved by a hidden hunk of cement in the package. Absolutely magical, isn’t it?

What Would the Easter Bunny Think of This?

Credits: Image: Miss_GQT

It is quite reasonable to expect a high-quality product to be packed in equally impressive and even expensive packaging, but we can’t help but wonder if this kind of space and (more importantly) plastic waste is really necessary?

Seems like Lindt, a Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company, thinks that it is completely justified to pack 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of milk chocolate into this oversized wrapped egg that promises way more chocolate goodies than it delivers.

SpongeBob Squarepants, the Cyclops Version

Credits: Image: CrispyVan

Who would have ever guessed that this cheerfully designed SpongeBob Squarepants popsicle wrapper actually hides something ridiculous like this one-eyed monster that looks nothing like a kids’ favorite cartoon character?

The only two things that match expectations are the shape and color. Everything else is a sad mess. Even if it tastes great we doubt that any kid would be too thrilled to see this SpongeBob wannabe fruit punch and cotton candy with gumballs treat.

High Hopes Come With the Big Price Tag

Credits: Image: GrizzlyEar

It is not unusual that the best quality, high-priced cosmetic products come in small containers, so it’s quite confusing why Phytomer, a renowned French skincare brand, decided to pack their $70 face lotion in such a deceptively large jar.

Some might also argue whether this kind of price tag is worth paying at all for a product that is not an absolute necessity, but even if we agree that it is, this type of intentional deceit really stings.