Bait And Switch: Misleading Products That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

By Aileen D December 26, 2023

This article was originally published on healthandwellnesnews

We all love products on the internet that make our lives easier. However, some products have equally made our lives a living hell. You could blame their low quality on manufacturing defects, but there are some items, like these, that were purposefully made to deceive customers.

Packaging plays an integral part in a consumer’s purchase. After all, sometimes we do judge a book by its cover. After seeing these products, you will make sure to read the nutritional facts or the fine print more often. You might even want to feel the product to see just how much of it is filled with air.

Without further ado, here is a list of some wickedly deceitful products that some netizens had the misfortune of purchasing.

Rainbows and Make-Believe

Perhaps we should have expected this from crayon companies. These Redditors thought that buying this bundle was a win. It might have been the excitement of bringing this to the cashier that distracted them from noticing that it was too light to be fully filled with crayons.

Image courtesy of Mch Z / Reddit

We guess rainbows, coloring books, and happy endings only belong to kids. Adults have to deal with the harsh reality of being ripped off. Fortunately, this container is big enough to house this Redditor’s disappointment. This container does make for good storage, though.

A Scary Size Indeed

It doesn’t matter if it isn’t Halloween. If you get a sour punch in this packet, you’re in for the scare of your life. This Redditor definitely felt a chill to his bones when he tore the wrapper apart and saw that all of that trick-or-treating amounted to this.

Image courtesy of kevroni coal / Reddit

He might have asked himself if he should submerge the sour punch in a bowl of water and wait for it to expand—like those dinosaurs we used to play with. We can imagine the disappointment he must have felt as he chewed on this itty bitty candy.

How Giant is Giant?

Part of why we have such trust issues is because we were sucker punched a lot as kids. When we were given sticker books such as this, we were led to believe we could paste a life-size Ariel on our bedroom walls. But ‘giant wall stickers’ for these creators only amounted to this.

Image courtesy of Mishi _ Moshi / Reddit

If you can get over the disappointment of not having a life-sized Ariel, then you will still have to deal with the horror of finding out that most of the “1001 stickers” are really just plain blocks. This is just evil. Adults can deal with being let down but leave the kids alone!

Tike Wouldn’t Approve

This Redditor has just become a dad. He and his wife decided to shop for some toys for their little one. Little Tikes’ Soft Blocks should help her hand-eye coordination and help her recognize colors. These parents knew their tike would definitely approve.

Image courtesy of golden – potato / Reddit

It was a toy cheap enough to preoccupy their kid. However, they had expected at least nine blocks for her to build a pyramid or a house with. As it turns out, one of those soft blocks was just a defunct box made of cardboard.

Keeping Up With Overhead Expenses

If you’re planning to take someone on a date, but you wanna keep costs at a minimum, try taking them to the movies. Buy them a box of popcorn and some drinks, and you’re good to go. The best part is that you don’t have to do any talking.

Image courtesy of katielh 98 / Reddit

However, we suggest that you buy two of those buckets. If you don’t, you will have to leave the movie to get your sweetheart more popcorn. And because life isn’t fair, you’ll probably leave to get more popcorn just as the movie is getting good.

Buy Three, Take One

This Redditor’s kid was going to start her first grade the next month. He bought her the cheapest coloring set he could find and thought she wouldn’t notice. At the end of the school day, she was telling her dad how everyone had lilacs, oranges, and indigos…

Image Courtesy of Photos By Drew / Reddit

…whereas she only had this. Guess this company thought it was enough to just give kids primary colors. Let them have fun discovering the other hues by mixing and matching different colors. Not only is that time-consuming, but it is also frustrating for a first-grader!

Gone Extinct

You would think that this dad would be able to purchase a good brand of crayons. He must have judged purely on the packaging, with its vibrant colors and enthusiastic characters. However, the crayons inside the box have all gone extinct.

Image Courtesy of tandol / Reddit

His kid only has a few colors to color her book with, and her imagination has to fill in the lack of variety. His little one must have tugged on his shirt and put her hands on her hips, “next time, I’m buying the coloring set!”

Extreme Space

Looks are equally important to women as they are to men. That’s why more and more men are putting effort into looking appealing to the opposite sex. They buy well-fitting clothes, expensive cologne, and even super-strong-hold hair gel to keep their hair in place.

Image courtesy of miguee RL / Reddit

After using the product for a couple of days, he thought it was reliable enough to maintain the suave look. He bought himself the bigger container only to find out that it had the same amount as the one he had bought earlier. And he had been charged three times the price!

Broken Dreams

This mum knew how much her kid wanted a new coloring set for school. Her child had been begging her for one during the summer. Well, today is the day mom made that wish a reality. She checked to see this art tub’s contents and was outraged to find this inside.

Image Courtesy of arka 80 / Reddit

Space. Loads of it. She didn’t want to show this art tub to her kid without filling it in with something. Her mind raced. Aha! She bought a couple dollars’ worth of coloring books and then shoved them inside. Quick thinking could really save the day.

Is This Even Legal?

When you have got a kid in the house, you come up with different ways to engage them to read and communicate with the world. You can have them scribble on paper or leave notes on the fridge. This couple thought of buying a tub of fridge magnets.

Image Courtesy of Fearners / Reddit

They eagerly unscrewed the lid and found this hollow container inside the tub. It was pushing each of the letters outward to make the tub look full. We just hope that there are at least enough letters for the kid to spell the word “disappointment.”

In Fine Print

This person had been wondering why she had been gaining weight like crazy. She had tried the low-carb diet and swore that she consumed less than 100 grams of sugar per day. Her only guilty pleasure was milk and coffee.

Image Courtesy of iminiki / Reddit

She was confident the coffee she had been drinking had no sugar in it, at least, until she checked the nutritional facts. As it turns out, it had nearly 16 grams of sugar in each packet! This is a reminder to always read the fine print.

Budget-Friendly Eye Cream

Would you ever consider buying a cheap cosmetic product online? Many might. If the product does the trick, then it might be worth the risk. After all, nearly one million women can’t all be lying when they rate this miracle eye serum with five stars, right?

Image courtesy of bail _ me _ out / Reddit

Oh, it worked alright, but this woman couldn’t help but frown. Instead of receiving 150 ml of eye cream as advertised, she only got a meager 10 ml. No wonder it was cheaper than the rest of the items she had perused online.

Too Late

This couple was short on time to cook meals during the work week. They decided to cook in bulk during the weekend, place the food in microwaveable containers, and then reheat the food items in the office. So they set out to buy microwaveable food containers.

Image Courtesy of Adecker 100 / Reddit

They thought they had hit the jackpot with three food containers for just $15. However, when they brought the package home, they discovered it couldn’t be placed in the microwave. The time they could have spent cooking their food was spent demanding a product refund at the mart.

Original Flavor

This Redditor had been hearing great reviews from everyone that the latest Lotus ice cream flavor was beyond divine! She thought of buying a box for her family and decided to reward herself with one stick after filling the shelves at home.

Image Courtesy of i shipped my bed / Reddit

She ripped open the package and was shocked to see an evenly coated Lotus stick. She quickly took to the internet to post a review: “My disappointment is immeasurable.” She bitterly bit into the ice cream and felt the Belgian chocolate pacify her.

Got Space To Dribble

We can’t count the times advertisements have shown us a picture of a product that is vastly different from the product in reality. When this couple bought their kid a ball pit at home, they thought he would be swimming in it.

Image courtesy of aditisar / Reddit

Upon setting it up, the product looked like it left room for their kid to dribble those balls. Turns out, their kid loved this little playpen. He and his dog could nap inside and remain unaffected by the problems outside their little coop. All’s well that ends well.

More Like An Alarm Clock

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some companies repurpose surplus parts into other items. Take this kitchen scale: This company brags that its product can measure meat and vegetable amounts precisely and accurately on its extra large 400 ml tray.

Image Courtesy of bumbling buzzer / Reddit

However, it is pretty difficult to get an accurate weight when the scale doesn’t have any numbers! This looks more like a strange clock than a scale. Instead of telling us how much our sugar weighs, it feels like it’s about to tell us to start fasting in 2 minutes!

Gone Color Blind

A teacher needs different colored pens to write comments on students’ assignments. You need red ink for scores, green ink for good comments, pink ink for avoid-its, and blue ink for miscellaneous notes. This teacher bought the pens below and went home.

Image Courtesy of desperate _ ly / Reddit

He rubs his eyes. Perhaps he was too tired, or he was low on sugar. He gets a piece of paper and scribbles with each pen to check each ink’s color. All of them were blue. He sighs heavily. “Guess that will do for this test.” These pens get an F.

Makes You an Angry Bird

If you’re low on sugar, it might be a good idea to drink a couple glasses of juice or chew on some candy. That’s why this Redditor has always got a pack of fruit snacks in his packet. It gives him that energy boost and the adrenaline rush he needs.

Image Courtesy of Red – Baron 05 / Reddit

However, feasting on this particular packet will turn you into an angry bird since there are no Angry bird gummies in sight. Customers will be left fuming as they are forced to chew on love hearts and cutesy bears instead.

Perte de L’ Appétit

You can never go wrong with French food. From Salmon En Papillote to Crepes Suzette, everyone’s mouths will water if you serve them French cuisine. It is, however, difficult to cook French food yourself, so this Redditor thought that buying this French wrap ought to do the trick!

Image courtesy of geoxan 69 / Reddit

Boy, was he wrong! There was a large gap of space between the two wraps where the cardboard was wedged in. Deceptive packaging is always annoying, but it is even more so when you are starving! He should have just ordered a pizza.

Half Pepperoni?

It’s Friday night, and everyone in the family is looking forward to eating melted mozzarella cheese on freshly baked crust. Dad decided to buy a box of DiGiorno. Fingers crossed; hopefully, it would taste as superb as the Domino’s Pizza they often order.

Image Courtesy of wr0way / Reddit

He was in for a big surprise because this stuffed crust only had one pepperoni on it. He checked the box again, “1/2 Pepperoni.” He could feel steam coming out of his ears. We swear he could have baked this pizza with the heat radiating from his head.

Crappy Deal

This lady wanted to take a trip down memory lane. She bought a box of Mrs. Freshley’s Fudge Brownies, the same ones her dad would buy her when she was a kid. Instead of reminiscing old memories, she was fixated on the lone candy on top.

Image Courtesy of hyrte 0010 / Reddit

Oh, that is candy topped, alright! Technically, the manufacturer didn’t lie. She ripped the packaging apart and held back tears imagining the candy sprinkles she used to enjoy as a kid. Now she was an adult getting scammed by candy companies.

Disgust in Every Bite

Ever heard of the cookie company Unibic? Neither have we. It is no surprise this company has not gotten rave reviews because it can’t deliver on its promises. The company claims that there is “delight in every bite” of its cookies.

Image Courtesy of avisahani / Reddit

However, the only thing we can feel is disgust. Are those really considered cookies? You can barely see the fruits and nuts embedded in them. They seem a spongy yellow compared to the crisp, tan cookies we see on the packaging.

Preferred by Teachers, Suited for Kids

We know how it feels to be strapped to your desk at work with nothing to do. You’re counting the hours before you can time out and leave for home. This Redditor decided to buy herself some coloring pencils so she could at least work on a hobby.

Image courtesy of eva _ white / Reddit

Oh, she’s passing the time, alright—passing the time comparing these miniature pencils to full-sized ones. She has no qualms about their color; there’s a variety here. However, it seems as if you can only use these once before they turn into little nubs.

Twice the Waste

It was that time of the month. This lady had a serious craving for chocolate. She decided to stop by the store to indulge in a treat. She picked something new for a change: these little candies that looked like dragon eggs.

Image Courtesy of Barfield Briffin / Reddit

She thought that she would take a handful of them to keep her going while she finished her shop. However, she counted just ten mini-eggs in the whole box! These wouldn’t even make the trip back home. She bought herself ice cream instead. That ought to do it.

Could Pass As A Lawyer

Have you ever come across someone who was working in a career different from what you might have expected? We would’ve guessed that Dan Coates was a lawyer, what with his love for the fine print and misleading the public. See if you can spot the problem below.

Image courtesy of owlette / Reddit

At first glance, you would think this thick, easy piano music book has 500 of the greatest songs of all time—but no. This volume only contains a teeny, weeny bit of that, 39 songs, specifically. Either Dan Coates or Rolling Stone is ripping us off.

When The Food is Mediocre

One thing we have learned by now is that some food items are packaged to make up for a mediocre taste. Take this box of chocolates; we would have thought we would be biting into layers and layers of nuts and chocolate. Instead, all we got is wishful thinking.

Image Courtesy of its a Talking Muffin / Reddit

It’s probably safer to go for three pieces of the tried and tested Ferrero Rocher instead of a whole box of these. The disappointment of opening this box of chocolates will not win you any favors with the lady you are courting!

Made With Make Believe

Wanting to give this toy company a chance, this Redditor bought a box of plastic construction toys from them. Surely, Lego can’t have a monopoly over quality toys, right? However, this person had to admit that he was wrong for going against common sense.

Image courtesy of robstraight edge / Reddit

It says the box should contain nearly 800 pieces. We could spend an hour counting the plastic toys in each packet, and we’re sure it wouldn’t amount to half of that! Be wary of low-quality items. There is a reason that they are often put on sale.

Hired An Accountant?

This Redditor took to the internet to publicly shame this cheese company. He was expecting to find eight slices of cheese inside but saw that they had put four slices and then cut each in half. How do these things pass quality control checks?

Image Courtesy of komanaa / Reddit

If you are looking for ways to lose your customers’ trust, then take note. Anyone would have been led to believe that there were eight whole slices of these beautiful-looking cheeses inside. One thing is for sure: deceit makes that cheese taste twice as sharp.

Printed Where?

If you are short on cash, it might be a good idea to consider shopping in the dollar store. However, you might want to reconsider if you are looking for quality. This person was gravely disappointed when he bought this plastic table cover for a lunch party.

Image Courtesy of sorden 96 / Reddit

“Printed all over,” it says. He looks at the underside of the table cover, not believing his eyes. “What do you mean it’s printed all over?” He yells at the plastic, expecting it to give him an answer. Then he hears the bell ring. Guess this will have to do for now.

Just Make Some

In its heyday, Nickolodeon was the king of slime and adventure. We could even count on them to dump slime on our favorite celebrities at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Nowadays, Nickolodeon seems to have lost its luster. Could this be why?

Image Courtesy of hawkssb 04 / Reddit

What 90s kid wouldn’t be disappointed at this? We resolve to make some of our own slime and show Nickolodeon just how it’s done. All we need is White Elmer’s glue, baking soda, water, shaving cream, Borax, the food coloring of your choice, and a great deal of creativity!

Never In A Million Years!

We can’t imagine how the flavor of watermelon would evolve from apple, beetroot, carrots, and ginger. So, we are wondering how Pret manage to come up with this “watermelon” drink that contains all of the aforementioned ingredients sans an actual watermelon.

Image Courtesy of spam target / Reddit

It also says on their bottle that this “blended juice drink” contains strawberries and lemon. The only thing that holds true here, though, is that it contains apples. So, it’s safe to say that this watermelon drink is best for apple lovers.

To Be Fair…

Toblerone has been around for over a century. It is known for its distinctive shape and flavor, meant to be enjoyed over a cup of coffee and shared with friends and family. If you’re out of ideas for a gift, this is a safe choice.

Image Courtesy of sean _ Biota / Reddit

So you can imagine this Reddit user’s surprise when he saw the significant gaps between the bundles of Toblerone bars inside this container. To be fair, Toblerone is shaped in a triangular prism with spaces in between, so that might be where these creators drew inspiration from.

Any Takers?

One look at this packaging, and we can’t help but want to take a dozen home. If it weren’t for this Redditor, we would have made a big mistake. Take a bite out of that stale bread, and you will find this much filling.

Image Courtesy of vice sam / Reddit

The good news is that it’s as big as it was marketed. The sucker punch is that it looks like it has been filled with what this person lovingly refers to as rat droppings. How funny would it be if it actually tasted like that?

When She Looks Better With Clothes On

If you have ever been around a locker room, you have probably heard the phrase, “she looked better with clothes on.” While that is not the nicest way to talk about someone, that phrase is entirely applicable here. This almost seems diabolical.

Image Courtesy of eazleny / Reddit

We’re sure this isn’t the first time you have come across packaging that led you to believe that the product was twice as long as expected. No wonder this product was cheaper than the rest. It had to make up for its teeny weeny size.

In Order of Importance

We have no qualms about the serving size and taste of Starburst taffy candy. Just the mention of them makes our mouths water. You have blue raspberry, orange, strawberry, lemon, and cherry. Which flavor do you think is the best?

Image Courtesy of Mak Guffey / Reddit

When arranged in a row, you can see that the candy company values strawberry-flavored taffy candies the most and puts in more of the orange and cherry flavors. Good thing we love all of the flavors, so there are not too many complaints here.

Making Money Out Of Making You Blind

Many women love to invest in hair products and make-up. For some people, it is a form of self-care. This Redditor bought herself some eyeshadow that had a color palette perfect for the office. Sadly, she had to ditch it shortly thereafter.

Image Courtesy of pm me your fear / Reddit

She found out that one of the eyeshadows wasn’t safe to be put near or around the eyes. She only found out while inspecting the packaging under bright light. Below it states, “not intended for use in the immediate eye area.” Yikes!

Tacky Border Design

You can never go wrong with a touch of gold. Just a dollop of it on food or even on paper will make everything seem fancy and expensive. That was the feeling this Redditor was going for when she bought these bordered paper designs from the bookstore.

Image Courtesy of karma’s Doll / Reddit

As it turns out, the paper manufacturing company only put a gold border on the top of each pack to make it look like every paper would have the same sheen. This customer was having none of it. She brought the items back and asked for a product exchange.

At Least It’s Six and Up

Here we have another plastic toy manufacturing company attempting to copy Lego. The box states that with a bundle purchase, you would be able to build your dream city with over 1000 pieces of these building blocks. So what are you waiting for?

Image courtesy of mrm 854 / Reddit

Well, this guy didn’t trust that claim. Good thing he was age 6+. Knowing how to count or estimate surely helps. He was able to prove to the company that they were only giving their clients 523 building blocks per box, contrary to product advertisements. Sneaky!

So Which Is It?

This person had just come from a store after buying a new teapot set. She bought them at a steal price since they were microwaveable. She couldn’t wait to use them, so she started cleaning them and removing the manufacturer’s labels.

Image Courtesy of Doophie / Reddit

She couldn’t believe her eyes. With just a label, she was led to believe that this product was dishwasher safe. To think, she had bought an entire set of these. She takes a couple of breaths and then calls the mart to request a product refund.

250 Sticks, Alright

This is every newbie camper’s worst nightmare. You bring a box of matches and then find out that not all of them can be used to start a fire. Redbird company sold 250 matchsticks, alright, but they forgot to add the flammable part.

Image courtesy of amp ma / Reddit

There are only a couple you could strike against the side of the matchbox, and the rest are pretty much dispensable once you get a fire going. Guess Redbox wants newbie campers to learn the all-natural way to start a proper fire—with rocks and flint.

Fill In The Missing Colors

We have always known that painting is an expensive hobby, in part, because of the price of materials used. You have to buy canvases, oil paints, and brushes, or you might even have to take up courses. However, nothing screams “expensive,” like getting conned into buying tubes of acrylic paint like these.

Image Courtesy of lee kelly lk / Reddit

What is that oversized tub supposed to be used for? The most we can think of is to fill it with water and use it to clean our painting brushes. It would be a waste of money not to maximize the value of our purchase, right?

Actual Size, It Says

This is more than enough to bring out the Karen in us. When this Redditor bought himself a Linksys wifi USB adapter, he was expecting to use a palm-sized item as displayed on the box. After all, the box says “actual size.”

Image courtesy of relish my pickles / Reddit

That USB adapter looks to be twice as large as the picture shown on the box. This is the first time on our list that the product is actually bigger than advertised. We are not sure if that makes things any better.

Growing Toxic By the Second

After being exposed to innumerable stressors, the least you can do is pamper yourself with a glass of wine, a relaxing bath, and a good skincare regimen. With a couple dabs of Innisfree facial cream, you should be able to balance out the negativity in your life.

Image Courtesy of seven hops / Reddit

However, why does it feel like we’re growing more toxic every minute? We cannot help but feel anger well up inside us as we see just how much this bottle contains. Would you ever spend $13 just for this much?

Got Spare Mint Toothpaste

We simply don’t understand why the Brits love their chocolates with mint in them. Be that as it may, we have decided to buy our friends a box of their favorite desserts. However, we were all bummed out to see that Mint Nights only contains this many chocolate thins.

Image Courtesy of nia ma me / Reddit

And being the good friend that we are, we quickly pointed out that we had spare mint toothpaste in the bathroom. Anytime our guests wanted more of that kick of mint, they were welcome to feed on the tube or brush their teeth altogether. Same thing, right?

No Longer the Land of the Free

As much as we hate to say it, America is no longer the land of the free—not if it relies heavily on other countries like China, from whom it outsources most of its low-quality products. Put two together, and you have a water hose.

Image courtesy of [unknown] / Reddit

Let’s hope there is enough water pressure coming out of that end to rid us of the dirt and disillusionment. Most U.S. companies can make up to three hundred times more because their products are “made in the U.S.”— even if the components are bought from China. Fancy that.