Dirty Tricks Businesses Use You Should Know (And Warn Your Friends About)

List Rules
Vote up the sneakiest tricks.

If you've ever been in the market for a used car or negotiated pay for job, you know about the things to look out for during a business deal. While it probably won't help to go into a negotiation with a completely pessimistic and guarded attitude, it is important to be aware of sneaky business tricks used to pressure you into making a deal with which you aren't comfortable.

These business tricks aren't your over-the-top Ponzi schemes or money order scams, either. They are much more discrete, and sometimes, even the most experienced folks can fall for them. As such, the good people of Reddit have come together to warn others of various dirty business tricks they've encountered. 


  • 1
    11,630 VOTES

    Beware Of 'Buy Here, Pay Here'

    From Redditor /u/mostlymoister:

    Buying a car from a 'buy here, pay here' dealership. You put $500 or $1,000 down they say you are approved and you drive the car home. Two days later, the dealership calls and says that they couldn't get you financed at that down payment and interest rate so we need an additional $2500 down and your interest rate doubles.

    If you don't have the extra money they take the car and your original down payment.

  • 2
    9,925 VOTES

    Contractors Tried To Get Paid Twice

    From Redditor /u/mymusekilleditself:

    When my grandmother was in the hospital, her landscaper and handyman both contacted me to tell me she hadn't paid them and they'd been trying to to reach her and on and on. I'd already paid both bills from her account and when I questioned them, they remembered real quick.

  • 3
    11,218 VOTES

    Not Sending Your Credit Card Statement

    From Redditor /u/quietman85:

    I worked in the collections department of Discover Card for a while. One thing they did (maybe still do), to lure customers to them is offer 0% APR for the first year. People would jump on this and transfer all their debt onto their new Discover Card, and then the company would 'conveniently' not send the first month's bill. In the fine print of the agreement, it states that if you miss even one payment in that first year, your APR will jump to 29.95%.

    Half of my calls were to these new customers who would then proceed to throw a fit, because they didn't ever get the bill, and I had to explain to them that it was their job to know when the bill was due, and sending one was just a courtesy extended by the company. I hated hated hated that job. It ate away at my soul.

  • 4
    8,391 VOTES

    Used Car Trick

    From Redditor /u/000011110000:

    If you're buying a used car - or any car for that matter - the check engine light should temporarily come on when you start the vehicle. If it doesn't, the dash has been tampered with to mask a potential issue.

  • 5
    8,400 VOTES

    Companies Track Deed Registrations To Trick New Owners

    From Redditor /u/fathqua:

    When I was in the process of moving into my current home, I transferred the title of my old home and land to my sister because she was buying it and moving in when I left. Within the next few weeks she started getting all the 'welcome to the neighborhood' coupons and flyers. She didn't even change her address, so I assume companies track title changes with the register of deeds.

    The sketchiest was a pest control company claiming to have an existing account on the property and recommending she continue to use their services. They detailed dates and changes; referenced termites. It was all lies. All the dates shown were while I owned the property and I never even heard of this company before she received that letter.

  • 6
    7,851 VOTES

    Fake Claims Of A Competing Offer

    From Redditor /u/mngray16:

    We were young, first time home buyers. We found a house that we loved and was in our price range, albeit the high end of our range, but in there, nonetheless. We entered into negotiations with the sellers agent. While my husband and I were thinking the counter-offer over, we received another call from our agent saying the sellers agent received an offer from someone with no contingencies. They could pay cash and sign that day.

    We knew we couldn't complete with that, and our agent urged us to rush over to her office to sign their counter-offer and hope they would accept it since we made our offer first. Of course they accepted, because there was no other offer. After all this went down, we were sharing our story with family and friends and we came to realize the sellers agency plays this card frequently.