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+57
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Whats something people still pay for that they can easily get for free?

3 years ago by aj0690 with 65 comments

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Conversation 17 comments by 9 users
  • Fuyu
    +20

    Illegally: Just about every piece of software, music, or video.

    Legally: Bottled water. For the most part tap water is safe to drink, and while bottled water is convenient, most people simply don't want to invest the forethought into refilling water bottles and just buy more.

    I personally am guilty of this, but that's because I mostly drink well-water and when I go to college the city water there tastes absolutely awful.

    • stitches
      +6

      Yup, water......or council pop as we call it around our way

      • Qukatt
        +6

        "cloud juice" is one I've heard as well

    • Guilhem
      +5

      I don't get what is wrong with enjoying bottle water, it doesn't taste like tape water (here tape water is always drinkable). Sure it's more expensive that tape water but I really enjoy a Perrier, St Pelegrino or a Badoit with a meal.

      Water is more that pure H2O.

      • Fuyu
        +5

        I don't disagree, although most people do it out of laziness as opposed to taste. It takes more effort to fill up a container of tap water and put it in the fridge and keep it filled (as well as using cups to actually drink it) than it does to keep bottles stocked in the fridge.

        • Guilhem (edited 3 years ago)
          +5

          Funny thing, I drink tape water when I'm too lazy to go to the store. But I see what you mean.

          • double2 (edited 3 years ago)
            +3

            Just to let you know - I think you are meaning to say "tap water". Tape would be like sticky tape or a tape measure, whereas a tap is another name for a faucet, tap water being the water that comes out of it :)

            Also - that is a funny outlook. You must have some pretty shitty tap water! I know my friend in Prague has the same issue.

            • Guilhem
              +2

              Actually I have pretty great tap water. I live in France. I just enjoy carbonated water. I have tried sodastream but it's just not the same.

              Yeah dumb mistake. Either my tablet autocorrected with French or I was really tired.

            • double2 (edited 3 years ago)
              +1
              @Guilhem -

              Ah, just thought I'd say in case it was a linguistic blind spot.

              Hey, if they bring fracking to france you might get free carbonated water out of your taps yet.

            • Guilhem
              +1
              @double2 -

              No fracking for now !

        • double2 (edited 3 years ago)
          +3

          This is it - laziness. Bottled water is more of a service than a product. You're buying the cooling process and convenience, not just a volume of water.

        • redalastor
          +2

          I put lemon slices in my tap water before I put it in the fridge. That way it's both chilly and delicious when I drink it.

      • nauthas
        +4

        Most water companies that bottle water use tap water (municipal water), or below standard water. The reason why you think it tastes better is because of the placebo effect of expecting it to taste better. Here's a Penn and Teller bit on it (there's a bit of swearing, but not much).

        • Guilhem
          +2

          Here if you bottle tap water you can't sell it as "mineral water" only natural source water can get that appellation. Nobody is going to spend money on some crappy bottled water. As I have said in others answers, I mainly buy bottled water for carbonated water.

          • nauthas
            +1

            Mineral water is indeed different. It still can be found to be below standards, as regulations are rather lenient around the world.

    • Cobbydaler
      +5

      Agree, water.

    • berrste
      +3

      Bottled water vs tap water is the first thing I think about when the placebo effect is mentioned.

Conversation 5 comments by 4 users
  • NotWearingPants
    +11

    I hear some people pay for internet porn. Exactly why escapes me.

    • weekendhobo
      +5

      The obvious answer.

    • zyrthofar
      +4

      /u/Inconceivable's answer is spot-on, and I would also add that some people might pay for more... well... quality.

      I subscribed to one of these sites several years ago, and there really was a difference in quality. I knew I could go in and that I didn't have to spend half an hour to find a good video. This is even truer today, since the free sites' selection has grown less and less desirable (not really the word I'm looking for, but you know what I mean...).

      • NotWearingPants
        +2

        Huh. I guess that makes sense then, if you're going for quality over quantity.

    • Inconceivable (edited 3 years ago)
      +3

      Lets say, just for example, that you really liked your Capt. Kirk/Mike Tyson porn. Hey buddy, whatever makes you happy, I'm not gonna judge. One day, you come across KirkandMikey.com and, for a little money every few months, they'll supply you with the very kind of porn you would otherwise have to search ages for. This makes your spank sessions so much easier, and only for the price of forgoing taco bell in the afternoon!

      If people are willing to pay for it, people will be willing to sell it. Your dollar goes just as far as anybody elses, regardless of your kinks.

  • spaceghoti
    +14

    Antivirus software.

    • moottranslation
      +7

      I always thought that you had to pay for it. I'm still a little shaky on what I actually need on my computer. I had AdBlockPlus and Malwarebytes but I really have no idea what I'm doing.

      • spaceghoti
        +8

        They're both invaluable tools, but neither of them are proper antivirus programs. If you do a search for the best free antivirus programs of 2015 you can do a little research and either pick one that sounds right for you or barring that, making a list of the ones you find and using a random number generator to identify one.

        • moottranslation
          +4

          bro, you are awesome. Thanks!

          • ColonBowel
            +1

            AVG and Avast have good reputations, but Win 8.1 has one built in called Defender.

  • Boop
    +13

    Books. Lots of free e-books from various places. For paper books, just go to the library or see if you can borrow from a friend.

    Education. Well, for basic courses anyway, like cooking, personal finance or whatever. You can easily find a book, research online and some libraries, schools, etc. offer free courses. You just need to look!

  • double2
    +12

    Learning to code. I've been at university studying CS for 2 years and I have done most of my learning in this time from Stack Exchange and Codecademy. The only benefit of university is the extra time you have on your hands to dedicate to studying, but you could easily make the same amount of time by managing your schedule more efficiently and not watching 6 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm every day before starting your studies.

    • spaceghoti
      +10

      One of the advantages of being in a more structured environment is...well...structure. I've been dabbling at programming and scripting for the better part of two decades but I've never really taken off with it because I find it difficult to grasp programming concepts without something concrete to pin it to. I need a project that requires me to take advantage of a function or library before I really comprehend its use.

      Everyone learns in different ways. I can't simply read or listen to an explanation of a practice skill, I have to actually get involved and for that I usually need a project to help direct me.

      • double2 (edited 3 years ago)
        +6

        Yea, I'll definitely give you that. I was in much the same situation - faffing around with bits and bobs for yonks, but the structure of being at uni encouraged me to complete tasks. However, that requirement can easily be resolved through self discipline and purposefully outlining clear projects to get involved with. CodeWars is good for little things and some of the free courses on Udacity are pretty good - I was doing the android development course on there the other week and, apart from some outdated bits (VERY frustrating!!) the course quality and structure is fantastic.

    • DCSpud
      +3

      I literaly took a class on Python where the teacher said "Use CodeAcademy"... Mind you that is open to all years. However, about half the class were Freshmen and none of them have ever done any coding before. They literally had to learn everything by themselves. This was because the class was all project based and he didn't want to actually teach. For the rest of us this wasn't that hard since most of us knew other languages, but I felt bad for most of the Freshman.

      • double2
        +3

        Jesus, that's terrible. I can't believe how little time is given to workshops or practical sessions at my university. I would have thought in coding modules you'd have at least a few hours contact a week. Nope...just the one in which you have to compete with 15 other people for attention.

    • Clockwork
      +1

      I love Codecademy. I use it all of the time when I'm bored!

  • Chubros
    +7

    Email. I'm looking at you old AOL users.

    • PensiveApe
      +2

      My family discovered an odd 10 dollars on our credit card bill from aol a few years ago.. I couldn't believe that they were still charging us. You can get free atop email though.

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  • ubthejudge
    +4

    International phone calls... ever heard of skype?

    • ColonBowel
      +4

      "No." -The Congo

    • Fooferhill
      +3

      My mother in law paid a person to get Skype put on her laptop- she had no idea she could dowload it for free and was convinced you have to pay for a special person to arrange it. Cost her $40.

    • DiamondDragon
      +3

      My fiancee lives in a poor country and an internet connection costs per month what some people make in a week.

    • spammusbi
      +2

      Even if the person you're calling doesn't have Skype, it only costs like 2 cents a minute to call a phone. So either way, it's a good ass deal.

  • pixelboot
    +4

    Travel agents. With so many travel websites now, I have no idea how consumer travel agents are still a thing.

    • spaceghoti
      +2

      With so many travel websites now, I have no idea how consumer travel agents are still a thing.

      It might have something to do with how there are so many choices and not a lot of ways to narrow them down. Seeking the advice of a professional is not necessarily a bad thing. For those who have a better idea of what they're looking for and what pitfalls to watch out for, the web is a fantastic resource. For those who have scrimped and saved for years to take that dream vacation and don't want anything to go wrong, a travel agent might be the best option.

      • Omuhoololi
        +2

        Exactly. Some people would rather not research, plan, coordinate, and organize a vacation (especially if it entails more than one location); they would rather just pay to go on one.

    • Bastou
      +1

      For the lazy and the anxious types. Also, people with zero travel experience who lack self-confidence. Fortunately, I'm not one of these, but I can see why some prefer travel agents.

      • pixelboot
        +1

        I feel like this could be applied to the majority of answers in this thread.

  • OnlySlightly
    +2

    People use coin counting machines like Coin Star and pay a fee. It's a scam. You can bring a bag of coins to the bank and they'll count it for you.

    • GeniusIComeAnon
      +3

      I thought you had to bring them rolled? That's what I've always been told. You can get the casings for rolled coins really cheap, though.

      • badger28
        +3

        My credit union makes you unroll them. I guess people were sneaking in fake coins. Now they have to be unrolled and counted by the machine.

      • spaceghoti
        +3

        More and more banks are requiring you to roll your coins first, which means you have to count them to make sure they're accurate.

        • ColonBowel
          +1

          Many Coinstar machines will give you the exact amount of money you put in but in Amazon credit.

      • PensiveApe
        +2

        My credit union has a free coin counting machine.. But that's a credit union.

    • spammusbi
      +2

      Most banks don't count it for you. You need to roll them up. I know in Germany Sparkasse has free machines that count your coins, but I've never seen it in the states.

      • staxofmax
        +2

        My local credit union has some, and I live in the western US.

      • TheWorlds
        +2

        local bank HSBC has them at most branches.

  • timex
    +2

    WinRAR

    • Clockwork
      +1

      I legitimately feel bad for anyone who buys it.

  • BucksinSixxx
    +1

    the internet. go to a public library or university and they usually have a public wifi network. not that I advise it, but it's free.