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People Think These Are Modern Day Snake Oil Items, And Can't Understand Why People Won't Stop Buying Them

I think we have all been in a situation where we have been scrolling Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook and been served an ad for a product that's too good to be true. And as tempting as it is to want to buy it, a little digging around proves that it doesn't do anything it promises.

Man in a casual shirt lounging on a sofa, looking at his smartphone with a slight smile
Katleho Seisa / Getty Images

Recently, Reddit user relaxandthink was curious about those products when they asked: "What's a modern day snake oil item people continue to buy?"

Jennifer Lopez tilts her head like she's uncertain

Well, the thread went viral with over 13.7K replies. Below, are the top, best, and most often commented things that people think are modern-day snake oil items:


1."People peddling their courses on how to get rich."


"'How did I get rich? I tricked idiots like you into paying me money to tell them how to get rich! Also, I'm not actually rich.'"


2."I had a family member diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and then all of a sudden I go to her house and there are multiple bottles in the fridge of salt water that claims it will improve cellular health. One of her fellow scumbag real estate agents started pawning it to her for $40 per 1.5-liter bottle as it was supposed to 'cleanse her' or whatever. I told her that it was literally just salt water, and this guy was ripping her off and she got pissed off at me crying about, 'You don’t want me to live anymore do you.' Same thing happened when I told her that the magnetic healer was full of shit too."


"This is how my hatred of MLMs started. My aunt was dying of pancreatic cancer and some lady was trying to sell my mom açaí juice for my aunt to 'cure her.' We were facing a terminal diagnosis and trying to process that — it was completely cruel."


3."Cleanses. They're basically expensive and inefficient laxatives."


"Anything that claims to detox. That's what your liver and kidneys are for."


"Juice cleanses. You're not flushing toxins out of your body by only drinking fruit and vegetable juice for a week. That isn't how human anatomy works. If you've got a liver and two kidneys, you're doing just about as much detoxification as you can."


Person drinking a green smoothie with a fridge filled with green apples in the background
Jill Giardino / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

4."Those detox patches you put on your feet. Supposedly, they suck the bad stuff out of your body and the proof is that they turn black. When actually all that happens is that your sweat makes the stuff in the patches turn black when it gets wet."


"Came here to say this. You can put sterilized distilled water on those pads and they'll turn black. It's just moisture that does it."


5."Plug-in/stick on items that supposedly saves electricity or protects you from 'radiation' of any kind."


"These do absolutely nothing and it's pure snake oil in the strongest sense. Absolutely all of the 'power saving' or 'fuel saving' devices are just a box with lights that blink when you plug it in. All of the 'radiation' defense products are nothing more than stickers. There are zero exceptions to this rule, and it's crazy to think that people are so gullible to believe these things work."


6."Skin care for kids. Your 8-year-old does not need serums, toners, exfoliants, cleansers, anti-aging, etc. Sunscreen is all that child needs."


"Everyone should moisturize though. But I’m just gonna use my cream on my kids face he doesn’t need a special kids cream. Cerave is good for everyone."


Girl with closed eyes and sunscreen on cheeks wears a shiny pink top
Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

7."Holy water that is being sold or ANYTHING from ANY televangelist."


"They show those dumbass 'magic water' commercials on late night TV. It's almost always someone saying, 'I use to be a raging drug addict until one day I got my "magic water packet" in the mail...I'm not a drug addict anymore!' OR 'I was about to be evicted until I got my "magic water" in the mail and the next day I got a check in the mail for $56K! Golly gee!' 🙄🙄🙄🙄"


8."I know someone who bought a 5G blocker for 500 bucks."


"Buys 5G blocker…pissed cell connection is slow."


"I'd be surprised if a 5G blocker did anything other than nothing or had a light indicating it was 'on.'"


9."Testosterone boosters at supplement stores marketed to young men."


"Sports supplements have been an ever-shifting snake oil industry for decades. There's always some new 'take this and get massive' product once the old one isn't selling well anymore."


Person in gym attire with towel around neck drinking from a cup
Kazuma Seki / Getty Images

10."Those necklaces that baseball players used to wear and the wristbands athletes would wear that were meant to stabilize their nervous system and give them better balance. Lmao."


"When I was in 7th/8th grade the necklaces were thee shit. You had to have one to be cool."


"You could do an entire thread on pseudoscience fads in sports alone. I can at least understand when you see people with serious illnesses desperately seeking some snake oil cure, but it's just sad to see people at the peak of fitness doing the same in the hopes of getting any sort of competitive edge."—Excelius

11."Any penis enlargement item, lol."


"In his early podcasting days — when he wasn't a total tinfoil hatter — Joe Rogan had the best quote about those. Something to the effect of, 'If those things actually worked, they wouldn't be advertising them at 3 a.m. on public broadcast, it'd be a f'ing trillion dollar industry and every dude in America would have a two foot rod.'"


12."Water alkalizing machines."


"I worked with some one who drank alkaline water and swore by how much better it was for him. He put lemon juice in it to make it taste better."


"Uhhh…he put acidic lemons in alkaline water? Did he just assume it’d end up a neutral pH?"


Person drinking water from a glass
Image Source / Getty Images/Image Source

13."Healing crystals."


"I love me a crystal. But it's 100% because they are shiny and colorful and old and 0% because they will heal me."


14."Copper bracelets."


"My grandma was crippled by rheumatoid arthritis from her early 20s — lived well until her 80s and spent nearly 3/4 of her life in excruciating pain. After she passed, we were going through her things and found a pair of copper bracelets from the '30s or '40s. Obviously, they didn't work."


They work fantastically if what you want is an adornment for your wrist.


15."Skin care creams that you see advertised by 18-year-old models who have perfect skin."


"Dermatologists keep posting on the skin care online basically saying most of this stuff is worthless overpriced water. Almost none of it does anything.The important things you can do that actually make a difference are staying hydrated, using sunscreen your entire life, and not smoking. Beyond that, there are prescription retinols and laser treatments only available at a doctor's office. The rest is just good marketing. Which is a little depressing and a little encouraging, depending on how I feel that day."


Woman holding a skincare product, looking at the camera for a promotional shot
Coffeeandmilk / Getty Images

16."Over-priced supplements. My neighbor swears by these and wastes so much money on them."


"Some aren't any better than an off the shelf multi-vitamin or just eating nutritious foods. They're just grossly overpriced and pay every celebrity/influencer to swear by it."—Sheeple3

17.And lastly, "NFTs ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"


"As an artist I cannot tell you how many people really tried to pressure me into NFTs it was fucking annoying."


Graphic illustration of a person wearing stylized sunglasses with "NFT" written on them
Gesrey / Getty Images/iStockphoto

You can read the original Reddit thread here.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.