Ubiquitous online price comparisons force all suppliers into keeping list prices at rock bottom lines. Search engines have made it ridiculously easy for every consumer to compare prices from every supplier instantly and effortlessly.

No supplier can afford to look more expensive than its direct competitors, and that means they're extremely reluctant to increase list prices. Instead, they're turning to extras and fees to make up for what they'd like to add to list prices but can't.

"Optional" fees are being applied to elements that used to be included in base prices. Some are easy to avoid, others not so easy. Mandatory extras are even more pernicious - in fact, they're scams - but that doesn't prevent some suppliers from adding them.

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