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The Cost of a Price Hike

When it's time to add fees, be clear about what and why.

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This story appears in the January 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Nickels and dimes add up fast, and while consumers might not be aware of the extra charges at first, they're sure to feel it in their pocketbooks later. Bob Sullivan coins it "gotcha " in his book, Gotcha Capitalism: How Hidden Fees Rip You Off Every Day and What You Can Do About It. Whatever you call it, tacking on hidden fees is an exploding trend, says Sullivan. "Companies under intense price pressure have figured out that they can soak consumers by giving them a teaser price, hiding the real price of things and tacking on fees later."

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