15 Life Hacks That Everyone’s Used So Much They’re Now Useless

By Krystal Brown

Ever tried a life hack that’s supposed to make things easier, only to find out it’s more like an old trick that’s lost its magic? In this list, we’re unveiling 15 once-clever life hacks that have been so widely embraced that they’ve lost their spark of usefulness.

Getting Free Carpet Samples From Amazon to Use in Crafts

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It was a common life hack to order free carpet samples from Amazon for crafts because people were able to get little, cost-free pieces of carpeting that could be used for several crafts like constructing coasters, patchwork sheets, or even miniature rugs.

But as this life hack gained popularity, many individuals started abusing it by obtaining excessive amounts of samples they didn’t intend to use for crafting. Amazon subsequently stopped providing free carpet swatches after catching on.

Using eBay’s Misspelling Search Feature to Find Cheaper Goods

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It used to be common to use this trick to identify products with spelling mistakes or typos mentioned, which may lead to reduced costs because fewer people would find the product in search results. This hack, however, has spread rapidly, and many vendors are now familiar with the trick. As a result, some vendors purposefully misspell phrases in their postings to attract consumers who are utilizing this trick, but the discounts are no longer as great as they previously were.

Coupon Code Websites

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These websites used to be an excellent source for finding online coupons and discounts, but they are now overrun with offers that might not be valid or have already expired. Many merchants have noticed the tendency and have taken action to prevent coupon code misuse. Some of these steps include restricting the number of times a promotional code may be used, making codes only available to specific consumers, and forcing users to subscribe to email newsletters to access discounts. 

Pressing Zero to Speak With Customer Service on an Automated Telephone Tree

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This trick used to be a common way to get around lengthy automatic menus and speak with a live agent more quickly. However, a lot of businesses have seen the trend and changed their systems to stop customers from taking this shortcut. Some automated telephone systems are configured to detect when a consumer repeatedly pushes zero and either sends them back to the menu’s start page or hangs up the phone.

Other businesses have speech recognition systems in place that restrict users from pronouncing certain terms to speak with a representative, essentially preventing the zero hack. Even if this life hack could still be working for some companies, it’s crucial to keep in mind that it’s not a guarantee and users may need to look into other approaches to contacting customer support.

Online Free Textbook Downloads

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Publishers and authors were aware of the problem and began taking steps to safeguard their ownership of intellectual property as more individuals started to use this life hack. To prevent unlawful access to and circulation of their textbooks, several publishers started using DRM (digital rights management) technology, which makes it hard for students to access and share them unlawfully.

Applying to a Lot of Scholarships That Nobody Else Does

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As more individuals learned about this life hack, more people were applying for these scholarships, which raised the stakes and made it tougher to win. In addition, some scholarship sponsors started to discover that they were getting a lot of shoddy entries from students who weren’t interested in the scholarships and were merely applying to boost their chances of winning. As a result, selection standards were made stricter, and additional criteria, such as essays, assessments, or merit evidence, were added.

Trying to Find Out Who Is Calling From Unknown Numbers

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It was a common life hack to look up unknown numbers to check who was calling since it helped individuals recognize unfamiliar or spam calls before picking up the phone. This was especially helpful for those who often got robocalls or telemarketing calls in large numbers.

The popularity of this life hack, however, led to an increase in spammers and companies hiding their phone numbers or making them appear local or commonly used, making it harder to locate them using a basic search.

Using a Parking Garage Scam to Get Cheap Parking

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Parking garages and systems have gotten more complex and advanced as more individuals started to use this life hack, adding features like cameras, detection of license plates technology, and payment booths that compute parking prices depending on the length of the stay. Additionally, sensors buried in the ground will stop the kiosk from issuing a ticket to someone who isn’t in a car.

Getting Rid of Student Loan Debt Through Bankruptcy

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The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, approved by the U.S. Congress in 2005, significantly increased the difficulty for debtors to discharge their student debts through bankruptcy. under the terms of this law, borrowers must achieve a very high threshold to demonstrate that paying back their educational loans would put them through “undue hardship”.

Finding Affordable Luxury Items at Thrift Stores

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This life tip gained popularity, which led to a rise in the demand for expensive things at secondhand shops and an increase in fraudulent buying behaviors. For instance, some people would stock up on all the designer goods they could acquire at a thrift shop and then resale them online or at consignment stores for a profit.

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