25 Industries That Are Shadier Than A Lot Of People Think

Published 8 months ago

Most businesses and industries have a bad side to them. Though it may not be public knowledge, many popular industries have a shady aspect to them that they may not want their clientele aware of. 

However, a recent Reddit thread created by ‘attilabodnar’ went viral after encouraging netizens to reveal businesses that are shadier than others. So if you want to know which industries Redditors thought fit the bill and why, scroll down to the gallery below. 

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#1 Funeral Business. Guilting little old ladies into spending money they don’t have to give their husbands a funeral “they deserve”.

Image source: JaxJim, Pavel Danilyuk


Image source: professorjaytee, Andrea Piacquadio

Insurance. Life insurance, car insurance, health insurance, whatever.

People tend to trust insurance companies, which is nuts. Nice-seeming people wearing nice business clothes, sometimes in a nice office, with nice, neat forms to fill out and nice, long contracts to sign. Everything seems proper. Everything seems fair.

These companies DENY claims at every opportunity. That makes up a lot of their profit, the denial of valid claims. The more you pay per month the happier they are and nicer they seem, but that doesn’t make them any more likely to give all your money back (and then some on top) when something supposedly insured-against happens.

If an insurance company CAN deny any claim, they WILL. It’s pure profit. Then they’ll often raise your rates, seemingly as punishment for daring to file a claim.

#3 Anything related to eye glasses.

Image source: TedIsAwesom, Ksenia Chernaya


Image source: drooln92, Pixabay

Car dealerships including both sales and the service department. When my car was still under warranty I used to take it to the dealer for service. Every single time I’m there for an oil change they do their scare tactics; we recommend this service. Whenever I ask, do I really need it they always say if you skip it this and that bad thing will happen. One time they did a brake job on all 4 wheels. The following appointment they again said I need a brake job on the rear. I was so livid and asked them, what do you mean I need a break job? You just did it on my last appointment! So, what did I pay for the last time I was here? I caught them with their pants down. The service manager apologized (didn’t really work, I was still mad) and said they’ll do the rear brake job for free. I never did get a proper explanation but it this happened years ago so I don’t remember. That was the last time I went to that place for service.

#5 Fertility industry

Image source: Alarmed-Part4718, Pavel Danilyuk

#6 Department of human resources in every industry. Despite the name, they are not there to help the employees. They are there to keep the employers out of trouble.

Image source: EngineerMinded, Andrea Piacquadio

#7 Healthcare (at least in the US).

Image source: AverageInsult, Antoni Shkraba

#8 Not exactly shady, but the restaurant/bar industry is pretty wild. Everyone is on drugs and sleeping with each other. Highly recommend, it was a great time.

Image source: SylviaKaysen, Robin Stickel

#9 The defense industry. The largest defense contract ever, the F-35 joint strike fighter, is a cost plus contract. Meaning there was no fixed price. Lockheed gets paid whatever they spend plus a percent as profit. Trillions of tax dollars will be spent on it.

Image source: No-Wallaby-5568, Sipal Photography

#10 Property management

Image source: Icy_Marionberry1866, MART PRODUCTION

#11 Recycling. A lot of stuff gets shipped to Asia or just dumped in a landfill.

Image source: javanator999, Sigmund

#12 Nursing Homes

Image source: Outrageous-Echo-2199, Matthias Zomer

#13 The addiction treatment industry. Trust me, there are some good program, but a lot of very greedy, evil people that capitalize on providing you treatment, then you relapsing, and getting you into the cycle of treatment/relapse/treatment. Very shady.

Image source: bigbubblegumballs, cottonbro studio

#14 Automotive repair and it is getting worse. What we need is investigators that take vehicles in with known problems and prosecute the criminals that misdiagnose or just plain sell parts and services not needed. In the 80’s California shut down all of Montgomery Wards service departments in the state for abusing customers.

Image source: Weird-Individual2155, Andrea Piacquadio

#15 Universities and Colleges.

Image source: apat85, RUT MIIT

#16 College book industry

Image source: Begood18, Pixabay


Image source: Productpusher, Thomas_H_fot

Clothing donation bins . It all gets sorted and separated and sold . The trash gets donated at the very very bare minimum required .

12 years ago my old warehouse landlord had a $50 million dollar business just sorting the clothes .

Vintage/ designer stuff got sold for top dollar .

Medium quality sold in bulk

S**t quality sold in bales by weight

Garbage quality donated

They had 20 employees just sorting belts he told me lol .

Same goes for book donations ( better world books , thrift books ) . It all gets sold on Amazon and the trash recycled or exported to 3rd world countries . Less than 5% of PROFITS got donated and since they where non profits executive pays where sky high and corporate profits beat zero


Image source: Minimum_Water_4347, Seva Kruhlov

The wig industry. There are pretty much only 2 wig makers in the world and they repackage the wigs according to what company you buy from. So a Beyoncé at one company, might be another company’s Auburn blonde. Also when I worked for a company we had a lifetime guarantee on the wigs, so people would have it for a few years then return it. All we did was wash it in an industrial washing machine, restyle it then sell it as new.

#19 Hearing aids. Lots of unqualified people selling hearing aids with a 500% markup or more.

Image source: weisblattsnut, Mark Paton


Image source: lets_talk2566, Viacheslav Bublyk

Many nonprofits are extremely Shady. I was program manager for one of the larger nonprofits in America. I didn’t know at the time, my real job with teach corporate Executives, how to make millions using the non-profit system. Worst job I ever had. I left after 6 months. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying all non-profits are shady and bad, they’re not. Most are not. However if you want to make an ungodly amount of money, nonprofit is great for that. Just make sure to give up your morals, your conscience and your values.

#21 Fine art dealers. Apparently it’s a massive unregulated “grey market” that is largely about money laundering.

Image source: Yellowbug2001, Clem Onojeghuo

#22 Cosmetics. The industry is highly unregulated and there’s not a lot of consequences for making false or misleading claims about products. Who knows what they put in these things.

Image source: lemontreetops, Dan Cristian Pădureț

#23 Realtors.

Image source: Own-Veterinarian8193, RDNE Stock project

#24 Most consultancies. It’s very rare you get a specialized service. They come up with a common method for doing things, apply it to most projects, and charge thousands a day for it.

Image source: PurahsHero, Gabrielle Henderson

#25 At least in Toronto Canada, the Towing industry is really dark and run by organized crime groups. There’s basically a turf war between the few companies that had lead to assault and murder of competitors, and fire bombing of tow trucks.

Image source: the_junglist, ifer endahl

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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