OT: Saving two cents

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I'm a guy who doesn't pay much attention to prices, and it isn't because I'm wealthy, it's just that I don't really care much about saving little pennies here and there, and also because I tend to buy on quality rather than price. So what I did today was actually very out of character.
I've been buying 6-packs of heavy-duty paper towels (the blue ones) at HD. Today as I was grabbing one I noticed they also had 3-packs, and I got curious about how much I was "saving" by buying the larger pack. Turns out the 6-pack was 10.98, and the 3-pack was 5.48. Hell, I can do arithmetic in my head, so I bought two 3-packs, and saved two cents.
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One place you have to be very careful about quantity purchases is Wal Mart. Some of their jumbo sizes of everything from paper towels to a lot of food its is more expensive as package size gets larger. Sometimes a lot more expensive.
RonB
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On Tue, 17 May 2011 20:04:03 -0700, Smitty Two

Now you must donate that 2 cents to a charity. That 2 cents should feed one child for two seconds. or two children for one second.
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On Tue, 17 May 2011 20:10:44 -0700, RonB wrote:

Yes... which always seems a bit surprising given that it uses less packaging and printing (on a per-item basis) to wrap larger quantities.
Do they just charge more for larger because they can get away with it (people automatically assume the larger quantities are a better deal) ior is it all down to the risk of ending up with more unsold product with jumbo packs?
cheers
Jules
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On Wed, 18 May 2011 13:00:52 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson

When stores went to computer inventory, the software figures in a sort of 'rent for the shelf space'. If something turns over slower, it pays a 'higher rent'.
Reason tells us that if you have an equal number of folks who use the same amount of Mayo, and 1/2 buy quarts, and 1/2 buy gallons. Those folks who buy gallons won't be buying mayo as often. If we don't buy as often, we're not in the store as often, and the store can't get us to pick up those high profit items at the counter.
And the gallons turn over slower, because they are bigger.
So the unit price for the gallons goes up a little. Then everyone who notices it is the same price per ounce starts buying 4 quarts-- driving the 'rent' even higher on the gallons.. . . and so on, until the store stops carrying the gallons because it just isn't profitable. [and sending the real bargain hunters to the big box store to buy the 3 gallon jug.]
Jim
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Ah yes, a rational explanation. The price per unit is a myth in many places. One product will be quoted in $/oz, another product right next to it will be quoted in $/pound. I can multiply in my head so I can do a rough conversion, but I often wonder why the $/unit is not in the same units, especially when the two adjacent products are the same type of merchandise.
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-snip-

You would think that should be part of the law. I can usually do the math-- but a couple months ago I was having a hard time at Samsclub deciding which jar of honey was cheaper. On the unit price, one was in ounces and one was in pounds.
Just as I figured it out, I noticed that the jar that was unit priced in ounces, was a one pound jar. Duh.
Jim
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wrote:

Worse yet is when the same type of product is unit priced by a weight measurement for one brand and a count measurement for another.
No way you can do that math in your head.
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Interesting that you guys are seeing this difference in how unit pricing is shown. Here in NJ I don't think I've ever seen a case where the units were different for the same type of product. It's always very easy to compare the unit pricing. Could be the law here is different.
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wrote:

re: "Could be the law here is different"
...or it could be the products you/we are looking at.
I'll be going to Wegman's later today. I'll see if I can find a few products where the units used for pricing are inconsistent and post them here.
Do you have Wegman's in your part of Jersey? I understand that they've built a few properties in Jersey over the past few years.
It would be interesting to do an apples-to-apples comparison, although I don't think the unit pricing for apples will be different between your stores and mine. ;-)
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Yes, I have two Wegmans not too far from me. Go to one of them occasionally, but it's not my main store. I have a Shoprite nearby that is excellent and my main place.
If you come up with some products to compare, let me know and I'll check them out at Wegmans.
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-snip-

Must be enforcement. I am [and I think derbydad is] from NY & it is pretty clear to me that it is a violation.
http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/wm/regpart345.pdf see 345.4 Price per measure on p4.
(a) Price per dozen . . . . provided that the same unit of measure is used for the same commodity in all sizes. (b) Price per 100 square feet, . . . provided that the same unit measure is used for the same commodity in all sizes. (c) Price per gallon . . . provided that the same unit of measure is used for the same commodity in all sizes.
Might be fun to ask a couple store managers about their interpretation with a copy of the law in hand.<g>
Jim
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As I said, I'll try to check out a few things tonight, so this is just a speculative example...
I seem to recall situations like this...and this is not a verified, true-to-life example, disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer...
Ice Cream sold in (what used to be) half gallons might be unit priced "per oz" or "per quart".
Ice Cream sold in individual serving containers, maybe a dozen per box, might be unit priced "per dozen" or "per 100 count".
It's still Ice Cream, but there's no way to easily compare the cost of the 2 items without doing some math.
What's the commodity? Is it simply "Ice Cream" or is it "Individual servings of a frozen dairy product"?
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-snip-

I think they might have wiggle room there. I would consider 1/2gallons and individual cups to be different 'commodities'.

2 brands, side by side, each 1/2 gallons, or each individual servings, need to use the same unit. IMO- and IANAL.
The last one I ran across that I remember was at Samsclub. Plastic jars of honey. One unit priced in ounces, one in pounds. Different sized containers.
Another I remember was a real help-- toilet paper. One listed 'per sheet' one listed 'per foot' [or 100 feet?]
Jim
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That's a perfect example - and I'm pretty sure that was something I've run into before.
That, and paper towels, specifically the "select a sheet size" where you can tear off a ~1/2 sheet instead of a full sheet.
If one is priced per sheet and the other is priced by the foot, then it takes math to determine a comparable unit pricing.
Is there wiggle room there too? "Full sized sheets" being one commodity and "select a size" being another?
Seems like an awfully grey area to me.
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On Thu, 19 May 2011 08:36:04 -0700, Smitty Two

So did he use Charmin's 'soft' or their 'strong'?<g> Really, Charmin? We have to choose?
Jim
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If that's what you're talking about, I see that too. I thought you were talking about say a pint of ice cream, vs a quart, half gallon, etc. ie when it's still all in one package. If they put it into little individual servings, or make it into bars, etc then I would not be surprised to see it called out differently. I think the main intent of the law is to allow you to compare the same product from different companies, ie all the individual ice cream servings should be spec'd out using the same increments.

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wrote:

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Andy comments: Great reply, Jim.... I never thought of that...... Thanks for the heads up....
BTW, I've seen this all over in things. As a retired engineer, I seem to automatically do the math in my head , and I wax in wonderment at why anyone would buy five gallons of beans at a higher price than 25 cans.... but, hey, lots of things don't make sense... and God works in mysterious ways.... so I just figure out whether I need five gallons of beans or not..... Sometimes, the can would be a useful item to have in the workshoop.... but, then, I have to keep the windows open for a month.......Go figure...
So, thanks for the enlightenment..
Andy in Eureka, Texas
Eureka, where old men take Viagara so they are able to have sex with old women....
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If I actually needed five gallons of beans all at once, I'd pay a premium (a small one, anyway) to avoid opening 25 cans.
Cindy Hamilton
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