I recently bought a "gallon" of paint at Sherwin Williams in that new
plastic jug with a handle and a pour spout. When I got home, I was
outraged to see that the container is labeled as having 123oz (I think)
or "3 27/32" quarts (I'm sure). What a rip off!! I expected I was
buying a *gallon* of paint and they preyed on me because of that
reasonable expectation. Yes, I know that the container is accurately
labeled but I still think that the practice is misleading. The
container doesn't even have an integral, normal number of metric units.
I'd actually appreciate it if they sold 1 liter and 4 liter containers
(6% more paint than a quart or a gallon) and I'd even live with that at
7-8% above the qt/gal price. They could market it as giving you a
little more so you don't run out with 1sq ft on a job.
And you thought that the cute marketing and packaging was to your benefit.
wrong again melon head. ( humor is intended )
I have gotten so that I read the packaging on everything before I buy.
Products change so fast it is harder and harder to maintain the "informed
This is Turtle.
You should call them back up and have them give a answer to this so we can get
both sides of the story. i tried calling the Sherwin Williams store in my area
and ask about it and the fellow who was talking to said this. I said i think the
gallion of paint you sell is short just a little bit of 1 gallion size. He said
awwww let me see how many qt.s are in a gallion ? I said 4 . He said well let me
call the area manager and I will get back with you. i told him Never mine I will
call back later.
See if you can get a better answer !
On 07/29/05 11:19 am Doug Kanter tossed the following ingredients into
the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
Yes, so are the 56oz. "half gallon" (NOT) ice cream packs "clearly
marked" -- but many people aren't going to read the markings on the
package every time, especially if it's a brand that they've been buying
And the "unit pricing" labels in the grocer store don't always help,
because the label for one brand may give the price in cents/oz. while
the label for another brand may be in $/lb.
Well, what's the company supposed to do? Using your ice cream example: You
know the price of dairy products has gone up, right? Now, Breyers has a
choice. They can raise the price, or shrink the package. The first option's
a little dicey. Breyers knows EXACTLY what price range is acceptable to
customers, and what price will make sales drop off by a huge percentage.
They get this information from the stores, obviously. Second option - shrink
the package. This has kept Breyers closer to the acceptable price range. In
a way, it's necessary because many shoppers think the cheap crap ice cream
is an identical replacement for Breyers, so if the price of Breyers is too
high, they'll make nothing. Lots of shoppers will opt for the lesser brand.
But meanwhile, Breyers pisses off customers by shrinking the package. What's
the alternative? Put up big signs pointing out that the package size has
been reduced? For how many months or years should these signs be displayed?
Maybe design some temporary packaging with a big reminder on the front?
That's expensive. Guess who's going to pay for that? And, how long should
that temporary packaging be used?
Wal Mart's famous for that nonsense. For that, you should scream at the
store manager, and also go past him/her and call the home office. In some
place, it's illegal, too. Call your county's department of weights &
Back to the paint: If you were responsible for cost control at
Sherwin-Williams, and because of some REAL factor (raw materials, labor,
etc), you absolutely had to maintain a certain profit margin, how would you
Excuse me, but do you work for one of these marketeers? IMHO, that's
the most transparent, nonsensical, rationalization one could respond
If there's a recognized, or informal, standard unit of measure involved
in some trade, that should not be putzed about with. Good thing such
crooks can't transform the magnitude of a pound, gallon, dozen,
whatever for bulk products.
People in D.C. also should learn that what matters is the TRUTH. Tell
it. Charge accordingly. Let people make their own decisions as to
tradeoffs, and don't manipulate.
Unequivocally, <I> would either find a way to cut production costs or
reluctantly raise prices. I would <not> under any circumstances choose
of my own volition the "under-size the container" solution.
And, btw, I think the undersized ply is an abomination too (and always
will no matter <how> long they label it 23/32".
Some production costs are beyond your control. For instance, is latex paint
in ANY way dependent on the cost of petroleum? And, what about
transportation? Two years ago, I could ship groceries by truck for $1.50 a
mile. Now, it's between $1.90 and $2.25, depending on location. Pretty hefty
price hike. Would you be OK with paying $25 for a gallon of paint instead of
Why not call a few manufacturers and see what their logic was. Start with
Sherwin-Williams. Continue with General Mills, Kraft. Del Monte etc etc etc.
Maybe they found out from focus groups that the smaller package was a better
idea. There might be a reason for this. Think about it. Let's say you have a
fairly strict food budget. $100 a week, to pick a number. Now, your favorite
ice cream goes up $1.00 in price. 5 cans of beans go up a quarter each. Your
detergent does the same, along with paper goods. Add it all up and perhaps
your bill is now $120.00. You may say you can adjust to that, but a whole
lot of people can't. So, who should the manufacturers cater to?
I'm not saying you're wrong to be outraged by a size change, but I don't
think the motives behind it are pure evil, as some people suggest.
What part of "getting less for your money" are you having such a hard time
understanding? The alternatives are pretty clear: spend more to buy the same,
or spend the same to buy less. Neither one is at all desirable from the
Suppose five cans of beans go up a quarter each (while the size stays the
same) and you can't afford the increase, so you buy only four.
Alternatively, suppose that the amount of product in the can is cut by twenty
percent while the price stays the same. You buy five cans, just like you
always have, but now you're getting only as much beans as you used to get with
Either way, you spent the same amount of money buying four cans' worth of
beans that *used* to buy you five cans' worth.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Thanks for the math lesson. Let's eliminate one possible reason for such
changes, even though it's equally likely to BE the reason. Here it is:
A bunch of suits sit around a conference table discussing how they all want
to dump their company's stock, which has been flat for 3 years. So, they
MUST increase profits. They can either cook the books, or they can actually
raise profits. They decide to do it by screwing the consumer.
Keep in mind that I said this ***** IS ***** a possible reason.
Now that we've eliminated evil as a motive, what's left? As a person who
understands business, what OTHER reasons can you come up with? There HAVE to
be reasons. What are they?
Again, no one else has said it was "evil" although I do believe it
verges on unethical (although I'm sure those who choose to do so can
convince themselves that it's ok because, after all, the label says what
is in the container).
Actually, the reasons are quite simple--
1. People <are> price-conscious...see the "99 cent" pricing syndrome.
2. People <have been> conditioned to expect certain things to be in
certain size packages--coffee in 1-lb tins, for example. People tend to
<not> actively scan similar-sized containers for the actual label, so it
is possible to "get by with" a price increase, on the whole, w/o
actually acknowledging it. This is, of course, the previous argument
against the practice, but it is a real factor in the pricing and
So it boils down to an argument in psychology and the marketeers and
advertisers have determined they optimize their overall return by using
the subterfuge of raising prices by lowering quantity as opposed to
raising prices on fixed quantities.
Well, I think the solution is for enough people to bitch directly to
Sherwin-Williams, claiming that the precise one gallon size is important
because it allows people to determine surface coverage in a predictable way.
Of course, this isn't quite true, because humidity and a few other random
things can affect whether seven nineteenths of an ounce makes a difference,
but if enough people yell about it, that won't matter.
About 5 years ago, there was a plot afoot to reduce the size of cans of
evaporated milk. I heard about it 2 months ahead of time because I'm in the
grocery business. It never happened. Initially, I wondered if an army of
home bakers got all over the manufacturers' cases, but it might've been
bigger than that. Unrelated manufacturers often specify "one such-and-such
ounce can of evap milk" in recipes. So, it might've been insider influence
that put a stop to it.
The idea made no sense. The vast majority of evaporated milk is sold around
holidays. Tell your average grandma that the price of the stuff's gone up
forty cents since last year and she'll say "So? It's Easter".
After posting the last I realized I left out one of (if not perhaps
even) the most important factors--competition. In many cases, <someone>
will do it and others will feel forced to follow suit. I suppose
there's also the mentality if one is in the retail (or even wholesale
for that matter) market to be the one to beat the other guy to the punch
Thinking further, I'll restate my position--I'd <hope> I'd have the
fortitude to not be first belligerent so to speak, and only stoop to the
tactic if, after competitors had dones so, it was shown that my sales
were actually being hurt by using what I'll term "honest pricing"
against the smaller-volume equivalently-priced competition...
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