The lottery is often described as “a tax on people who are bad at math.” Last weekend, I found another such item: shaving cream.
The other day, I noticed that my can of shaving cream was running low. So I went down to the local superstore to buy some more. I found a two-pack of Barbasol shaving cream (two 11-ounce cans shrink-wrapped together) for $1.97.
“Hmmm, that’s a pretty good price,” I thought, as I picked up a pack. Then I noticed the prices on the single cans. 92 cents each. Same size can, same type of shaving cream, the exact same product. A little quick addition, and I put the two-pack back and took two single cans.
It’s probably just an oversight on the store’s part, but I like to think that I was given a discount for being able to perform simple arithmetic.
Manufacturers sometimes have some extra product they want to move and the store can get singles of stuff that costs less per unit. The price goes back up when the manufacturer charges more. The packaging gets marked as a promotion by the manufacturer when they make it for that purpose. The product that didn’t get any promotional jargon put on it is overstock. Stores will sometimes mark singles for less than mulipack’s per unit price because they need it to move. The only thing you can do is watch all the prices per unit labels.
Try cat food. (Well, not literally, but you know what I mean!) Several different stores, same experience at each. A 12 pack of 3 ounce cans of Fancy Feast is less than half the cost of a 24 pack. At Wal-Mart, it’s something like 4.22 for the 12 pack and 8.99 for the 24 pack. Go figure.
I went to buy a 30-pack of beer, since this is usually the cheapest way of doing it. I noticed the 12-packs of the same brand were on sale, so I added two of them together and realized that two 12-packs would be 10 cents cheaper than the 30-pack.
My brain actually thought to itself, “Two 12-packs is the same as one 30-pack…and it’s 10 cents cheaper! Whoo Hooo!!!”
In a Fast Food Restaurant:
The quarter pound hamburger is on sale.
me “I’d like a quarter pound hamburger, a small fry and a small drink.”
her “Why don’t you order the quarter pound meal.”
me “The quarter pound hamburger is on special.”
her “I’ll just ring up the meal that’s cheaper. That’s $4.99.” :dubious:
me “No. The quarter pound hamburger is on sale.”
her “But the meal is cheaper.”
me " Just ring it up how I ordered it. It’s a $1.00 cheaper. :smack:
She finally rings it up how I ordered it.
her “That’s cheaper!”
me “I know. It’s on special.” :rolleyes:
Amazon takes advantage of people bad at math too. At the bottom of many products, like DVD sets, they tell you that you can get __ +__ for only __! Do the math. Unless it specifically says get __ off, the prices add up to be exactly the same as if you bought them seperately. Sadly it took until just recently for me to figure this out, but luckily I never took them up on any of the buy this with this offers.
The absolute worst offender is soft drinks. A 20 oz bottle of Coke or Pepsi is typically $1.50. A 2 liter bottle of Coke or Pepsi is typically $1.25. And the store brands are generally around 69 cents for a 2-liter. At least with the shaving cream, the more expensive purchase actually has more.
Especially at Hungry Jacks, which may or may not be Burger King in the USA - they have self-service soft drinks. You can have as many as you like, so it’s a bottomless cup kinda thing (you buy the paper cup empty over the counter). So far, so good - but the freakin’ things come in three different sizes! What sort of moron would fork out for a large one?
True, most of the time at a fast food place, I’ll order the small size and get a refill. However, in a very crowded restaurant which has a line at the drink machine, I’ll go ahead and get the larger size even though I know I’m wasting 20 cents. I usually will have a bag with me that I can’t keep an eye on when I’m getting my refill as well as wanting to avoid the congestion.
This is funny. I actually stared at it for a few minutes, loaded the prices and quantities into Excel and did some calculations, and was thinking “well, the 15 piece deal is not as good a deal as the others but it’s not so far off as to be worthy of comment…” until it struck me that I had missed the obvious calculation of 6+9.
I guess I’m the target audience for the 15 piece deal.
Most places sell only the 20 oz. cold. They have taken all the 2 liters out of the cold case. I’ve seen the 20 oz. going for $2 in some gas stations. They sold the things at 2 for a $1 for a couple years. They got smart and only keep the 20 oz. cold in most gas stations.