out shopping with the wife the other day.
too special. Milk, juice, bread, and the impulse buy or two. Ended
up in one aisle, and she reached for a bag of chips.
idea how much these are?” she asked while scanning the shelf for
a sticker or marking of any kind.
found a display set up a few feet away, and the answer surprised
kidding,” she replied to the amount I had offered. “And that’s
the sale price?”
enough, I looked more closely at the sign, double-checked it,
and arrived at the same result.
so often, our shopping-sense alarm goes off. My guess is that
we aren’t alone. Not specifically because of the cost of a particular
brand of potato chips. And not because other brands in the same
aisle are on sale for a third of the cost. Instead it’s when something
immediately and convincingly seems wrong, and there doesn’t appear
to be any way to reconcile the information despite what you do
know (and possibly do not).
isn’t about a deep and detailed comparison of shopping that involves
looking at sources and production and quality. It’s not like categorizing
all vehicles as automobiles, then being stunned when supercars
cost more than SUVs which in turn cost more than base-model compacts.
is about the basics. And how often the costs both do and don’t
stun us, even when they probably should and shouldn’t.
now, we can all think of places where containers of differing
sizes cost the same amount. At this very moment, we could walk
into the right small convenience store and find a two-liter bottle
actually costs less than a twenty-ounce bottle. Same manufacturer.
many ways, those impulse buys are the funniest examples. It’s
a supply and demand issue, where we aren’t talking about product
availability as much as situational desires. Paying the same amount
for a snack and something to drink in one quick-mart-store as
I would for the larger family-size packages of the same items
in a grocery store isn’t true comparison shopping, is it?
every so often, the realities strike us.
ago, I learned how difficult shopping for things like appliances
and other home goods could be. Same products… same manufacturers…
and yet different labels and models and names would be attached.
The Premium Star line of washers at one store may become the Golden
Elite line at another, even though both were made by the Industry
Leader Company. Same with bedding, where the same materials and
processes were used by the same company, but two different department
stores claimed to be the exclusive suppliers… which you couldn’t
argue since the names on the tags were different than any other
store, even if the fabric and threads and box springs truly weren’t.
checked out your lawn mower or snow blower? All of these major
companies putting their name brand logos prominently on the product.
Lift the hood and discover they all have the same place supplying
get back on track here.
point is, we’re not looking to compare a Hydrox to an Oreo. Instead,
just a bit of sticker shock. Times when pricing doesn’t catch
us by surprise and times when it most certainly does.
bag of chips was returned to the shelf. The impulse wasn’t that
strong. Maybe another day. (And for now, we aren’t going to get
started on the price of milk.)