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Monday, September 04, 2006

Shopping today, I just had to shake my head at what an odd place America is. Our supermarket, in the dairy area, now sports a "Sandwich Area." In which you can buy a package of approximately five lettuce leaves, which have been separated from the head, washed and patted dry, and sealed in an appealing celpack. The price for the five leaves of lettuce: $ 2.99.

Next to it is a tomato, sliced up, with the stem end removed, and packed in a cute spherical plastic case - $ 1.99. Holy smokes - are people actually buying that? When did we become so busy that we can't slice a tomato?? Or pull a leaf of lettuce off the head to make a sandwich??

Another pricing anomaly in the drug area - Benadryl (generically known as diphenhydramine hydrochloride (which shall for the rest of this post be referred to as DH, since I have no intention of repeatedly typing diphenhydram...whatever.) Which is an anti-allergy medication that also makes you sleepy. In the anti-allergy section, you can buy 24 tablets of DH for $ 4.99 regular price. In the sleep aid section, you can buy 24 tablets of DH (same exact manufacturer, number of pills, dosage, down to the color of the pills, except that instead of "anti-allergy" they are labeled "sleep aid") for $ 2.39 regular price.

Is there a reason, I wonder, why the store or manufacturer or whoever prices these things hates allergy sufferers?

posted by Birgit
5 comments at 10:35 PM

The really scary thing is that I bet the store will find buyers easily enough. Given the profit margin, they won't need many!

I read once about American stores which sell fresh fish in packages, and the very same fish inside the fish counter outside of packages, for which they charge more. People think it must be fresher.

On the other hand I saw a similar thing with the deli meat here in England, except the packaged versions (done in-store) are more expensive than the same meat hand-carved in front of your eyes.

Now what does that say: that consumers in all countries are equally irrational, but in their own unique ways? Ach, these humans...
(previous comment was by me, David Fedor... didn't mean to be anonymous...)
Ya, I guess we are the 'want it now' generation, so I suppose they are catering to people who would go to McDonalds.

What bugs me is when they post prices as 5/$3, 10/$18, hello! I need a calculator! Ha ha. I mean c'mon don't make me do math when I'm shopping, I have enough on my mind.
It's just that insomniacs are such cheapskates! Snifflers are willing to pay more for their relief.

This also means that snifflers are subsidizing insomniacs. I hope they're grateful.

Also, maybe there are stricter testing necessary for OTC allergy meds than for OTC sleep aids and they are just "fairly" passing on those costs to the customers which required them (I have no idea).

I've heard that the fundamental rule of pricing is: "Whatever the market will bear". Smart folks like you spoil all the fun. ;-)
Lettece leaves packaged nicely? That's hilarious!! LOL

I'll have to see if that has made it's way to my neck of the woods.
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