Starburst pricing games

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Tdarcos
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Starburst pricing games

Post by Tdarcos » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:32 am

More news from the roller coaster of fun, Amazon's pricing of Starburst candy.

I'm not sure if I should have called this article "More Starburst Arbitrage" or if the name I did use fits better, but here's the latest on pricing for Starburst.

There are two ways to get the Starburst 54 ounce bag, and both cost $10.52. Buy it on Amazon Prime, (which includes free shipping) or buy it on Prime Pantry, which only offers free shipping if the prime pantry items come to more than $35, otherwise shipping is $5.99. Starburst 54 ounces in a jar is $8.55 but shipping is $5.99.

Then we have other contestants in the race, err I mean other sizes available (free shipping unless stated otherwise). Two pounds bulk is $10.75. A ten pound bulk bag is $37.52. Double pak of two 54-ounce bags is $26.50. A five pound bulk bag is $20.54, or another at $19.79. On.41 ounce bags, Prime Pantry has it for $5.00, while an Amazon vendor has it for $13.05 plus a ridiculous $7.35 for shipping. I have excluded other offers where the price was obviously higher for the same thing, like the 54 ounce bag for $14.31 plus a nosebleed-level $9.95 shipping.

It's getting to the point that you need a spreadsheet to figure out which is the lowest cost. So let's try using one. To make them comparable, I'll convert each offer to total ounces where items list in whole pounds.
  1. Item        Oz   Price  Shipping     Total     Price/oz
  2. Bag Prime   54   10.52              10.52     0.1948
  3. P.Pantry     54   10.52    5.99      16.51     0.3057
  4. Jar          54   8.54     5.99      14.53     0.2690
  5. 2 lbs bulk    32   10.75              10.75     0.3359
  6. 10 lbs       160  37.52              37.52     0.2345
  7. Dbl bag      108  26.50              26.50     0.2453
  8. Pantry       41   5.00      5.99     10.99     0.2680
What surprised me was I expected the 10 pound bag to be the best deal, not realizing it's 20% more expensive. In less than a second, Open Office Calc showed the first item was the cheapest, beating everyone else by at least 4¢/oz. As the second item shows, sometimes shipping cost can be a killer!
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Jizaboz
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Re: Starburst pricing games

Post by Jizaboz » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:29 pm

Paymen attention to price per ounce is also very helpful at the grocery store when choosing between sizes. Sometimes the value size isn't a value at all.

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Re: Starburst pricing games

Post by Tdarcos » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:06 pm

Jizaboz wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:29 pm
Paymen attention to price per ounce is also very helpful at the grocery store when choosing between sizes. Sometimes the value size isn't a value at all.
Occasionally supermarket specials will drastically reduce the price on a smaller size so buying multiples to come up to or exceed the size of the larger one turns out cheaper.

The only pricing games more fun than Starburst are soft drinks. A 2-liter bottle at roughly 67 oz is often ounce per ounce cheaper than either a 72-ounce 6-pack or two (or sometimes 3) bottles vs. a 144-ounce 12-pack. And some stores sell off-brand equivalents of Mountain Dew (generic will be called "Citrus Soda" or sometimes another name using "Mountain") or Dr. Pepper. The national brand will be $1.99 while the generic could be $1 or less.
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