— Stunning Steve ⬆️ (@SteveDickerNL) November 2, 2023
A user on social media is exposing yet another example of two stores selling the same product with jaw-dropping price discrepancies. But one expert says that the size of the product is an important detail in the matter.
Newfoundland-based X user @SteveDickerNL posted two photos to the platform formerly known as Twitter on Nov. 2. They show a value-size bottle of generic ibuprofen from Walmart, which goes for $21.37, and a similar product from Shoppers Drug Mart, for $44.99.
Many in the replies expressed their disdain for Shoppers, which many note is often pricier on many items than other stores.
“I rarely set foot in Shoppers anymore, their pricing is crazy,” one person wrote.
“Shoppers Drug Mart is the biggest rip off," another added. "I never buy anything there as you can get it much cheaper elsewhere.”
One commenter explained that the price difference is an example of capitalism at work.
“Thank goodness for competition or Shoppers Drug Mart might be the only place you can buy this stuff,” they wrote.
Others remarked that Costco was even cheaper than Shoppers or Walmart for the bulk painkiller, though Yahoo Canada could not verify the claim. On Costco's website, 400 tablets of acetaminophen from the Kirkland Signature brand went for $17.99.
Expert: Don't buy in bulk from Shoppers if you are 'price sensitive'
David Soberman is a professor of marketing at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He says the fact that the product is value size is something that has to be considered.
“If you’re someone who goes to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy something in bulk, you’re probably not very price sensitive,” he tells Yahoo Canada. “You’d have to be uninformed if you think Shoppers is a good place to buy things in bulk.”
The drugstore chain has been called out on social media in recent months for selling products like baby formula at a much higher price than other outlets.
You’d have to be uninformed if you think Shoppers is a good place to buy things in bulk.
But for many, the convenience of Shoppers Drug Mart stores — which have many central locations —outweighs the price of their products.
Soberman says while having strict rules for price control isn’t a good thing as it impacts a free-market economy, he can understand the argument for certain essentials. However, the size of the product is significant.
“If somebody is in a lot of pain and they need to buy painkillers, it may be a good idea to have rules on not gouging those products in small quantities,” he says.
“But if you’re buying in bulk, it’s a different situation. Typically when people buy bulk products they don’t wait until they run out.”
Grocery prices in Canada continue to shock customers
Users on social media are regularly posting about their experiences at Canada's grocery stores.
Earlier this month, a customer warned others about chicken that was possibly re-labelled to extend its shelf life. Metro responded by apologizing for the "handler error."
Another shopper wondered why buying chicken in the U.S. was so much less expensive than in Canada.
Some shoppers have even taken to getting dry and pantry goods from stores like Dollarama, as many discover identical items there for a fraction of the cost at larger retailers.