Same Store, Same Product, Different Prices

This is the same product sold at different prices. In one case, Dr. Leonards catalog sells the “Barber Magic” hair trimmer for humans is $12.99. But if you want to use it on a dog, it’s only $7.99. Freakonomics tells us this is an example of “price discrimination.” I’m just glad there’s now a less expensive option for getting out my burs, mats, and tangles.

Just don’t share your toothbrush [Consumer Reports via Freakonomics]


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  1. christoj879 says:

    You go Ben. Summer is on its way and your coat is really showing it!

  2. BlackFlag55 says:

    I cut my own hair. Can’t abide shelling out the money for a hair cut that looks like I did it, so I started doing it myself. When I shopped for ‘attachement combs’ for my hand held clipper the local beuaty supply store wouldn’t sell to me because I wasn’t “Licensed”. A license from the state as a beautician or barber. Remembering a lesson from buying antibiotics for animals at the pet supply store (don’t ask what I did with those, you KNOW they’re not for humans, heh heh) I went to the pet supply store and Lo! Neatly packaged were the attachment combs I wanted. Three for $4.95. Just like this article. Identical except for price.

  3. B says:

    Interestingly, the blade replacements cost the same. I bet in the long run they make a profit no matter which version you buy.

  4. B says:

    @BlackFlag55: Kramer, is that you?

  5. Lucky225 says:

    Wal*Mart does this to with their beanies, in the male section it’s 99 cents, female section it’s like 1.99, only diff is a barcode.

  6. BlackFlag55 says:


  7. jackal676 says:

    @B: No, I’ll bet they’re losing money hand over fist no matter which version they sell.

  8. Serpephone says:

    what is a beanie?

  9. Pancakes?? FRENCH TOAST!! says:

    The difference is even more pronounced with medication. Just ask any vet how much cheaper the exact same meds are for animals compared to humans.

  10. ecwis says:

    @Serpephone: a type of hat

  11. KyleOrton says:

    I’ve also seen commercials for something like “Dr. Frank’s miracle spray” that a person sprays in their mouth to cure any and all pain.

    There are commercials for both a human and pet version. To me, that’s significantly more troublesome. I mean, if you have a pet you should be willing to pay 14.99 to cure any and all problems instantly! Think of the kitties!

  12. Juggernaut says:

    @Serpephone: why is a guy wearing it?

  13. Serpephone says:

    @Juggernaut: huh???

  14. jdhuck says:

    These are completely different products! One pic has a guy in it and the other a dog. The guy does not even look like the dog. Even the item numbers are different.

    Come on!

  15. cecilpl says:

    You can see this at your local pharmacy too. Pick up a pack of generic sleep aids and a pack of generic nausea medication. They have the same drug (diphenhydramine) in the same dosage, but the sleep aid often costs double.

    I guess drugs that make you sleep are more of a “luxury good”.

  16. theblackdog says:

    @cecilpl: Pick up a box of Mucinex and a bottle of Robitussin, it’s the exact same drug and is ultimately the same dosage over a 1 day period.

  17. wring says:

    oh Ben, I’m reading this the second time and it’s still funneh.

  18. wring says:

    @BlackFlag55: duuude are you serious about the antibiotics? cus i might do that if i get a really bad infection.

  19. Berz says:

    I actually do ‘cut’ my own hair, If you can call it that.

    Hair clippers and a 1/2 attachment.

    Yeah, i didn’t know they made anything less than a 1 until i found the 1/2. Now a 1 feels long.

  20. AD8BC says:

    Had a similar situation once in a store at Gurnee Mills Mall near Chicago, it was one of those surplus cooking stores with lots of “fad” appliances, George Foreman grills, etc. We wanted to buy a toaster oven there and there was a really nice one that was too expensive for us. We ended up not buying one, but on the way out of the store there was an identical toaster oven with a different brand (QVC) that was half the price!

  21. radio1 says:

    @cecilpl: It’s even cheaper if you just buy the store-brand Benadryl.

    @Sushiwriter: The difference is not with the medication, but usually the adjucts added to make the pill form.

  22. thesabre says:

    A family member of mine is a licensed beautician and barber. Apparently, these beauty supply stores will only sell at wholesale prices, the products themselves are not exclusive. As you said, you can find them at most retail stores. But they are retail prices. The license just lets you purchase them wholesale because they are a supply store and you’re supposed to be buying them to sell in your salon.

  23. el_smurfo says:

    Actually, at my vet, it’s the opposite, and he routinely tells me I should just go across the street to CVS for the generic over the counter version of the prescription pet medicine he recommends.

  24. vildechaia says:

    Secret: Use Hoof Conditioner for nail care (google it) – costs much less than “people” stuff.

  25. urban_ninjya says:

    Geez people cut their own hair? Bad idea.

    I’m a city boy from LA. Here we judge people by their looks and anything less than a style cut will make you looks like a socially awkward person.

    I’m sure it’s not that much different in any developing or developed part of the world. I’d sooner give up the internet than give up a haircut.

  26. TechnoDestructo says:


    “Here we judge people by their looks and anything less than a style cut will make you looks like a socially awkward person. I’m sure it’s not that much different in any developing or developed part of the world.”

    Yes, it is, and your certainty that the LA way is the way things should be is why vast tracts of the United States loathe LA and people from it.

    Also, some people are very good at cutting their own hair, and some hair styles are very easy to do yourself.

    That said, the only time I ever cut my own hair any more than just to trim it here and there was when I had ringworm, and I didn’t think it would be polite to have someone else handle my diseased head.

  27. ryatziv says:

    @cecilpl: Your comparison to brand-name vs generic (or store brand) is wrong. Although the active medication is the same, the carrier and fillers might be different, and sometimes produce a different reaction in a given individual.

  28. Lucky225 says:


    WRONG, it’s the same shiznat. Now shut up and buy your brand name program, use your credit card, and show your ID when asked. Also don’t question why Redbulls in a 12 pack are 18.88 but 3 4-packs are $17 total, the packaging gives a different boost of energy.

  29. Lucky225 says:

    program/product, blah

  30. RagingTowers says:

    I’m always up for saving a couple bucks when it comes to cutting poop out of my hair…

  31. Ragman says:

    Wally World has disposable oil mats for $0.99 each. A pack of doggie potty training pads worked out to be, IIRC, something like half the cost for the same size pads. Hey, if it keeps urine off the floor, it can keep oil off the concrete.

  32. Trai_Dep says:

    Paté runs around $20 for a 1/2 lb, whereas canned cat food is a steal at $3. Chill ’em both and serve them at your next soireé – not only will the guests be pleased, but will you have a sure-fire way to energize the crowd when conversation lags!
    (Tell Fluffy beforehand so she can practice her knowing smirk before guests arrive for best effect)

  33. TangDrinker says:

    Pet gates at Petsmart – $70. Same gate as a “child” gate at K-Mart – $35.

  34. bishophicks says:

    I love this kind of stuff.

    I’ve seen bathing suits in the women’s section of a catalog that come in tangarine, mauve, lemon and chartreuse, while over in the men’s section, suits made from the same fabric come in orange, purple, yellow and green.

    My wife is a veterinarian. Do you want to cry? How much do you think the VET pays for the drugs they prescribe? Vets have to be vaccinated against rabies and you have to go to a doctor. Cost: $100. Cost to vaccinate a dog using the same vaccine: $25. Cost of the actual vaccine: $3.

    Hey, L.A., I have male pattern baldness and I cut my own hair using clippers and a 1/8″ adapter. What “style cut” would you recommend? Before you answer, please be aware that most people think that balding guys with pony tails look really stupid.

  35. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    When I worked at Office Depot, there was a hidden thing like this in the store. We sold cleaning kits for various electronics. Occasionally I’d take one for store use to clean our displays. This was how I discovered that the laptop cleaning kit and the digital camera cleaning kit were identical, except for the name and the price. It was three dollars less to clean a camera.

  36. fullmetalgenesis says:

    Tape deck-to-3.5 stereo adapter “for CD Player” : $5.99 at Wal-Mart.
    *moves three aisles over*
    Tape deck-to-3.5 stereo adapter “for iPod” : $27.99 at Wal-mart.

    A fool and his money are soon….