Visine Would Cost $1,021 If You Bought By Gallon

You cringe over the price of a gallon of gas, but what about a gallon of Visine? An article in the September issue of ShopSmart shows that if you bought the eye drops by the gallon, the price would be $1,021. Steak sauce? $48. Secret Platinum, $189. Obviously, no one buys Visine by the gallon, except for maybe Cyclops (hey, that stick still burns). Similiarly, except for hobbyists, no one buys a dropper of gasoline. And there are cost-savings by selling and buying items in bulk. Still, makes you think…

ShopSmart [Official Site]


Edit Your Comment

  1. nutrigm says:

    And this is new information how? Try washing dishes with gasoline next time!

  2. Red_Eye says:

    Oh the irony that Pepto-Bismol and A1 have the same price per gallon.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, but one ounce of Visine will last 50 years with typical use.

  4. pegr says:

    And the price of ink jet ink by the gallon? $149…


  5. Youthier says:

    See, this doesn’t really give me a new perspective. I’m not sure I will use an entire gallon of Visine in my life. I probably will use a gallon of A-1 over the next two or three years. In comparison, there’s a chance I will use a gallon of gas tonight.

  6. ratnerstar says:

    Great, there goes my business plan for selling a steak sauce powered car.

  7. SkokieGuy says:

    And no doubt hedge fund traders will start buying Visine futures, driving up the price and causing us to increase our imports of redness-reducing products.

    Our government will do nothing to assist bloodshoot eyed Americans, explaining that it is simply “supply & demand”.

    Johnson & Johnson, owner of the Visine brand does report record profits, which is does not invest into alternative red-eye reduction research.

  8. crabbyman6 says:

    Maybe I’ll start putting yogurt in my bloodshot eyes instead of visine, look at the savings!

  9. MissTicklebritches says:

    At $20/.4 oz bottle, Chanel nail polish is $6400/gallon. And it really gums up your engine.

  10. Ein2015 says:

    I never understand why people do these comparisons.

    What does a gallon of molten gold cost? OMG!

    We don’t use Visine by the gallon. We use gasoline by the gallon. We can’t put Visine in our gas tanks. And even if Visine was $4/gallon, would most people buy that, or would they buy the $0.50 bottle to keep around?

  11. hellinmyeyes says:

    Articles like this are pointless comparisons of ludicrous purchases. While I’ll concede that the “cheap” cost of gasoline, bottled water, milk, etc, has spoiled the crap out of Americans and encouraged them to consume in an unwise manner, the costs for a lot of these other items comes from either production or the fact that the manufacturers can get away with it. Move along.

  12. B says:

    So, I guess my design of a automobile that runs on A1 should be scrapped.

  13. kepler11 says:

    these stories are a little silly, don’t you think, Consumerist?

    Visine is expensive if you scale the amount up to a gallon, duh, because people only use a few drops if they ever need it, and there is a minimum price that a drug or therapeutic agent is going to sell for in an appropriately sized container. Not to mention the testing and liability coverage that needs to go into a drug’s development.

    Is it really relevant to compare Visine with a gallon of bleach that sells for 99c? Do we learn anything from this at all?

  14. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I know some people who might as well buy Visine by the gallon…

  15. backbroken says:

    It’s posted for entertainment purposes. Chill out.

  16. Burgandy says:

    @AlteredBeast: your customers?
    Sorry, had to, was set up to perfectly.

  17. MexiFinn says:

    Shop Smart at S-Mart

  18. crabbyman6 says:

    Who’s to say you wouldn’t get a gallon for less than that. I’m guessing they took the price of X ounces of visine off the shelf and multiplied until they got to a gallon. You’d probably save money by not making them package and ship all those individual little bottles. Maybe someone should try to buy a gallon of it and see what they charge, now THAT might be an actual story people give a crap about. I demand more stories of scaling up ludicrous things and grocery shrink rays, I don’t think we get enough of that.

  19. MissTicklebritches says:

    I don’t even want to imagine the gallon stick of Secret Platinum!

  20. dtmoulton says:

    KY Jelly would be $288/gallon.
    God, that’s an embarrassing fact to know.

    at Kepler11: Someone call the fun police.

  21. MercuryPDX says:

    @MissTicklebritches: Application would be awkward to say the very least….

    I’m curious about the A1 though. Surely there’s got to be larger sizes at restaurant supply stores.

  22. rinse says:

    Are these products interchangeable? Is The Consumerist suggesting that I put gasoline in my eyes instead of Visine? Cool, thanks for the tip! ;)

    (Well, the entry is labeled as “FUNNY” above the headline, so I guess we can all relax?)

  23. TCameron says:

    Creed Green Irish Tweed Cologne is $7200/gallon – ($225/4 oz retail x 32 = $7200/128 ounces)

    Too bad Princes Charles doesn’t run his Aston Martin DB4 on that, as he’s too busy with his white wine. He does wear it for its intended purpose, however.

  24. Puck says:

    It makes me think, alright. Makes me think that there’s no end for pointless comparisons.

  25. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @kepler11: Read the comment code. If you have an issue with editorial choices being made, those should be sent via email to the post’s author, not aired in comments. Don’t do this again.

  26. This is called a false correlation.

    It doesn’t take a gallon of Visine to reduce redness in your eyes, it takes two drops.

    Similarly, it takes a gallon of gas to go about 25 miles in your car.

    Connection? Absolutely nothing, except they are both liquids.

    So you might be realizing now that a gallon of moose urine costs about 10 cents and that this has no real meaning in comparison to gas.

    Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions.

  27. dtmoulton says:

    Lay that smack, Roz! SLAP!

  28. Marshfield says:

    Epson black ink is actually $5529/ gallon.

    That’s for the black cartridge for a C88 that holds 13ml of ink and costs $19.00.

  29. xthexlanternx says:

    Was that a reference to the Odyssey? Nice work, Consumerist.

  30. Ben Popken says:


    (Well, the entry is labeled as “FUNNY” above the headline, so I guess we can all relax?)


  31. Marshfield says:

    If you do the work to buy your saffron imported from Spain, you can get it down to $88.00/oz or just $1408/lb. It’s quite a bit more expensive by the time it gets to your local Safeway.

  32. Red_Eye says:

    @Ein2015: Because its funny to see;
    VISINE A.C. – Astringent/Redness Reliever Eye Drops (Tetrahydrozoline HCl 0.05%, Zinc sulfate 0.25%)

    Costs so much. Those two ingredients must be mighty expensive, lets see….

    Hmm Zinc Sulfate, in pill form for oral consumption 100 tablets 220mg each are just over $5, imagine how many bottles of Visine that would be. So that must not be the expensive component. So the real story is that Tetrahydrozoline HCl is one of the most expensive substances on earth if .05% of a bottle of Visine is worth so much. Or maybe speculative futures in salt water are where I should be investing.. Hmmmmm

  33. Mr_D says:

    What exactly is Visine, though? I thought it was mostly distilled water, with maybe a little medication. That’s a hell of a racket, selling water for $1,000 a gallon.

  34. PDX909 says:

    @Marshfield: ..and the actual cost for that gallon of black ink is around $39. Sickening isn’t it?

  35. I’ve always found these types of articles interesting based on the new perspective.

  36. GrandmaSophie says:

    What a worthless comparison. Shall we compare the cost of clothing, too, based on how much you can stuff into a gallon bottle? How about the cost of a refrigerator? How much does a refrigerator cost per gallon?

    Yeah, so Visine costs a grand a gallon. But if you actually use 16 ounces of it over the course of your lifetime, I’d be surprised. Further, Visine is a lot more expendable in your budget than gasoline is. Yeah, you can cut back your bi-monthly trip to visit the in-laws. But you can’t call the boss and say, “Hey, dude, I can’t afford to come in to work today, gas is too expensive.” But if your eyes are itchy you don’t *need* Visine. You can splash your face at the sink and deal.

    Mr. D – Yeah, so it’s mostly distilled water. But there is a valid medication in it. You wouldn’t say that someone’s heart medication isn’t worth the price because most of the pill is cornstarch, would you?

  37. edosan says:

    I’m calling my congressman right now to demand we start offshore drilling to increase out Visine supply.

  38. legwork says:

    Buy in bulk and share!

    And why not, whenever possible, just share the same gallon and cut out the waste of all those containers?

    On that note, how much is a gallon of penicillin?

  39. SkokieGuy says:

    @legwork: Ask Paris Hilton’s physician.

  40. MercuryPDX says:

    @MercuryPDX: AHA! Found it:


    $91.65 for 2 gallons = $45.82 per gallon.

    It’s actually cheaper in the larger size!!

  41. ludwigk says:

    Visine’s got nothing. Try Abreva, the cold sore medication. A 2g bottle generally goes for $15 at the supermarket. Assuming a density close to water (which, I actually do not know if that’s a reasonable assumption((Abreva is 90% Benzyl Alcohol, Light Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, Water Purified, Sucrose Distearate, Sucrose Stearate))), that works out to around $56.8k per gallon. I think its the most expensive fluid you’ll find in a grocery store.

  42. MercuryPDX says:

    @ludwigk: Oooo I smell a contest.

  43. Gokuhouse says:

    Let’s go the other way here:

    I pay about 25 dollars for 2000 gallons of water at my house…So, if we could run our cars off tap water I would pay about 1.25¢ per gallon.

  44. Jabberkaty says:

    Man, tough crowd.

  45. dripdrop says:

    More importantly, Visine is HORRIBLE for your eyes. Use Systane instead. It’s what my optometrist recommended after I had LASIK.

  46. LouDobbsChivasJersey says:

    It’s funny, all right. But too often this comparison is intended to make us feel better about the high price of gas.

    The fact remains, we don’t use Visine to power our cars, and a gallon bottle of eyedrops would be steeply discounted, one would hope.

  47. ovalseven says:

    I did the math on those little 25¢ packets of Kool-Aid.

    That powder costs $31 per pound.

  48. Scoobatz says:

    So, what you’re saying is that not all products for sale in liquid form have the same unit cost? When did this happen?

  49. Kaisum says:

    I remember reading an article similar to this in Economics in high school. That was over three years ago and I still have the same argument towards the validity of this article…the things that you list are not necessities and therfore are not as pertinent to [most of] our lives as gasoline is. No one wants or needs a gallon of nail polish or visine.

  50. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of the logic I had when I was five. I couldn’t understand how something very small could cost more than something big.

    You mean that ring cost more than a loaf of bread? But it’s so small…

  51. Coles_Law says:

    @pegr: Thanks for the link. If you scale up the cost of a cartridge, you get something like $3000. Go, buying in bulk!

  52. failurate says:

    You can buy a 7 pound can of pudding at Wal-Mart for less than $4. How much do those pudding cups cost? $2.00 for what, less than a pound of pudding?

  53. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    I think we’re all just bitter our great-grandfather didn’t invent Visine.

  54. $45.82 per gallon of delicious A1 rusty nail goodness is a bargain!!! MMMMM….. taste great on everything.

  55. R3PUBLIC0N says:

    I just did the math on Abreva. At the Walgreens price of $17.99 for .07oz, it comes to USD$34724 per gallon.

    All because you have herpes.

  56. MFfan310 says:

    @TCameron: Just be glad it isn’t Clive Christian No. 1 in pure perfume… “the world’s most expensive perfume”.

    An ounce of the stuff is $2,350. One gallon of the stuff would cost $300,800. Filling up your Camry with the juice would cost $5,564,800. Do the math…

  57. dirtleg says:

    Years ago, when gas jumped up towards $1 a gallon, the local news did a whole piece on the price of other liquids in daily use. The one I remember as a pretty good example was milk because we drink quite a bit of milk in our household. I think milk was at about $2 plus per gallon, or so. For years, we used the milk comparison and would say, “Gee, at least gas doesn’t cost as much as milk. What would we do if it cost that much?”

    Fast forward to today.

    Now I look at a gallon of milk in the store and it cost less than the gallon of gas! And have you looked at the price of a dozen eggs lately? The frigging world is coming to an end, damnit. It’s all upside down and messed up.

    Oh, and get off my lawn!!

  58. cametall says:

    How about a gallon of astroglide?

  59. R3PUBLIC0N says:



  60. @R3PUBLIC0N:

    Nice to know.

    Actually very important to know, ’cause ya never know when you might actually need to buy a whole gallon.

  61. redkamel says:

    holy cow, there are fluids more expensive than gas? I shouldnt complain about gas prices anymore then.

  62. MercuryPDX says:

    @cametall: 1 gallon of ID Glide is $101.29.

    2.5oz of Astroglide is $10.99, so a gallon is $562.68

  63. MercuryPDX says:

    @cametall: Also… too scary:

  64. nsv says:

    @cametall: When calculating the cost of a gallon of Astroglide, please include the purchase price of the video camera I’m going to bring to record you using an entire gallon of that stuff.

  65. marsneedsrabbits says:


    If you actually need or could use a gallon of Astroglide, your best bet would be to get a 10 ounce bottle of J-Lube and thin it down as directed, as it makes 6-8 gallons of lubricant and costs around $10.00.

    J-Lube is used by farmers, veterinarians, and frugal kinksters everywhere. It’s found online and in farm supply stores.

  66. varro says:

    @MercuryPDX: One 55-gallon drum of Astroglide will be enough for a whole bathroom at MSP for the Republican National Convention, not just Larry Craig’s stall.

  67. failurate says:

    @twophrasebark: Moose urine is actually around $1,600.00 a gallon.


  68. takotchi says:

    Amazon actually sells ID (a sexual lubricant) by the gallon. It’s $98, but the look on somebody’s face when they find a gallon of sex lube in your closet is probably priceless.

  69. sjburck says:


    You forgot the miniDV tapes.

  70. FLConsumer says:

    Got you all beat… Lotemax (Lotprednol Etabonate) is a prescription eyedrop used to reduce inflammation (not too terribly dissimilar from the purpose of Visine, but a hell of a lot stronger). 5mL of it sells for ~$40.

    So, doing the math, that’s $30,280 per gallon.

    Gas isn’t there (yet) and probably never will be.

  71. nsv says:

    @varro: Ugh, thanks for that image. I’ll be in my bunk… having nightmares.

    @FLConsumer: I was wondering about that. My grandfather uses two prescription eyedrops (and it used to be three,) and every time they get a refill I can hear the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth a thousand miles away.

    Of course, it would be helpful if he had prescription coverage.

  72. nsv says:

    @sjburck: Hell, to see cametall use a gallon of Astroglide, I’ll spring for the tapes.

    I will need a tripod, though, because I’ll be laughing too hard to hold the camera.

  73. trillium says:

    Sounds like info worthy of a new Price is Right game… Bob Barker would be proud!

  74. Phillip1952 says:

    Really stupid comparison. By my current usage rate the gallon of Visine would last me about 10 years and that would be a one time cost.. Gasoline for that time span at current prices would cost me over $16,000 and thats just at $4 a gallon (we know that will not last). So looking at it Visine is the better deal. You can only compare cost of items used at the same rate anything else is useless.

  75. stillkarenann says:

    The thought of having a gallon of yogurt makes me want a gallon of pepto.

  76. nsv says:

    @stillkarenann: The thought of having a gallon of pepto makes me want to have a gallon of scotch.

    Single malt, please.

    Don’t tell me how much that will cost, I’ll just get depressed.

  77. Sugarless says:

    I would find this relevant if my car ran on Vision or A1 for that matter.

  78. Sugarless says:

    @CreoleSugar: Vision = Visine.

  79. @failurate: Ha hahhhhaha!

    I stand corrected!

  80. TitusBabcock says:

    Ben, let me offer a different perspective.

    If we didn¹t use the products shown
    we¹d have more money for gas.

    Richmond, VA

  81. OgerpJr says:

    ever think of bottle water?

    poland springs averages $2/liter. there’s about 3.79 liters in a gallon. that’s about $7.58/gallon.

    god forbid you drink fiji, pana or dare i say – tap water?