Target's "Buy Two And Save" Speedstick Deodorant Deal Stinks

This is now our third, (yes, our third) post about “buy two and save” or “special value” deodorant two packs at Walmart and Target. This lovely example comes from Tucson, AZ.

Reader Roberto says:

This past August 6th, I was in one of my local Target stores (Craycroft and Broadway) in Tucson, Arizona. I snapped a picture of a “buy two and save” item that I thought you guys might like. The difference is only a five cents, but it’s still more expensive to buy the twin pack of deodorants instead of two.

From now on “buy 2 and save” really means, “pull out your calculator.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. redragon104 says:

    my guess is this is there attempt to target “thrifty” shoppers who aren’t paying too much attention.

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    Not that this isn’t scummy, but it IS only 5 cents, that’s not as outrageous as some of the other examples we’ve seen of this on here.

  3. smirky says:

    You’re only assuming the savings is money. You actually save time and effort by picking up 1 bundle of stink-away instead of two. Now that’s efficient.

  4. DarrenO says:

    Why do you need to pull out your calculator, doesn’t Target have unit pricing on their tickets?

  5. shoegazer says:

    As someone else pointed out, the retailer sets the sale price, not the manufacturer (hence “MSRP”). If the store wants to shift its older units first it normally makes the savings very very small on the promo packs. This can sometimes result in the above pricing gaps.

    Yes, the lesson is, look at unit pricing (if available). Not sure 3 of the same thing is news.

  6. moore850 says:

    target does this like crazy. If you look at the yellow “price break” tickets, half of them are either the same price or higher. Only the red “clearance” tags are any cheaper… and even then, they always inflate the “regular price” so the discount seems higher. It’s just a weird way to do business… they have a good selection so it’s just not necessary to try to dupe people this way.

    • IgnatiusPostumus says:


      Not true at all. #1: When there is a “price cut” at Target, the old price is covered with a sticker that has the new price. Then a signholder is placed over that calling out the new price cut. So yes, technically if you look under the signholder it shows the same price, but that is because that label is replaced too. We change the shelf label because price cut signs are only supposed to stay up for so long (although its not really a priority to to take them down, at least in my store). Item prices fluctuate weekly; I’ve seen the price change team raise a price one week and then lower it back down the next week. Its weird and I still haven’t figured it out. EIther way, I’ve rarely ever seen a price INCREASE prior to an item going on clearance. Generally, there is a price CUT to try to sell through the product. Then whatever is left goes on clearance.

  7. TVGenius says:

    Wal-Marts in AZ have a similar deal on Degree right now. $1.77 for one, $3.77 for a two pack.

  8. krispykrink says:

    The picture is too blurry to read the price stickers, but the 2 pack units look to be bigger by an ounce or so. Or maybe just bigger caps.

  9. AnxiousDemographic says:

    @smirky: The extra cost is for the additional wrapping. It’s a very small price to pay for the convenience of grabbing two with the same gesture that usually grabs just one! Plus they stay together in the shelf at home, which makes for a more organized closet and happier home!

  10. Adisharr says:

    The increased shelf space afforded to me by the shrink-wrap tension of the 2-pack allows me to store an additional Q-tip in my pantry. I do so love my Q-tips.

  11. Nighthawke says:

    Same deal at Walgreen’s somethings fscked up.

  12. kimsama says:

    @moore850: Walmart also does this like crazy. I’m assuming they know that their customers are looking for value, so they pull this crap. Another thing I hate about Walmart is their lack of “unit price” on their price tags — that way, unless you do some quick math, you don’t realize that, say, the 64 oz detergent is actually more per ounce than the 32 oz detergent. All evidence that they know exactly what they are doing.

    I just recently went to buy toothpaste — they had “value packs” of 2 for $4 or one tube for $1.77. Hmm, that was a hard one.

    I pity the suckers who don’t do the math.

  13. picardia says:

    @krispykrink: I think the caps just look bigger b/c they’re light blue, while the tops of the black caps are harder to see.

  14. ezacharyk says:

    I really need to start carying a camera with me when I go shopping.

    The other day, I was at Wal-Mart and was passing by the candy section. They had a big 4lb box of Twizzlers on the shelf. It was supposed to be a good deal.

    On the shelf directly below the 4lb box, was a 2lb bag. When purchasing two 2lb bags, you saved somewhere in the area of 50 cents over the 4lb box.

    On the shelf directly below the 2lb bags was the 1lb bags. By buying four 1lb bags, you saved over a dollar over buying the 4lb box.

    Why anyone doesn’t look at unit pricing is beyond me. That is the only way I shop.

  15. RevRagnarok says:

    If you need a calculator to double $1.77, I’m really, really sorry your education was that deprived.

    Now, what really gets me is when they DO put unit pricing but purposely mess with it to make it hard to tell which is the better deal. I once saw that at Target with liquid detergents. They had one saying price per (fl.) ounce and another in something like pints; yeah you can convert but not in my head in under 10 seconds… and sadly the larger one did turn out to be the more expensive per use.

  16. NTC-Brendan says:

    Another case of buyer beware. Is it sorry on the merchant’s part? Probably. Whose responsibility is it when it comes down to spending our hard-earned ducats? OURS.

    Be accountable with your money, read the tags and engage brain before putting wallet in motion. These folks are not our friends and do not give a gee wiz about you, me, the dog or anything besides the bottom line. There is absolutely zero wrong with that. Let’s not delude ourselves.

    If I had 5 minutes to kill in that store I may point out that either the item was priced “in error” or that treating customers like they are stupid is not particularly endearing. May or may not be worth the time. YMMV

  17. I bought a two-pack of Degree at Meijer last night. Buying the two-pack was 39 cents cheaper than buying two singles.

    I felt like I had to announce that just to prove that not every store is cheating on the two-pack prices.

  18. SahuaritaSam says:

    Hello Tucson!

    I always had bought those Old Spice deodorant two-packs to make sure I’m not without before going to work. This is good to know that it’s not really a good deal.

  19. ezacharyk says:

    You would think that there would be one of those “In Your Corner” news specials about this type of thing by now.

  20. Bad_Brad says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think Target’s intent is to sell two different products here. Look closely at the picture. Under the $1.77 for one deodorant, I see “clear”, and under the $3.59 for two I see “ocean surf”. It could be that a single “ocean surf” unit costs more than $1.77, in which case this might not be the FAIL that it initially appears to be. However, if you look at the deodorants themselves, they are all “ocean surf”. So the FAIL might really be in someone who stocked the “ocean surf” under “clear”.

  21. mdoublej says:

    @shoegazer: But the saving isn’t very small, it’s nonexistent. Maybe they should just put “Buy 2 and SAVE (yourself another trip)”

  22. brettt says:

    I don’t think this kind of story is worth publishing anymore, after the first few it kind of gets annoying and detracts from the website.

  23. sven.kirk says:

    Anybody else kotaku link showing a pic of old spice?

  24. springboks says:

    You’re making it sound like Target are liars. You Still save 5 cents. What were you expecting to save $1 on something that’s already priced at $3

  25. HexiumVII says:

    I noticed this at walmart when i was in elementary school. Math was not my best but i noticed that the 4 pack of pens cost more than double of the 2 pack, so i’d buy couple of 2 packs instead. Walmart employees must be the one pricing this stuff.

  26. camman68 says:

    I was at WalMart in Pueblo, CO on Sunday. Doritos were on sale.

    Regular Price = $3.33

    Sale Price = 2 for $7.00

  27. Meathamper says:

    Screw Target. Or any retail store than finds it morally acceptable to rip their consumers off.

    BTW, Old Spice is way better than Speed Sticks.

  28. coren says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is – Walmart and Target don’t package the deodorant. So are they somehow responsible to price their units how the manufacturer originally advertised them? I don’t think they should have to.

  29. nintendude says:

    Don’t worry, I always break out my calculator. Most of the time I figure it out in my head first though.

    Something like this happened to me about a year ago, at a different store (maybe) and with a greater difference. I can’t remember. I just remember laughing at the stupidity of the pricing.