Here’s yet another reason to go for generic drugs when you can: drug makers keep raising prices on brand name products. If you group generics and brand names together, drug prices rose by 3.4% in 2009, according to an industry report. However, if you look at just brand name drugs as the AARP did in a new report, the average price hike was 8.3%. An earlier AARP report from May points out that if you look at specialty drugs “widely used by people in Medicare” then the hike jumps to 9.2%.
I was at a Rite-Aid a couple of weeks back and went to pick up some cheap dish detergent, and the bottles that I remembered being less than $1.50 were all in the $3-4 range. I left and found sanely-priced soap at another store a few blocks away. Our reader Stan just wrote in with a similar example, where he caught his local CVS charging him three times as much as a nearby competitor.
The Lansing State Journal has put together a list of 5 marked-up retail categories to be aware of when you’re making purchasing decisions, most of which you hopefully already know. If you can’t find wholesale sources or DIY replacements, then at least make sure you do a lot of comparison shopping to get the best deal.
Over at sci-fi publisher website Tor.com, Heather Massey points out that the ceiling on comic book pricing is being steadily pushed higher by the big publishers, especially Marvel, which now prices individual issues of some of its titles at $3.99 each.
You probably won’t be surprised by this, but it looks like Circuit City’s liquidation deals aren’t very good deals at all. [Gizmodo]
I just don’t get it. Does Consumerist know of a good media source that has a *current* (i.e., in the last week or two) breakdown of why the heck gasoline prices are rising 10 cents a week and more in the last month?
Don’t worry, there’s not one in the pipeline just yet, but Flexo at Consumerism Commentary asks whether now—with fuel prices relatively low again, at least compared to the recent past—is a good time to consider one.
A Maryland woman bought some jewelry on sale at the Kohl’s in Westminster, then discovered cheaper prices under the price tags.
Update: Guitar Center has fixed the pricing error and offered refunds.
Quick, get out your throw-away cash and head to Guitar Center! Their website sells the iPod Classic and both sizes of the iPod Touch for $100 more than what you’ll find pretty much everywhere else. (We guess there’s extra rock-n-roll in them.) You know what makes us crazy? We bet people still buy them.
Consumerist reader David saw this awesome special in his local Wendy’s restaurant. We wonder what kind of special magic goes into a Frosty to warrant a $5.99 price increase. Bacon grease? Extra HFCS? A no-spit guarantee? A short song and dance from the cashier? Or maybe they spend the extra money on “how to label signs properly” classes for the staff.
Consumers are responding to higher priced goods buy buying more private label items, says a Citibank analyst. The increase in market share is small—private labels occupy less than 12%—but significant enough to note for investors. Are you buying more private labels at the grocery store? [Reuters]
Last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association told lawmakers that if the FDA doubled its safety oversight budget by increasing fees from food companies, they’d have to raise prices to make up the cost. That’s right: affordable food or safe food. Choose one!
Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, told reporters today that all airlines need to raise fees by as much as 20% “just to break even due to the rising price of fuel.” His new bedmate, Northwest CEO Doug Steenland, piped in to say cost-cutting measures “have largely been exhausted”—and by “cost-cutting” we assume he means, “We can’t find anything else to add surcharges to, except maybe the bathroom and the recycled oxygen, and we’re not monsters.”