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Old 11-24-2021, 03:51 PM   #91 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post

Interesting that that cart has almost no food in it. Four 30 packs of toilet paper, two flats with 35 cans of soda, a case of bottled water, a case of beer, 4 cans of cooking spray and a big package of cookies.

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Old 11-24-2021, 03:55 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Interesting that that cart has almost no food in it. Four 30 packs of toilet paper, two flats with 35 cans of soda, a case of bottled water, a case of beer, 4 cans of cooking spray and a big package of cookies.
I didn't see a decent image of several lines worth of baskets in my quick image search. That would be more representative, but the point is people fill the oversized baskets, and there's 20 lanes with a queue of 4 baskets each.

Here's the petrol line
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:41 PM   #93 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
That's about what my basket looks like for 1 week of groceries for 3 people. I could fit all that in the Acura sedan easily.

A typical Costco run in the US looks more like this, and these baskets are larger than the standard grocery size ones.


I could get away with a smaller vehicle, but I'd need to utilize a trailer much more often. Navigating a Costco parking lot with a trailer would be a nightmare.
If you need that much toilet paper, you should visit a doctor.
Also my car has significanly less cargo capacity than a small hatchback such as an Aygo has and still had room to spare.
Hell, even a MX-5 has a larger trunk.
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:52 PM   #94 (permalink)
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As pointed out previously, in the US we stock up on things. I've got at least a year supply of TP, and 5 years of shampoo and soap. I'll buy a decade supply of razor blades, for example. I just never want to have to think about those things again.

I end up doing about 1 Costco trip per year, on my parent's membership. The prices aren't really that good. If I had a family of 6 perhaps I'd go weekly since 1-stop shopping is a nice convenience.

We consume less than the average US household, and way less than those of similar income level, but I simply make less trips to get items since I purchase non-perishable consumables in bulk.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:23 PM   #95 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autobahnschleicher View Post
If you need that much toilet paper, you should visit a doctor.
That picture likely dates to March - April 2020 when for some reason people in the USA panic bought every last roll of toilet paper in the country.

I was out of the country when the panic started and was pretty shocked to return home to see store employees not even stocking shelves in the grocery store. They would drop a pallet of items in the aisle and people would swarm it and take everything. I never expect to see that kind of panic buying in the USA.

When we returned stores were out of toilet paper, canned goods, rice, dried pasta, bottled water and a bunch of other shelf stable goods.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:31 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Stores should have been allowed to adjust price to reflect the change in demand, and there would be no shortages.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:46 PM   #97 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Stores should have been allowed to adjust price to reflect the change in demand, and there would be no shortages.
Perhaps. But then the price of toilet paper would have been $100 per roll.

In either case, those that panic stockpile make it hard on the people who don't or who start stockpiling late.

The real solution is for everyone to have some sort of emergency stockpile starting now, not when disaster strikes. On the other hand, not everyone has a place to put 3 months or more of supplies.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:47 PM   #98 (permalink)
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Surge pricing like that chauffeured car-on-demand business model?
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:56 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
Perhaps. But then the price of toilet paper would have been $100 per roll.

In either case, those that panic stockpile make it hard on the people who don't or who start stockpiling late.

The real solution is for everyone to have some sort of emergency stockpile starting now, not when disaster strikes. On the other hand, not everyone has a place to put 3 months or more of supplies.
That's the brilliance of markets; that they tend to leverage human nature to maximize wellbeing. While we'll never know what the natural price of TP would have risen to in response to increased demand, I promise it's closer to $1 per roll than $100. If price simply doubled, people would be shocked and then think maybe they only need 1 package, or could get by with what they have for now. They might even consider using their existing supply more sparingly. I'm teaching my 3 year old about "just the right amount" at the moment; something most adults probably haven't mastered.

The thing is, increasing price always occurs despite anti-gouging laws. Opportunists simply buy up all the supply early and then sell at several times their cost. If prices were allowed to adjust as they do regularly in a market, it would cut out the inefficiency of those opportunists, and quickly there would be incentive for manufacturing to ramp up supply. If manufacturers can't receive price signals from demand, they have no incentive to pay people overtime to produce more.

This is all econ101 stuff, but people who believe in such things as gouging don't live in reality. There are no economists who think the best way to handle a shortage is to artificially impose a price.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:28 PM   #100 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The real solution is for everyone to have some sort of emergency stockpile starting now, not when disaster strikes. On the other hand, not everyone has a place to put 3 months or more of supplies.
We have a 3-4 months supply of food and 2 months of water in preparation for a 9.0 Cascadia Zone earthquake. My wife thought that was too much but I got to (nicely) say "I told you so" when we dipped into those supplies in April 2020 before food supplies normalized.

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