Are Toilet Paper Prices Going Up Again?
Toilet paper prices across the country seem to be on the rise yet again and even when it goes on sale, the price doesn’t seem all that right.
When it comes to toilet paper prices, there’s not a lot of choices we consumers have. It’s not exactly a product we can just stop using…especially if we want to keep our friends around!
I have two solid rules when it comes to toilet tissue. The first is that my brand of choice is Scott. The second is that I only buy it when it’s on sale. From time to time, pharmacy stores like CVS run big sales on paper products like toilet paper and paper towels. When it’s Scott Tissue, I will buy a few 12-packs.
Some say Scott isn’t as soft as, say, Charmin. Well, I can’t argue with that. But Charmin and the “ultra-soft” brands like that don’t last nearly as long. At least they don’t last me that long.
Years ago, a good sale price for a 12-pack of Scott was $4.99. A price increase took it to $5.49.
About nine years ago, I noticed something off with the toilet paper: it suddenly seemed narrower. Sure enough, they had quietly reduced the width by four-tenths of an inch. They claimed they were making the size of their rolls consistent with competitors. Of course, when you offer less of a product without lowering the price, that’s still a price hike.
Over time, that $5.49 sale price — I wouldn’t consider paying the “full” price — increased to $5.99. Then it jumped to $6.99, where it stayed for a while.
Earlier this year, the sale price — again, we’re talking a sale price — jumped up to $7.99.
It’s toilet paper, for heaven’s sake, not a cure for cancer.
The most recent “sale” offered the product at $8.49 for a 12-pack.
In doing a quick search online for manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for a 12-pack, I’ve seen prices as high as $18.49. So that “sale” price is $10 less…but let’s be realistic: who pays full retail for anything in a grocery store? There are always sales and markdowns because of competition.
But when even those markdowns keep going up, you have to question what’s going on.
Back in February, several news outlets reported prices for many household products were going up. The products included everything from toilet paper to diapers to bleach to charcoal. The February increases followed increases from the previous August. (It was after August that the $6.99 sale price became a $7.99 sale price.)
The reasons for the increases, according to The Wall Street Journal are three-fold:
- Higher costs of raw materials
- Increased transportation expenses
- The difficulty of managing foreign-currency swings when these companies do business internationally.
They’re factors the consumers can’t control yet must live with.
It may be time to downgrade to cheaper alternatives for a variety of products.