Yesterday I made a shocking discovery: A roll of Angel Soft toilet paper ($0.44) is cheaper than that of Kirkland-Costco brand ($0.80) by $0.36 cents. $0.36 cents!
I felt so shocked and cheated by Costco that I had to call Mr. FAF and told him we had been buying expensive toilet paper while thinking we were buying a cheap yet high quality toilet paper brand.
Kirkland – Our go-to toilet paper brand
How is it even possible? I’ve always trusted Costco. I know the quality is good. But how come the price of the wholesale brand is almost twice that of a retail brand? Angel Soft is the cheapest toilet paper brand on Amazon. We’ve used it in the past and had no complaint about the quality.
If it’s true for toilet paper, does it mean their other products are also more expensive than retail? Maybe we should do more price matching and quality comparison. This is not a good sign. Have we been misled or misleading ourselves this whole time?
So many questions went through my mind. And the biggest of all is: How come I didn’t think or find out about this for the past 2 years of being a Costco member? Maybe I need to rethink my strategy a little. This is not working out.
That sounds like too much drama for toilet paper. Really.
Mr. FAF and I don’t use toilet cloth wipes, so we think of toilet paper as a necessity. We used to use Angel Soft until we got our Costco membership card and didn’t think twice about getting the Kirkland toilet paper.
Mr. FAF asked me, “What about the quality?” Both brands are good. I have no complaint about Angel Soft. In fact, my roommates and I used to order it through my free Amazon Prime student account.
Mr. FAF suggested ordering a box of Angel Soft and compare the quality to Kirkland. We can then decide which brand to stick with.
I decided to look deeper at the numbers. There has to be an explanation for this.
48 rolls for $21.29 -> $0.44/roll
264 sheets per roll -> $0.00167/sheet
30 rolls for $23.99 -> $0.80/roll
425 sheets per roll -> $0.00188/sheet
When I look at the cost per roll, Angel Soft is 55% of the price of Kirkland. However, for each roll, Angel Soft has only 62.11% the number of sheets Kirkland has. That is, the $0.36 difference in price is explained by the 161-sheet difference per roll.
The price difference between Angel Soft and Kirkland ended up being not as substantial as I thought. I feel relieved now that I know the real numbers behind the initial shocking price difference.
However, given that (1) Angel Soft is still cheaper than Kirkland in the price per sheet, and that (2) I had no complaint about Angel Soft quality when using it, I’d buy a box of Angel Soft from Amazon to compare the quality of the two brands for real this time.
If the quality is similar, I’m afraid we’ll need to say good-bye to Kirkland toilet paper.
The morale of the story is never to look at the price per roll/count of anything and make your decision based on that initial difference. You want to look at what that roll or count really consists of to have a fair price comparison.
From now on when we go to Costco, I won’t blindly believe almost everything there is cheaper and/or higher quality than products at retail stores.