Consumers Fail at Math

shopper 150x150 Consumers Fail at MathI visited my local home-improvement store to purchase some wasp spray and, upon seeing the multiple cans, the cashier asked, “You do know those come in twin packs?”

I told her I did indeed, but that it was less expensive to purchase them separately. She looked at me like I was bonkers until she saw the price come up on her register. I paid roughly $3 for two cans as opposed to the $5.47 price for the twin pack.

My point? Savvy consumers should not be fooled into thinking that it’s always less expensive to buy the super-sized boxes of detergent, multiple rolls of paper towels or twin-packs of wasp spray.

In fact, a recent University of Miami School of Business marketing study showed that poor math skills (or failure to use good math skills) leads to bad shopping decisions. “Shoppers often, and incorrectly, assume that the more of the product there is, the better,” said Michael Tsiros, a marketing profession at UM who led the two-year study.

The next time your kid complains about doing math homework and how it will never apply to real life, show them this blog.

How do you utilize math skills in determining the best buy?

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About Luanne Kadlub

Luanne Kadlub, communications editor for BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming, has been a writer/editor for newspapers, magazines and nonprofits for more than 30 years.