Off-Brand Q-tips

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2007-12-28 23:50 | low-tech

To start off this blog, I'm writing about things you stick in your ear. I suspect I'll end up writing about techier subjects soon enough. Nevertheless, it's probably worthwhile to attempt to set a precedent of, at least occasionally, writing about something low-tech.

Q-tips, or rather cotton swabs, always warn you not to insert them into your ear canal. After all, they officially have a variety of legitimate uses. Let's face it though: they were created for ear cleaning, so they work rather well for that.

Warning on Q-tips package

Well, cotton swabs aren't something you need to buy very often. You have to run out of them to realize just how nice they are. My roommate Matt and I ran out of cotton swabs on Monday a couple weeks ago. So, of course, that Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment. The ear thermometer must have had a fun time in there...

Anyway, I was still pretty thankful we ran out. We had the off-brand, wannabe Q-tips before. The ones with a tiny amount of cotton on each end. The ones that will not give until they entirely bend in the center. I've grown to hate the off-brands with a passion, and yet seem to keep encountering them.

Per unit price of off-brand cotton swabs

It's marketing. The real Q-tips are more expensive at the store. The off-brands cost a couple bucks less, and you get more - the price per unit of the off-brands can't be beat. The problem is, you don't want more. You really don't want more of them. You'll go home with your 300-pack of $1.99 cotton swabs, try to clean your ear with one, and get just a little pissed off at how ineffective it is. The next day after your shower, you'll again be a little pissed off. Even if you share your cotton swabs with someone else, you're still going to be a little pissed off, every single day, for about the next 5 months. Is that really worth saving a couple bucks?