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The Logic of Panic Buying

Zardnaar

Legend
As the title says.

Put simply I'm a cynic. While some people believe in ideals I lean more towards humanity being highly evolved monkeys with nukes and cell phones. Monkeys seem to be less self destructive however so they might be smarter than us.

Panic buying IMHO is due to 2 things.

1. Fear of missing out or FOMO.
2. Trying to control something. You can't do much individually about Covid 19 but you can buy toilet paper.

However there will be genuine shortages. The best example of this is hand sanitizer. Even without panic buying theres not enough of it in the world.

Even if you could buy it that just means someone else in a poorer country is going without.

However there is a sane amount of panic buying. For example if you get sick even non Covid ideally you self isolate for 14 days. Who had 14 days worth of food? If you have two people in your household what happens if you get sick two weeks apart? Do you have a months food? What if you want to self isolate for two months?

You don't need a years supply of toilet paper but due to disruptions things are going to get hard to get. Here that's flour, we have plenty the Mills are operating, storehouses are 90% full. Freight is still running.

But we're out of packaging and resupply is 6 weeks away. The flours there, we can't buy it or at least the supermarket was out. They only have 20kg bags and they're being shipped to the bakery.

Another silly example is they banned plastic supermarket bags a few years ago. Reusable cloth bags are the way forward. Well can't buy them any more either and some supermarkets have banned them as well.

Well foods still going to be produced? Here and in the US it's starting to rot in the ground as they can't harvest it. Even if they could the smaller stores and restaurants that buy it are closed. In a few weeks people might not have the money to buy it even if it was available to buy.

It's harvest time for late autumn crops such as apples. Due to lockdown the tourists who work part time can't harvest them.

Those people who bought canned apples might not be stupid.

IDK where the line is between stupid panic buying and sane stocking up lies. We started a week or so the panic buying started. Since then we have been going in late at night often on Monday or Tuesday buying whatever's left.

I'm not fussy, I don't mind eating oats. I don't need a kale and quinoa infused soy latte with organic vanilla sprinkles on top. In the 1980s as a kid coffee choices were black or white with or without suger. I wasn't allowed coffee that often and didn't have McDonalds until 1991 age 12, Pizza Hutt 1996 aged 18.

So no FOMO here I'm expecting some things I like will disappear. Just going to go get some recipes for sausages via phone off my wives grandmother cya.
 

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tommybahama

Adventurer
Another silly example is they banned plastic supermarket bags a few years ago. Reusable cloth bags are the way forward. Well can't buy them any more either and some supermarkets have banned them as well.
Who is "they" Kemosabe? In California which started this stupid idea it was done by the government at the behest of environmentalists that refused to recognize the public health implications of their unnecessary and counterproductive legislation that did the opposite of what they believed. But it made them feel good!

An Interesting story I listened to about the toilet paper shortage. In normal circumstances 40% of your TP use is away from home using commercial TP. So there is an abundance of commercial TP available since nobody is going out but they lack the distribution network and packaging for retail sales. And then there's the problem of the commercial rolls being too big for your home dispensers.

I wonder if there are tons of hand sanitizer available in bulk sizes at janitorial supply companies?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Who is "they" Kemosabe? In California which started this stupid idea it was done by the government at the behest of environmentalists that refused to recognize the public health implications of their unnecessary and counterproductive legislation that did the opposite of what they believed. But it made them feel good!

An Interesting story I listened to about the toilet paper shortage. In normal circumstances 40% of your TP use is away from home using commercial TP. So there is an abundance of commercial TP available since nobody is going out but they lack the distribution network and packaging for retail sales. And then there's the problem of the commercial rolls being too big for your home dispensers.

I wonder if there are tons of hand sanitizer available in bulk sizes at janitorial supply companies?
Probably not hand sanitizer is going to be hard to get at least the nice Aloe very ones.

I'm not saying getting rid of plastic bags was stupid but now we're in a stupid situation where they don't have any alternatives.

They've already cancelled recycling it's all being dumped as the recycling jobs count as non essential. Landfill it is.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
You don't need a years supply of toilet paper but due to disruptions things are going to get hard to get.
I disagree.
I shop for TP (and other similar products - paper towels, paper plates, soaps, trash bags, etc, even cat litter) once a year. About mid-January (once the Christmas bills are paid off). I know how much I use in a year. And then I buy 13 months worth - just in case something goes awry.
Mostly because I hate continuously shopping for this stuff.
I'm fortunate that I can 1) afford to shop like this, 2) have the space to store it.

And yes, I've typically got two months worth of food.

This has proven very handy in the current situation.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I disagree.
I shop for TP (and other similar products - paper towels, paper plates, soaps, trash bags, etc, even cat litter) once a year. About mid-January (once the Christmas bills are paid off). I know how much I use in a year. And then I buy 13 months worth - just in case something goes awry.
Mostly because I hate continuously shopping for this stuff.
I'm fortunate that I can 1) afford to shop like this, 2) have the space to store it.

And yes, I've typically got two months worth of food.

This has proven very handy in the current situation.
There's always someone:).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The hand sanitizers shortage is nearly purely irrational. There plenty for its intended purposes if people weren’t hoarding.

Because it isn’t intended as a superior alternative to soap. In most cases- including current circumstances- soap & water does a better job than sanitizer.

Sanitizer is a product of convenience, intended for use when you don’t have access to water, or when conservation of water & time is needed.

With so many people stuck at home, soap & water is what they SHOULD be using, not the gallons of Purell they just swept off the shelves,
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The hand sanitizers shortage is nearly purely irrational. There plenty for its intended purposes if people weren’t hoarding.

Because it isn’t intended as a superior alternative to soap. In most cases- including current circumstances- soap & water does a better job than sanitizer.

Sanitizer is a product of convenience, intended for use when you don’t have access to water, or when conservation of water & time is needed.

With so many people stuck at home, soap & water is what they SHOULD be using, not the gallons of Purell they just swept off the shelves,
We've bare used ours. We've been using foamy soap, got some liquid soap last night and have 9 bars of oat soap.

The jumbo size hand moisturizers are great.

Anecdote years ago I worked at McDonalds. Every 15 minutes we had to sanitize the hands.

No horror stories from that location.
 





Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I posted a link few days ago.

If everyone had a 500ml bottle the world can produce 1/1000 if what's needed.

2 litre bottle is 1/4000

So basically the supermarkets won't be able to restock.
The point is, since most people are stuck at home, odds are good they don‘t need the sanitizer at all. They should be using soap & water- the superior tool for the job- instead.

The people who NEED it are the first responders and healthcare workers, and those “essential personnel” without easy access to soap & water. If they & their employers were the only buyers, there wouldn’t be a shortage,

When I said we go through @2L a year, that’s mostly because of houseguests. I haven’t used any of ours in years, except when the water was turned off during a plumbing repair. I haven’t seen anyone else in the family use it either. IOW, we buy it mainly as a convenience for others, not for our personal use.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The point is, since most people are stuck at home, odds are good they don‘t need the sanitizer at all. They should be using soap & water- the superior tool for the job- instead.

The people who NEED it are the first responders and healthcare workers, and those “essential personnel” without easy access to soap & water. If they & their employers were the only buyers, there wouldn’t be a shortage,

When I said we go through @2L a year, that’s mostly because of houseguests. I haven’t used any of ours in years, except when the water was turned off during a plumbing repair. I haven’t seen anyone else in the family use it either. IOW, we buy it mainly as a convenience for others, not for our personal use.
Well it's not going to the supermarkets now. Or if it is it's for the staff.

Wife came home with two small bags of flour via her job today. We didn't panic buy 50kg of it.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
I was given a couple of very small bottles (like a couple ounces at most) of nice smelling hand sanitizer about a year ago. They are so small they will fit in a pocket. They are great to take to the grocery store so you can do things like sanitize your hands before getting back into the car. I refill them using a bigger bottle at home.

Also, when SHTF, alcohol is money. So stock up on that if you have room next to your hoard of TP.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I was given a couple of very small bottles (like a couple ounces at most) of nice smelling hand sanitizer about a year ago. They are so small they will fit in a pocket. They are great to take to the grocery store so you can do things like sanitize your hands before getting back into the car. I refill them using a bigger bottle at home.

Also, when SHTF, alcohol is money. So stock up on that if you have room next to your hoard of TP.
That's what the wife does. Uses little bottle at work, refills from 500ml.

Not to worried about booze that will keep flowing, two breweries locally.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
That's what the wife does. Uses little bottle at work, refills from 500ml.

Not to worried about booze that will keep flowing, two breweries locally.
Well...unless they do wat a lot seem to be doing lately, namely, switching to producing hand sanitizer!

We aren’t heavy drinkers, but we like alcoholic beverages. We probably have enough on hand to last our family through a second Prohibition.

...if we don’t share, of course. 😂
 

Tonguez

Legend
Because I dont eat bread and have a good garden, Im finding the whole panic buying situation really really amusing. Especially with what people are considering to be important staples (bread, flour, rice, toilet paper and dettol)

My wife and I did order in about 10ltrs of Isopropyl to make our own sanitiser and we she did go a bit overboard on eggs (4 trays of 30).

Its late autumn now though, so although Ive harvested ample fruit and vege for now, I am concerned about vegetable supply over winter
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Well...unless they do wat a lot seem to be doing lately, namely, switching to producing hand sanitizer!

We aren’t heavy drinkers, but we like alcoholic beverages. We probably have enough on hand to last our family through a second Prohibition.

...if we don’t share, of course. 😂
I like alcohol as well, but don't drink a lot and haven't been sloshed since new year. Drunk 3 or 4 cans of Baltika 9 sobered up in February (maybe lying).

My favorite restaurant does $3 craft beers during happy hour. 3 of those ranging from 5.8 to 6.8 abv gives you a nice buzz no hangover.

Bought 4 cans of Zatecky Gus last night. They've another few days in isolation before I consume one.

Think I got drunk three times last year, one of the was DMing. Players were drinking as well, critical hits were consume thy vessel.

Game kinda fell apart that night for some strange reason.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Because I dont eat bread and have a good garden, Im finding the whole panic buying situation really really amusing. Especially with what people are considering to be important staples (bread, flour, rice, toilet paper and dettol)

My wife and I did order in about 10ltrs of Isopropyl to make our own sanitiser and we she did go a bit overboard on eggs (4 trays of 30).

Its late autumn now though, so although Ive harvested ample fruit and vege for now, I am concerned about vegetable supply over winter
What makes me laugh is people who buy flour and can't do anything with it.

I'm not the best cook in the world but can make cakes, pancakes, bread.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
We typically buy based on sales, so have 3-4 weeks of staples on hand at any given time anyway. Toilet paper, in particular, varies wildly in price and we haven't had to buy any in a month or more (and have weeks of stock left), based just on our normal buying practices.

Canned goods are a bit lower than usual. Rice, spaghetti, flour, etc. we've plenty of. Just being generally frugal goes a long way in situations like this.
 

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