This study came about after a friend of mine asked me to go with her to help find condoms, something about an "emergency" for this evening, which she is presently taking care of. I on the other hand have plenty of time this evening (read: pathetic), and have taken it upon myself to disseminate this for the general public.


Abstract: The use of condoms has been a long and fuitful (for a company, not the consumer) enterprise. One difficulty in condom purchasing is the seemingly different price distributions among various stores and knowing just where one can get a good deal for their dollar. This preliminary study will hopefully shead some light on this difficult problem and open the door to new research within the field.

Methodology: The data was collected unannounced on July 1, 2001 at four large chain stores: Osco, Safeway, Target, and Walgreens, which are within walking distance (read: no car) of Northern Arizona University. Prices were checked for two different types of 14-pack condoms, lubricated and spermicidal-lubricated, within a single brand, namely Trojan (read: the only condom brand Brandy will buy, and she hates the specialty types such as ribbed, pleasure mesh, or ultra-thin, the last making little sense in the don't-want-this-to-break kind of way).

Results: The data for each store is as follows:

  • Osco: Lubricated -- $10.49
    Spermicidal-Lubricated -- n/a
  • Safeway: Lubricated -- $5.99 sale ($6.49)*
    Spermicidal-Lubricated -- $7.99 sale ($8.49)*
  • Target: Lubricated -- $5.19
    Spermicidal-Lubricated -- $5.49
  • Walgreens: Lubricated -- $8.99 sale ($8.99)*
    Spermicidal-Lubricated -- $11.79
*Sale prices are used in analysis, but regular prices are given in parentheses for further study.

A qualitative measure of selection size revealed little difference between stores. While Osco's selection appeared to be smaller, an exact number of brands and types was not specifically accounted for. (This measure was thought of only after visiting the first store, and I was hungry, so we carried on.)

An ANOVA did not find significant difference between types of Trojan condoms (alpha=0.05, DF=6, Prob<0.73) nor a significant difference between stores and prices (alpha=0.05, DF=3, Prob<0.09), although the latter is more significant.

Discussion: While statistical methods did not provide a significant difference between stores or brands, the average consumer (read: Brandy) still looked to minimized his expense. Thus this study found Target to be the best buy of all four stores, with Safeway as a close second (if you're in a pinch), and Walgreens running a distant third. (Brandy, being a bit suprised by the sudden drop in price from Osco to Safeway, had already bought one package of each type of Trojan condom and could only look mornfully at the Target display, and this after a delectable meal at KFC and running around in the rain for a good 20+ minutes... poor poor Brandy.)

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Brandy for her sudden need of condoms, and also her new guy, for without him, this study would never have commenced.

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