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Alkaline battery prices, value

Discussion in 'The OT' started by AntAltMike, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Home Depot has packs of 48 Alkaline batteries - 24 AA and 24 AAA - for $7.88. That works out to under 17 cents per battery. I just searched for "historic" alkaline battery prices and pulled up a 1998 comparative analysis of rechargeable and non-rechargeable battery costs, and see that alkaline AA and AAA batteries cost 65 to 75 cents each in 1998 in packs of 4, so the price is down by more than 75%.

    How much did we used to pay for so-called dry cells in the 1970s, when Radio Shack had its Battery of the Month Club? Weren't the zinc carbon batteries around 20 to 30 cents each? And how much better are these batteries? What is the rule of thumb ratio of Alkaline versus zinc carbon cell longevity? Three times? Four times? That means we are paying less than a tenth as much in constant dollars for battery powering. Good deal for us! And that doesn't even figure in that CMOS components use less power than did discrete transistor and TTL circuitry.
     
  2. hilmar2k

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    You have to wonder just how good those batteries are. While it's true that the heavily advertised batteries (Duracell, Energizer, etc) are generally no better than other high quality, lesser known brands (Varta), there are tons of batteries that are complete junk out there. They may be cheap, but having them last less than half as long really eats into the savings. And that's not even considering the pain it can be to replace dead batteries sometimes.

    EDIT: After looking those up, I see they are Rayovacs. I've actually had decent luck with those. That's an unbelievable price.

    By the way, it's not just batteries that have come way down in price. Things like toys and food are also much cheaper than they used to be.
     
  3. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    You can get super-duper lithium batteries on eBay from Hong Kong for about half what you'd pay domestically. The only hitch was that the ones I bought only had about 8 years of guaranteed shelf life whereas the manufacturer normally guarantees ten years of shelf life when sold through normal domestic retail outlets
     
  4. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    I've had great luck with Kirkland brand of batteries.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2012 #5 of 32
    TXD16

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    About every five or six years, Consumer Reports does a test of various alkaline batteries, including brand-name, no-name, and everything in between. Their conclusion each and every time has been that alkalines are all about equivalent and that smart consumers shop by price. My own empirical, yet admittedly anecdotal experience, has pretty much confirmed the CR results.

    Of course, as a result of this extensive, comprehensive, and ongoing research by CR, I now purchase and use nothing other than pre-charged rechargeable NiMH batteries. ;)
     
  6. Dec 1, 2012 #6 of 32
    phrelin

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    Some alkaline batteries are made in the United States. Some alkaline batteries are made in China and other places.

    Rayovac is owned by Spectrum Brands, an international conglomerate which also owns Varta (batteries) and various brands like Black & Decker, George Foreman Cooking, etc.

    Sometimes things are inexpensive, and sometimes for a reason.
     
  7. Dec 1, 2012 #7 of 32
    jeffshoaf

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    While the place of manufacturer has a large effect on the price, with the big name brands we're also paying for all that advertising that helped make them the big name brands!
     
  8. Dec 1, 2012 #8 of 32
    phrelin

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    Yes, but who wouldn't want to help support the Energizer Bunny???:D
     
  9. Dec 1, 2012 #9 of 32
    TheRatPatrol

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    Yes, I buy my batteries at Costco and have never had a problem with them.
     
  10. Rich

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    I bought a pack of double A cells from Costco, the Kirkland brand and gave the pack (had a couple dozen cells in the package). A couple weeks later my son comes out of his room with the empty package and gives me his review of the cells' performance. I won't try to tell you what he said, but he wasn't happy. The next time I went to Costco, I told a manager about them and he didn't seem surprised. Gave me a refund. What really kills me is CR gives them a good rating as a rule. I don't think they gave them a good grade this year.

    In short, no way are they anywhere near as good as Duracells. I use a lot of Kirkland stuff around the house and the only other item I've purchased that didn't perform about the same as the higher priced brands is their version of Bounce. It's cheaper, but you have to use at least two sheets to get rid of static cling, which my wife quickly pointed out. Ended up just throwing them away.

    Rich
     
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    This year they did the batteries. I'm still using Duracells.

    Rich
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    The company I worked for sold the whole line of Eveready products in a fit of bureaucratic lunacy. Couple years later our CEO sobered up enough to admit what a horrible mistake he had made. He also approved the sale of Prestone at the same time and apologized for that too. And that was the death knell of Union Carbide.

    Rich
     
  13. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Just stocked up on D's and 6volt via Amazon prime for restock since the storm. I only do Energizer Max.
     
  14. Rich

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    Like them better than Duracells? Ever compare them in a side by side test? Just curious, I keep buying Duracells at Costco and rarely get a chance to empty out the packages before the remaining cells go dead, getting kinda tired of that. Know how the prices compare?

    Rich
     
  15. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    As weird as it may sound, I definitely think there's a difference. I've always found Energizer to last longer. When I just needed to restock, Home Depot had none left, and BJs, Staples, and Costco only had Duracell so went with Amazon Prime for the order.
     
  16. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    There was also a recent study that showed Rayovac as better, but then I found another study that conflicted it, thus went with my usual Energizer.
     
  17. Rich

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    I'll give them a try. It's become obvious that buying the Duracells at Costco is a waste of money. The unused cells don't come close to their alleged expiration date. Probably another "seconds" dump such as their watches.

    Rich
     
  18. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

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    I haven't used disposable batteries in years. i have changed all my flashlights to rechargable Lithium Ion, they outlast alkaline and any other form of rechargables and the charged shelf life is measured in years.
     
  19. dennisj00

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    For years I used Duracells with no problem. Lately, I've had more 'leakage' and corrosion that I would expect. Maybe quality control?

    But overall, it's amazing how long batteries last these days. Even the rechargables are close to double the capacity of 3-4 years ago.
     
  20. TXD16

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    Unfortunately, so far as I am aware, rechargeable Li-Ions aren't yet available in the most-common 1.5-volt (nominal 1.25-volt) variety, hence, my usage of pre-charged, long-shelf-life NiMH.
     

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