Food & Drink

Bulk Barn Prices high?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 14th, 2017 11:19 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
6766 posts
713 upvotes
Toronto

Bulk Barn Prices high?

Because the Bulk Barn specializes in Bulk products and could buy in huge bulk amounts resulting in Economies of scale, one would think that every item in store would at least be cheaper than elsewhere.

This may not be true though. The items I was looking at specifically was nuts. The ones in shell are $3.29/lb compared to $2.99/lb at most supermarkets currently. They did have Brazil nuts in the shell which I am yet to see at the supermarkets I visit though.

Shelled Amira brand walnuts are $5 for a 1lb bag normal price at the Asian store I visit and on sale at No Frill for this price currently.

Pistachios in the shell was on sale at $10/lb whereas it is normally between $$6 an $8/lb normally at bulk food sections like Metro and as low as $3.99/lb on sale.

What really freaked me out though was the whopping $20/lb for shelled pistachios. I understand the shell is a high percentage of the weight plus the added cost of shelling, the nuts and then comparatively to the price of their in shell pistachios this may be reasonable.

Has the price of nuts escalated recently? Google searches claim the Iranian and other Arabic stores along Lawrence East has some fresh nuts with high turnover but no prices were quoted.

What are better options to Bulk Barn for nuts especially? Ambrosia? John Vince foods Is John Vince open to the retail public and do I have to buy large quantities at a time?
53 replies
Deal Guru
Jun 30, 2006
14069 posts
2476 upvotes
Toronto
That's the perception that people have. They automatically assume that Bulk Barn has cheaper prices. The same thing with Costco, some items are actually more expensive on a per unit basis compared to Wal-Mart etc.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
4748 posts
464 upvotes
Toronto
You are correct that bulk barn is a friggin ripoff for a lot of things
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 4, 2009
6575 posts
706 upvotes
They prey on the uneducated. Most people cant or wont calculate the cost per unit weight. If they bothered to do that, then they would be shocked to see that bulk barn is 2-3x more expensive than branded and packaged items at even loblaws.

I would say though bulk barn soemtimes has unique or higher quality products than comparable supermarket items.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
28233 posts
4204 upvotes
Ottawa
carmaster wrote:
Dec 18th, 2010 11:22 am
That's the perception that people have. They automatically assume that Bulk Barn has cheaper prices. The same thing with Costco, some items are actually more expensive on a per unit basis compared to Wal-Mart etc.

+1 My Wife was under the impression that Bulk barn was the cheapest until I actually made her do comparisons. I personally hated the place because the employees seemed all...greasy...and I knew they were filling the barrels up. Not the most hygienic place in my opinion. The bulk dry pet food right beside the bulk peanut butter LOL.
Is it solipsistic here? Or is it just me?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 7, 2007
1131 posts
86 upvotes
I typically only go to Bulk Barn if I need something in a small amount (something I'll use once per year or something like that), or a specialty item. I rarely see anything cheaper at Bulk Barn.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 26, 2008
5136 posts
49 upvotes
Bulk barn is also expensive for Australian ginger and theirs is not so tasty.
usually I order the Ginger people brand and it is the only good brand I tried so far out of the 20 or so places I samples in the past few years...
(reed's ginger brand is just yuck and bad esp in the tins, reeds ginger candy is good).

Also dried blueberries are cheaper at other places and PC has 1lb dried blueberries for $1

Online I have seen Nuts online.com their prices seem good and they give you a price w duty and shipping to Canada, so that is good.
have not bought there yet.

Bulk barn, the one I went to at Carlingwood there was a few fruit flies in the dried fruit section and that stopped me from buying stuff a few weeks ago.
There is a new bulk barn near me, so might go there.
I do not like how they leave the metal scoops out and people touch them, put that in the bins and then put them back- it is not much cleaner than just sneezing in the bin and using your hands- so I never buy much there.

Usually there is a $3 off $10 coupon on Bulk barn's website that you can print and use one pervisit.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jan 17, 2010
952 posts
165 upvotes
Toronto
I usually stick to Bulk Barn for spices, waaaay cheaper than buying in the grocery store.
Jr. Member
Apr 1, 2006
149 posts
17 upvotes
Bulk barn is awesome for steel cut oats, nutritional comparison to PC Blue steel cuts is the same. When I bought a bunch it was like 17cents for 100 grams or something ridiculously low.
Deal Addict
Jun 8, 2005
2631 posts
271 upvotes
Stran wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2010 10:06 pm
Bulk barn is awesome for steel cut oats, nutritional comparison to PC Blue steel cuts is the same. When I bought a bunch it was like 17cents for 100 grams or something ridiculously low.

This is very true. It's about $1/lb there for steel cut oats vs $6/lb at Brunos (for Mccan's). Not sure the price at loblaws, but it can't beat BB.

Also, I always go in there for a couple dollars worth of steel cut oats, and leave with $50 worth of candy, chocolate and rice cracker mix. I think I may have a BB problem...
Newbie
Feb 21, 2010
12 posts
1 upvote
Ontario
craigdcan wrote:
Dec 18th, 2010 6:00 pm
I typically only go to Bulk Barn if I need something in a small amount (something I'll use once per year or something like that), or a specialty item. I rarely see anything cheaper at Bulk Barn.

I do the same thing because you do not need a big quantity of some items. Some of the things I bought from them are not even fresh tasting so it turns out that you are wasting a lot of money throwing that stuff.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 25, 2005
6003 posts
138 upvotes
rageking wrote:
Dec 18th, 2010 4:28 pm
They prey on the uneducated. Most people cant or wont calculate the cost per unit weight. If they bothered to do that, then they would be shocked to see that bulk barn is 2-3x more expensive than branded and packaged items at even loblaws.

I would say though bulk barn soemtimes has unique or higher quality products than comparable supermarket items.

Yep, and that's the reason I'll be in there the odd time or two. Something unique or different that isn't readily available in a grocery store. Plus not all places have a bulk section. Getting as little as I want is also a benefit.
Newbie
User avatar
Dec 23, 2010
4 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
Are their foods fresh at all? Because they seem like they've been there for ages lol
Sr. Member
Aug 4, 2010
898 posts
43 upvotes
Bookpreviews wrote:
Dec 18th, 2010 7:08 pm
Bulk barn is also expensive for Australian ginger and theirs is not so tasty.
usually I order the Ginger people brand and it is the only good brand I tried so far out of the 20 or so places I samples in the past few years...
(reed's ginger brand is just yuck and bad esp in the tins, reeds ginger candy is good).

Also dried blueberries are cheaper at other places and PC has 1lb dried blueberries for $1

Online I have seen Nuts online.com their prices seem good and they give you a price w duty and shipping to Canada, so that is good.
have not bought there yet.

Bulk barn, the one I went to at Carlingwood there was a few fruit flies in the dried fruit section and that stopped me from buying stuff a few weeks ago.
There is a new bulk barn near me, so might go there.
I do not like how they leave the metal scoops out and people touch them, put that in the bins and then put them back- it is not much cleaner than just sneezing in the bin and using your hands- so I never buy much there.

Usually there is a $3 off $10 coupon on Bulk barn's website that you can print and use one pervisit.

I forgot you were a fellow Ottawan, until you said "Carlingwood", and the lights went on. Yeah, Australian ginger is a real rip-off at Bulk Barn. I find that the cheapest, most pungent ginger can be found at Food Basics. The brand is called "tostinos", and is about half the price of Bulk Barn's.

Top