Shortage of O.B. Tampons Causes Rush, Boosts Prices Online

O.B. brand tampons missing from shelves, company says they'll be back soon.

ByABC News
January 19, 2011, 12:31 PM

Jan. 19, 2010 — -- The shortage of a popular brand of tampons has alarmed women who are so loyal to this most intimate of necessities that they have been willing to pay exorbitant amounts when they can find them online.

The disappearance of the o.b. brand tampons from store shelves has boosted prices on eBay to as much as $100 for a set of three boxes of 40 tampons. Boxes of the o.b. tampons typically cost around $8.

"I just figured that my store was out and hadn't been restocking them, but when I went to three or four more stores and realized those shelves were empty too, I was panicking," said Debbie Ronca.

Luckily, Ronca didn't have to pay the eBay price to replenish her supply and instead received boxes of her favorite tampons from her sister for Christmas, who shipped them to Ronca's Tennessee home from Florida.

Ronca, like many other women, became loyal consumers of o.b. brand tampons because of their compact size and comfort. The tampons, unlike many of its competitors, come without an applicator and therefore produce less waste than their counterparts.

"Your choice of tampon is a very personal thing," explained Ronca, 42, who says she has been using the o.b. brand for more than 20 years. "When you've been using the same product for that long and it has never changed, it's a little terrifying to think about what you're going to do without that product."

Other women say they use o.b. branded tampons because of they come they offer a higher absorbancy than others.

"It's like getting a fix, when you have something you rely on for years and then it's missing," said Dodai Stewart, the New York-based deputy editor of the popular women's blog Jezebel, who has been covering the tampon shortage for months.

Yukela Williams, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, the company that manufactures o.b. tampons, said in an e-mail to ABC News that customers can expect the product back on shelves soon.