Generic cotton swabs suck. They're all bendy. Especially in the summer when the humidity in our bathroom reaches rain forest levels. I find it unreasonably irritating to try to clean my ears with a buckling cotton swab. I buy cotton swabs about once a year. That means buying generic ones has saved me maybe two bucks a year. I'd rather spend the two dollars and get the Q-Tips.
Life is too short for generic cotton swabs. You heard that bit of life-changing profundity here first.