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JIM ‘PAPPY’ MOORE: Is Your Store Over-Charging You?

By Jim “Pappy” Moore


You shop at a local store. You fill your basket. You assume that the price tags you see in the store are the actual price you will be charged. If you check every time, you may find that is wrong. You may find that several items are labeled one price, but the checkout rings them up at prices 20% or more higher. Here are some specific examples.


A small container of watermelon is labeled $2.58. If rings up $3.24. If you catch it at the time and make Store personnel go verify your number they will. You may think your doing so will make them change the price actually ON the container, but maybe they won’t. Maybe it will be the same wrong price the next day, or the next week. The result is you may think you are getting their produce for less than you are. This one purchase costs you 66 cents more than their stated price. That means you are paying 26% more than their listed price. 


A package of ice cream bars was labeled $1.97. It rang up $2.17. That’s 20 cents more than list price, which means their unlisted mark-up is just over 10%. Perhaps just as important, it allows them to show a price just under $2.00. I brought this “error” to their attention four weeks in a row, and four times I asked them to tell the manager they were overcharging. It never got changed.


There was a huge bin with avocados. The large sign said “68 cents each.” It rang up at $.88 each. That’s 20 cents more per avocado. 


I have been watching this for years. I have never once seen an instance of the actual price charged being LESS THAN the labeled price. This means the “error” is always in the store’s favor. When an “error” consistently occurs to the favor of the seller, we cannot conclude it is simply an error. 


This is done on things such as produce, which would be expected to have price changes to reflect market conditions. But would they always result in the store getting MORE money than the price on the label?


I’m not saying to stop doing business with your local store, but stop trusting them to charge you the price listed, and insist they honor the price on the items. When the price is right there on the label, it is hard for them to claim the price rung up is correct. 


It may take a little more time and you may have to pay a little more attention, but you can save yourself money simply by knowing the label price of each item in your basket. It starts with taking a good look at each item and registering in your mind the price you are seeing. 


Tell everyone you know to pay attention to the amounts you are charged for each item. I understand that sometimes these things fall through the cracks, but saving yourself money buying groceries starts with you paying attention to how much you are being charged for each item, and requiring the store to honor that price. 


Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.

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