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Via Garibaldi 8

Many NYC Supermarkets Overcharging Customers

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I've been meaning to post about this because it has been more and more of a problem for me of late where I notice that I've been overcharged for items. Apparently, according to numerous reports, this is a growing problem:

 

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Proposal-to-Pay-Customers-When-Supermarkets-Violate-Laws-128037318.html

 

In my case I have been getting refunded in full for the overcharges, but I am getting tired of having to call up about this. Sometimes I'm in a rush and don't have time to check my receipt before I leave the store, but I always review all of my receipts at home and can recall all of the prices that I was charged for various items. I think so far this year I've had almost $20.00 returned to me in overcharges and that doesn't include all of the overcharges that I actually caught before paying for the items. If you include that you could be talking about $40.00 easily in overcharges. Many outraged customers have been writing their elected officials about the problem and I think I may start doing the same thing. I don't think the overcharges are on purpose in many cases, but are the result of sheer laziness on behalf of the supermarkets not changing the prices on the shelves and then changing the prices on the scanners. :mad:

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How is an "overcharge" defined? Manhattan can legitimately charge higher prices because their real estate costs more and the shipping to get their supplies to their stores (exclusively by truck) costs more. Higher costs = higher prices. Laws like this will just cause places to go out of business.

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Yea you think your the only one :tdown:

 

Annnnd I'm shocked, shocked.

 

I think the question is how many people even pay attention though? :eek: If I'm not pressed for time I have called for a price check on numerous occasions, esp. in the Whole Foods in Union Square. That one is by far the worst. I have only had a few issues at the Columbus Circle location, and the one down by the Bowery IMO is the best one in terms of accurate prices. So far the Shop Rite that I go to on Richmond Avenue in Staten Island has been excellent. They have the screen right in front of you so you can see the prices AND they have an automated voice which also says the prices, this way you can continue to scan your items and not have to keep looking at the screen. I think more supermarkets should do this.

 

I think the three biggest offenders for me has been Whole Foods, Morton Williams and Met Foods. Today after my trip from Riverdale/Yonkers, I came back to Midtown. Pressed for time, I rushed into the Morton Williams on 57th st over by Columbus Circle since it was across the street from the express bus and I could get a few items that I can't get on Staten Island and still make the last X30 of the night. They had natural turkey breast by Applegate, and then organic turkey breast by Applegate, so I picked up the organic package after seeing that it was listed as only being a $1 more at $6.99. I was also a bit hungry, so I got a Organic Smoothie by Stonyfield for $2.39 as a snack until I got home. I get to the register and I'm rung up for almost $11.00 and I'm thinking how did those two items come to almost $11.00? Then I realize that I was charged $7.99 for the Applegate turkey, but I was pressed for time and thought I would investigate further when I got home since I can always get my money back through Amex anyway. So I get home and check to see the price listed on the turkey package and they had a $6.99 sticker and then under that, a $5.99 sticker, which you can see below...

 

 

 

ApplegateOrganics1.jpg

 

ApplegateOrganics2.jpg

 

So for my inconvenience, I'll take the $5.99 price when I go to get my money back. Actually, I might just ask for the full $7.99 back because I believe that the law is that anytime that you are overcharged, you can get the item for free, which I have received on numerous occasions. However, I clearly know what this stems from. A lot of the wrong prices, espcially in stores like Whole Foods and Morton Williams comes from the fact that the people working there don't have a clue about natural food or organic food, as was the case here, so they just mix up the prices and say f*ck it, it's all the same thing anyway, which in fact they are not. In their case, many of them don't even know the difference between natural food and organic food, so a lot of the pricing stems from a lack of knowledge, but also just laziness. It isn't their money so they could care less. It really amazes me how rude and annoyed the staff can get if you request a price check on an item or request that the item's price be corrected. It's like they can't be bothered or rather since you're already spending so much in these high end stores, they think well what's the big f*cking deal? However, even if it is just a few bucks it is still the customer's money and over time, you keep being overcharged and those few bucks turn into a decent amount of cash, not only that you lose, but a decent amount of cash that these supermarkets make on the backs of consumers, so now what I do is if I don't review my receipt then and there, I will go over my Amex charges on line and compare all of my receipts since I have very good memory on the prices of the things that I get.

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"organic" food is always more expensive. met food is a bit more expensive imo i usually go to key food if you dont mind the 70s-style decor or pathmark if you dont mind the crowds (idk if they have keyfood in manhattan though)

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"organic" food is always more expensive. met food is a bit more expensive imo i usually go to key food if you dont mind the 70s-style decor or pathmark if you dont mind the crowds (idk if they have keyfood in manhattan though)

 

Not "always" but sometimes it is and if you're buying organic and you're overcharged, then the amount you're overpaying when the item scans as opposed to what the item is listed on the shelf for of course becomes even more.

 

How is an "overcharge" defined? Manhattan can legitimately charge higher prices because their real estate costs more and the shipping to get their supplies to their stores (exclusively by truck) costs more. Higher costs = higher prices. Laws like this will just cause places to go out of business.

 

Simple. I pick up an item and on the shelf it is listed as costing $1.79. However, when it scans it scans as being $1.99, $0.20 cents more than the price listed on the shelf. That's the definition of an overcharge. Something that Whole Foods does a lot that annoys me is you'll ask for a pint of something and they pretend like they don't hear you and get the bigger sized container and start loading it with say tofu or whatever it is that I asked for and I'll have to get at them to give me the correct size container that I asked for, but some people don't pay attention and wind up paying for the bigger container, even though they specifically asked for the smaller size. In those instances, you could be paying an additional $5 - 10 more than what you should be if the product is question is say shrimp or another type of expensive seafood or cut of meat, especially in high end places that sell specialty goods.

 

At first I thought that maybe it was just me and that I don't speak loud enough, but then I observed the exact same thing happening to other customers and I can only conclude one or two things:

 

1. The workers are so busy day dreaming all day that they can't even take simple orders.

 

2. The are pretending to not hear what is being said and trying to charge more. I don't think it's a coincidence that just about anytime that I see folks ordering stuff, they always have to ask for some of the product to be put back because they are given way more than what they ask for. I personally think that they train the staff in Whole Foods to do that since they want to make sure that they sell as much of the food as possible, this way they lose less money since the items of course spoil quicker not having preservatives and such. For the life of me I never understood why customers have to repeate themselves two or three times when ordering. It's like every customer that goes to order, they say what they want and I can hear them perfectly, but the worker totally tunes them out or hears what they want to hear and then they have to go and repeat themselves again or answer a question that was already answered when they first placed the order.

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walmart sucks, destroys jobs, and imports cheap shit.

 

i wouldn't buy anything from them.

 

as for the supermarkets overcharging customers buyer be aware. if you know something's supposed to be on sale, make sure you get the sale price. check it. it's your responsibility because nothing in life is free, and you've got to do it.

 

-the guy that often made the dinner runs back in his high school days as a camp counselor, and sat there and made sure mcdonald's included every food item they were supposed to.

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Heh. If I had a bundle in my jeans I'd shop at Whole Foods occasionally. But Walmart is the where its at until then. And with this economy, I doubt that's going to happen any time soon.

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this is what you get when you worry about "organic" over something like say taste or edibilty.

 

there is a solution to you price problems

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSgfH21U-twwlRZr_dFnOBZx9elzgHp0T_-WEQaLOn924uslhm4UQ

 

I can get the same stuff from walmart at prices that I need to wait for other stores to have sales to get.

 

This has nothing to do with organic. Most supermarkets are overcharging, whether it is organic or processed junk, so as Subway Guy said, buyer beware. Unfortunately many people don't pay attention or in some cases, the screen that shows the prices of the items you're buying is not easily readible depending on where it is located.

 

I'm hip on the game now, so if I'm in a hurry and don't have time to dispute the charge or whatever, I'll just call up Amex and get refunded that way. They're really great in protecting their customers from being ripped off. :cool:

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I know about the cons aka dark secrets of wal-mart as there are 4 'super' walmarts with a hour drive of my house. With that said I am just like MC I am shop at Wal Mart about 1x a month. At Wal Mart i only buy stuff like toliet paper, napkins socks/underwear and other bulk household stuff that you can't beat the prices anywhere. Other products like clothing *sucks* though.

 

For those of you who hate or don't like Wal-Mart that your choice but keep in mind with so many people on a strict budget that a reason they are always packed at most stores across America.

 

 

With that said, living here in Dutchess County, what great is that the prices of food even organic is so much cheaper than anywhere in NYC since farms are just down the road up here. One idea which i did every couple of months for someone like Garbaldi if ever gets a car is drive to places like Ducthess/Ulster Counties or Western New Jersey for instance.

 

Organic and regular fruits/veggies are as much as 25-30% cheaper than a Manhattan supermarket. IMO it's been proven on tv news that in some cases organic foods are *no safer* and overpriced than so called regular foods.

If the products is on sale or reasonable priced I will occaional buy organic foods. So my takes is there very little to avoid the 'highway robbery' of any food products at Manhattan area supermarkets.

Either drive to the nearby farming areas in our region, buy at fruit/veggie superstores like "Three Guys" in Brooklyn or just suck it and pay for it.:(

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I know about the cons aka dark secrets of wal-mart as there are 4 'super' walmarts with a hour drive of my house. With that said I am just like MC I am shop at Wal Mart about 1x a month. At Wal Mart i only buy stuff like toliet paper, napkins socks/underwear and other bulk household stuff that you can't beat the prices anywhere. Other products like clothing *sucks* though.

 

For those of you who hate or don't like Wal-Mart that your choice but keep in mind with so many people on a strict budget that a reason they are always packed at most stores across America.

 

 

With that said, living here in Dutchess County, what great is that the prices of food even organic is so much cheaper than anywhere in NYC since farms are just down the road up here. One idea which i did every couple of months for someone like Garbaldi if ever gets a car is drive to places like Ducthess/Ulster Counties or Western New Jersey for instance.

 

Organic and regular fruits/veggies are as much as 25-30% cheaper than a Manhattan supermarket. IMO it's been proven on tv news that in some cases organic foods are *no safer* and overpriced than so called regular foods.

If the products is on sale or reasonable priced I will occaional buy organic foods. So my takes is there very little to avoid the 'highway robbery' of any food products at Manhattan area supermarkets.

Either drive to the nearby farming areas in our region, buy at fruit/veggie superstores like "Three Guys" in Brooklyn or just suck it and pay for it.:(

 

 

LOL... How does this relate to the actual thread though? This isn't about supermarkets charging more for organic foods. This is about customers being CHEATED in that they are being charged more than the price that is listed on the shelves, regardless of the location. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not the item is organic or processed food or whatever. It is clear that very few people are actually READING the article and are just trying to make comments about organic food when that has nothing do with the topic at hand.

 

You can be overcharged at Walmart also if the prices shown on the shelves don't match the price that scans, so your comments about paying more in Manhattan are rather immaterial.

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LOL... How does this relate to the actual thread though? This isn't about supermarkets charging more for organic foods. This is about customers being CHEATED in that they are being charged more than the price that is listed on the shelves, regardless of the location. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not the item is organic or processed food or whatever. It is clear that very few people are actually READING the article and are just trying to make comments about organic food when that has nothing do with the topic at hand.

 

you make it sound like these places are doing it intentionally, sometimes its just a human error, the sign could be in the wrong spot, they could forget to update the database to the new sale price, a lot of the time where I work, people shopping will leave stuff willy nilly in the aisles that they don't want, and sometimes they will put something in an area marked clearance, when that item isn't on clearance. Plus on the flipside there are cheap, miserly people that will lie about something being a different price when it isn't, and if it doesnt sound right, we will have someone check to make sure that the customer saw it correctly.

 

And by the way, as a cashier the 'price changer' people are high on the list of things that piss me off at work, the worst is the change fumblers, the people that take forever cuz god forbid they have to carry a few quarters and dimes, or the people that after i type in the thing and the drawer pops out they hand me change.

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Garbaldi it is related since some NYC supermarkets since forever has been known overcharged on all food products with organic products being the most complained.

 

Yeah well many places didn't even sell organic food until recently, so it can't be since "forever". Even so, the real discussion is about customers being overcharged in general. You're just bringing this up to take a swipe at organic food that's all. lol It is no secret that some places in Manhattan charge more for food in general than other places. That's no big deal. Folks will either pay or shop around that's all, but the overcharging thing is rampid across all 5 boroughs regardless of what type of food it is.

 

you make it sound like these places are doing it intentionally, sometimes its just a human error, the sign could be in the wrong spot, they could forget to update the database to the new sale price, a lot of the time where I work, people shopping will leave stuff willy nilly in the aisles that they don't want, and sometimes they will put something in an area marked clearance, when that item isn't on clearance. Plus on the flipside there are cheap, miserly people that will lie about something being a different price when it isn't, and if it doesnt sound right, we will have someone check to make sure that the customer saw it correctly.

 

And by the way, as a cashier the 'price changer' people are high on the list of things that piss me off at work, the worst is the change fumblers, the people that take forever cuz god forbid they have to carry a few quarters and dimes, or the people that after i type in the thing and the drawer pops out they hand me change.

 

In some cases they may very well be doing it purposely and in some cases it is a mistake, but the point is that compliance is becoming worse either way, whether it is intentional or a mistake and the customers are the ones paying the ultimate price by way of paying more while the supermarkets reap the benefits. Sometimes they get the price wrong and it benefits the customer, but most of the time it is the other way around and believe me, they benefit far more than they lose.

 

I actually used to rarely have problems with having to have prices corrected or getting refunded for being overcharged, but this year I've noticed that it is becoming more and more of a problem on a routine basis.

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and correct me if im wrong, you once said that you bought a 1000 dollar pair of shoes, (or was it 500, either way its wayyy too much for shoes, i dont care what brand), if you have no problem droppin a grand on a pair of shoes, why you so mad that whole foods makes a pricing error for like 20 cents or so?

 

For the record im wearing like 50 dollar new balance sneakers, but I used to wear 20 dollar converse shoes, Even work shoes you can find good ones for like 100 dollars if you go to the outlets in Riverhead or one of those shoe outlet places.

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and correct me if im wrong, you once said that you bought a 1000 dollar pair of shoes, (or was it 500, either way its wayyy too much for shoes, i dont care what brand), if you have no problem droppin a grand on a pair of shoes, why you so mad that whole foods makes a pricing error for like 20 cents or so?

 

For the record im wearing like 50 dollar new balance sneakers, but I used to wear 20 dollar converse shoes, Even work shoes you can find good ones for like 100 dollars if you go to the outlets in Riverhead or one of those shoe outlet places.

 

LOL... Yes, you are wrong.. I said that I bought 3 pairs of shoes that totaled $1,000.00. I have never paid $1,000.00 for shoes. The most I have paid for a pair of shoes is $600.00 - 700.00, and those were hand made. As far as the pricing error goes, I don't like being jipped in general and the reason is because once folks see that they can jip you for small amounts and you don't say anything, they will try to jip you for larger amounts because the consensus is, oh he/she can afford to pay a "bit" more. Those with money don't have it because they let people jip them. They have it because they watch their money like a hawk.

 

For example, I went to this Spanish restaurant and I went to pay the bill and then the waitress sees my credit card and automatically I could tell what she was thinking. Before paying I realize that I was charged $14.00 for a glass of Spanish wine instead of $12.00, so I tell her that it's a mistake and she pretends like she charged me less knowing damn well that she had brought me over the wrong glass of wine when I had asked specifically for the $12.00 glass, and then she went and got me the $12.00 glass instead. Instead of bickering with her, I said she thinks shes real slick. I'll just call Amex and have them refund me. I saw her the other day and she's like Oh I remember you and I'm thinking yeah I bet you do. Probably thinking that I'm a real sucker, but I got the last laugh.

 

As far as what I pay for the stuff I buy, it's a free country. If you want the cheap shoes and that works for you then go for it, but I like quality, so I pay more in some cases where necessary, but never more than what the product is worth. Hand made shoes are pricey because a ton of work and time is needed to make them are they are not mass produced and not made in sweatshops either, so of course they would cost more. They are made by skilled shoe specialists.

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I've been meaning to post about this because it has been more and more of a problem for me of late where I notice that I've been overcharged for items. Apparently, according to numerous reports, this is a growing problem:

 

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Proposal-to-Pay-Customers-When-Supermarkets-Violate-Laws-128037318.html

 

In my case I have been getting refunded in full for the overcharges, but I am getting tired of having to call up about this. Sometimes I'm in a rush and don't have time to check my receipt before I leave the store, but I always review all of my receipts at home and can recall all of the prices that I was charged for various items. I think so far this year I've had almost $20.00 returned to me in overcharges and that doesn't include all of the overcharges that I actually caught before paying for the items. If you include that you could be talking about $40.00 easily in overcharges. Many outraged customers have been writing their elected officials about the problem and I think I may start doing the same thing. I don't think the overcharges are on purpose in many cases, but are the result of sheer laziness on behalf of the supermarkets not changing the prices on the shelves and then changing the prices on the scanners. :mad:

 

Well, as a consumer (and a cheapskate :( ), I think it's great. However, I don't think that law is fair to the supermarkets. Sure, they should be monitoring their employees to make sure the prices are correct, but think about it: If they get fined by the city for their violations, they're going to pass the cost onto the consumers. Sure, maybe people like us who are willing to fight to keep our money will come out ahead, but overall, it will lead to higher prices on the shelves.

 

Now of course, I'm hoping that the stores just have the incentive to keep their prices accurate. If they don't of course, I'll be the first to take advantage of the new law. B)

 

Simple. I pick up an item and on the shelf it is listed as costing $1.79. However, when it scans it scans as being $1.99, $0.20 cents more than the price listed on the shelf. That's the definition of an overcharge. Something that Whole Foods does a lot that annoys me is you'll ask for a pint of something and they pretend like they don't hear you and get the bigger sized container and start loading it with say tofu or whatever it is that I asked for and I'll have to get at them to give me the correct size container that I asked for, but some people don't pay attention and wind up paying for the bigger container, even though they specifically asked for the smaller size. In those instances, you could be paying an additional $5 - 10 more than what you should be if the product is question is say shrimp or another type of expensive seafood or cut of meat, especially in high end places that sell specialty goods.

 

At first I thought that maybe it was just me and that I don't speak loud enough, but then I observed the exact same thing happening to other customers and I can only conclude one or two things:

 

 

Of course, the honest way of doing business is charging the full price, and if you can't sell enough, you put it on sale.

 

Say a shrimp salad costs $7.99/lb (I'm just making that up. I have no idea what it costs). What they should do is raise the price a bit to $8.99/lb, and then if they see that it's about to expire, have a blowout sale at say $4.99/lb. The profits remain the same, but people are being charged more honestly.

 

this is what you get when you worry about "organic" over something like say taste or edibilty.

 

I can get the same stuff from walmart at prices that I need to wait for other stores to have sales to get.

 

Certain organic foods are proven better than the processed version (like milk). However, certain ones aren't (like bananas).

 

As far as shopping for sales, there's no Walmart in Staten Island, so my family generally waits for sales and stocks up. It isn't that hard.

 

There is no Publix up there?

 

No. They're mostly down South. I don't think there are any north of like, Virginia.

 

I remember when I went to Miami, I saw a circular for Publix, and I was like "I've never heard of this place before". We couldn't find a store, so we didn't do any shopping, but the next time, we found out where the stores

were (we went to one in Brickell, and another in Aventura).

 

Even on vacations, I'm still frugal.

 

Organic and regular fruits/veggies are as much as 25-30% cheaper than a Manhattan supermarket. IMO it's been proven on tv news that in some cases organic foods are *no safer* and overpriced than so called regular foods.

If the products is on sale or reasonable priced I will occaional buy organic foods. So my takes is there very little to avoid the 'highway robbery' of any food products at Manhattan area supermarkets.

Either drive to the nearby farming areas in our region, buy at fruit/veggie superstores like "Three Guys" in Brooklyn or just suck it and pay for it.B)

 

Well, my relatives aren't die-hard organics fans, but we do buy organic when it's reasonable (say, $6.99 or less for a gallon of milk, but it varies based on the product we're buying).

 

Garbaldi it is related since some NYC supermarkets since forever has been known overcharged on all food products with organic products being the most complained.

 

But it isn't "overcharging" in the sense that it's being used here. It is well known that Manhattan has higher prices than the outer boroughs, but at least they should keep the prices accurate, so you know how much you're paying.

 

For example, that Applegate turkey he bought could've been $4.99 in the outer boroughs, rather than $6.99 (just an example. I don't know how much it really is). He knows he could get it cheaper in the outer boroughs, but he's willing to spend the extra money for convenience. However, the average consumer wants to know how much the item costs so they know how much to budget for it. Maybe if he knew it was $7.99, he wouldn't have bought it.

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People forget it cost money to truck in food items. Its not cheap and the stores have to make something back. If an item is $4.99 in one place and $6.99 in another, common sense tells you where the item is at for $6.99 means its in a higher demand there while the same item @ $4.99 is not in demand at another location. Most stores run how mcds does with the trucks; The cost to truck in food to any private owned mcds cost $10,000 per truck x 2 or 3 times a week depending on the location, and if they need an emergency truck it can cost up to $25,000 or more depending on whats needed to be rushed in. This is why prices between corporate owned mcds and private owned mcds are always different. Another reason you will see big price range in items because some stores buy they items from BJs, Sams Club or any of those big box wholesale stores.

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Common violations were for failure to mark proper quantities and provide required accountability information on food packaged in the store, adding tax to items that are not taxable, charging the wrong prices at check-out scanners, failing to affix price tags on individual items, and maintaining inaccurate scales or failing to make scales available to customers for products sold by weight.

 

These are just unacceptable. Charging different prices at different places is fine, it just makes consumers shop around.

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People forget it cost money to truck in food items. Its not cheap and the stores have to make something back. If an item is $4.99 in one place and $6.99 in another, common sense tells you where the item is at for $6.99 means its in a higher demand there while the same item @ $4.99 is not in demand at another location. Most stores run how mcds does with the trucks; The cost to truck in food to any private owned mcds cost $10,000 per truck x 2 or 3 times a week depending on the location, and if they need an emergency truck it can cost up to $25,000 or more depending on whats needed to be rushed in. This is why prices between corporate owned mcds and private owned mcds are always different. Another reason you will see big price range in items because some stores buy they items from BJs, Sams Club or any of those big box wholesale stores.

 

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with charging a higher price. I'm just saying that the prices need to be accurate. If it is important to the consumer to find a lower price, it is up to them to shop around.

 

These are just unacceptable. Charging different prices at different places is fine, it just makes consumers shop around.

 

Well, the thing that they're being too strict about is putting labels on all of the food they sell. For example, in ShopRite, there are certain sections (like the refrigerated sections), where a lot of the merchandise (or should I say, the section where it is displayed) is missing a label. However, they have enough price scanners around the store that you can check the price before you pay for the item.

 

And I think all supermarkets would get hit with fines for not having the price on the item itself. It's not necessary if the section where it is in is labeled.

 

But yeah, charging different prices in different locations is fine.

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