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Monday, April 03, 2006 

Why Supermarket Overcharging Me?

I don't know how long but as far as I can remember but many things I only bought from supermarkets milk, cereal, bread, cookies are some of them. And I always thought other than Costco, supermarkets were the best places ( from price point of view) to buy these items since it is there main business.

Yesterday afternoon I was at Wal-Mart to pick up some AAA batteries and couple of other things. My wife had given me a "short" list of few other things to buy from Safeway on my way back. I was just walking towards check out counter at Wal-Mart I saw they had cereal there including one I was going to buy, Honey Bunches Of Oats with Almonds, thinking why to make extra stop at Safeway let me see if other things from Safeway list are available here. After checking couple of aisles I found almost everything there, which was kind of surprising for me since this Wal-Mart doesn't sell groceries but I guess being Wal-Mart they stock up with all your daily needs. What was more surprising that the prices on almost all the items were lower and I mean considerably lower compared to Safeway, like the box of cereal was $2.28 which Safeway sells for $4.49 and Lay's chips were $2.00 which Safeway sells for $2.99. Similarly other items were cheaper too.

* Let me add a caveat here above are regular prices at both the stores, you may find better prices at Safeway during sales every now and then.

But my question is why should Safeway be charging me higher prices? I'm not talking about any Mom and Pop business here. Considering their size and market share in grocery business I'm sure they should be paying pretty close to what Wal-Mart pays to Kraft Foods (manufacturer of Post brand of cereals), Pepsi and General Mills. I would understand if it was something that is not part of regular grocery items such as batteries, packing materials, silverware may be even shoe polish and there were charging extra for carrying it. But on items like cereals, breads, chips.. I didn't expect that. May be next time I should check pharmacy for beer and liquor store for my Tylenol.

I believe that people and companies (corporations) should charge whatever they want each company has there own prices they charge there is not rule saying everyone has to charge the same price put it this way when you want to sell sometime don't you price it at how much you want something to be bought at to me it's fair.

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