LET US PROTEST: Major Kosher Supermarkets In Catskills Refuse To Use Price Tags

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    I am here to vent.

    I am here to vent over the fact that the largest Kosher supermarkets in the Catskills have decided to stop using price-tags on 99% of the items in their stores.

    So when you are shopping, and there are two brands of (just an example) chocolate chips, and one is $1.29 and one is $2.33, you have NO CLUE which is cheaper.

    Do you understand what it means that I just did my Erev Shabbos shopping, and I spent $300 and I had no clue about the costs of the items?

    I heard numerous people in the tore complaining about this problem.

    The owners don’t care.

    This has nothing to do with labor. This has to do with RIPPING THE CUSTOMERS OFF.

    They are engaging in a disgusting and halachically-questionable practice, and I encourage anyone and everyone to stop patronizing any stores which do this.

    Enough is enough!


    Just bring up all the brands, and tell the cashier to check the prices on them. Keep the one you want, and let the owner put the other ones back on the shelf. When he’s restocking his shelves every five minutes, he’ll realize he should use price tags.


    I hate to say it but it is kind of RIPPING off the customers. They hope you’ll pick up the more expensive brand. Wouldn’t it be considered G’naivas Daas? It’s probably illegal not to have prices listed. Maybe consult a Rav in the Catskills. It’s really not right. Are there other stores you can go to? Maybe if the owner sees business going down, he’ll change his mind about caring.

    DaMoshe – good advice!


    Do what Damoshe said


    Here’s the law, mods please let the link through:





    Article 17 of the Agriculture and Markets Law

    With Rules and Regulations Relating

    To Unit Pricing in Retail Stores


    BTW, the law does not apply unless they grossed over 2.5 million dollars, so it might just be protesting that would do the trick.

    Oh Shreck!

    Everyone’s entitled to a try!

    (I was thinking about DaMoshe’s reponse)


    just bring it all in from the city.!! that will teach them!!!


    Most grocery stores no longer use price tags. They are required to post prices on the shelf. Since all items are barcoded, the systems for checking out assume bar code scans rather than manually inputting of price data at the cash register. Its more reliable to rely on bar codes than a semi-literate clerk.

    There was once a time where the store clerks were supposed to remember the prices of all items. It used to be you could ask to see the cow that produced the milk. It used to be you bought chickens live, and took them to be slaughter, and then cleaned them yourself. The world changes.


    As much as I wholeheartedly agree with your point, with all the horrible tragedies that have befallen us during these 3 weeks/nine days, to take the time to make a federal case about this is quite ridiculous. No one told you to spend 300 dollars. A savvy shopper would look for a worker or go to the courtesy desk to ask about different prices. Instead of being so passionate about price tags I think that it would be wise to save that passion for when it’s needed most. Davening for our fellow brethren.


    Akuperma, are you saying progress is good? Are you saying it is good even when progress results in geneivas da’as? I’m surprised- you’re usually so vigilant and machmir reminding everyone how evil zionists are and how low Jews have fallen. And suddenly, you are davka the one to forget basic choshen mishpat?!! Hmm.


    A savvy shopper would shop elsewhere. Why should we have to price check every single item?

    Burnt Steak

    DaMoshe it’s not worth the strife to leave things out for store to put back. At a young age I was taught to put things back when you no longer need them. Just put them back, why should a worker put back items when it is the owner/manager you are mad at. Why make others suffer because you are lazy and ungrateful. Why make the chillul HaShem, even if workers are Jewish it is still a chillul HaShem.

    Today when I was helping my Mom in supermarket, she saw a grape juice display that had cheaper grape juice, (in different part of supermarket) so she asked me to get some. I PUT BACK the other grape juice and took the cheaper grape juice. She told me I obviously wasn’t a New Yorker.(she lives in NYC, I grew up not in NYC) I didn’t understand what she was saying until she explained that New Yorkers would have left it there. Shouldn’t this be natural instincts to return items their shelf.

    BTW I offer you a brocha that your financial situation should be one where you don’t have to worry about money.


    rationalfrummie: I like lower prices. Barcoding prevents cashier errors and prevents fraud. Remember the usual cashier is not necessarily someone with a background in bookkeeping. Many stores now allow you to scan the items yourself and just pay at the end. The fact the food has become progressively cheaper relative to other items is a great boon to our community, and the switch to automated price systgems is a big factor in the falling price.

    If you prefer to pay a premium in order to have the price tag on each item, rather than on the shelf, I’m sure you can find some stores that will be glad to let you overpay. Those of us who have to worry about family budgets, prefer lower prices.




    Burnt Steak, the other side of the coin is lazy supermarket employees who resent having to actually do their jobs– I used to be a supermarket cashier and I had a family come through with a big order. They were paying in food stamps and the total went over their remaining balance, so they had to decide what to keep and what to put back. The parents were also trying to calm down their hysterical young children and they had a taxi waiting outside. They were clearly very overwhelmed and struggling and my heart was breaking for them. My manager, on the other hand, just scowled and loudly complained about the number of items that we would have to return to the shelves, including some produce and frozen items.

    But yes, those who are in less desperate situations should return their own items. They should also return their carts to the designated cart return in the parking lot, not just leave them in a random spot in the parking lot (ch”v the cart could start rolling and hit another car, not to mention the extra and unnecessary work for workers who are underpaid and under-appreciated). It takes 5 extra seconds; just do the right thing.


    Many stores offer a scanner where customers can check prices themselves. It’s still pretty inconvenient but I wouldn’t call it geneivas daas if this is the case here. Also, are you saying there are no prices marked on the shelves either?

    Jersey Jew

    I’m with DaMoshe!

    Why not also write letters to the editor of various “jewish” publications.

    You could also look for someone who knows the law including an email/call to the state & ask what the law is for mom & pop stores.

    FINALLY, TAKE YOUR SHOPPING DOLLARS TO SHOPRITE, WALMART, ETC., & the heck with the jewish stores!


    As a manager of a (large) store, let me weigh in here. (Let me just say that in my store, we have a scanner system PLUS each and every item has a price sticker.)

    DaMoshe is CORRECT! Kvetching and complaining will not work most of the time. By causing the manager to have one of his employees dedicated to do a ridiculous, unnecessary, and preventable job, i.e. putting back all the more expensive brands that you brought up to the register, he will think of ways for this NOT to happen & then conclude that it’s worth it to make the prices clear. In the long run, it’s not only the prices that bring people in, it’s the pleasant shopping experience. Not having prices displayed makes for a rather unpleasant shopping experience.


    Depending where you are in the catskills, going somewhere else is not always feasible. Also I think the situation is similar in most of the stores up here. There is not a tremendous amount of competition here as each area only has one major supermarket which services a large amount of customers so they don’t really have to worry too much about keeping customers happy. I tend to do what damoshe says but sometimes it rebounds on me because I forget and end up with the items i only meant to check the prices on (especially if I am not shopping myself and someone else empties the cart.)

    Git Meshige

    Very simple solution, don’t shop there. Instead of raising a ruckus, why don’t you take your business elsewhere? I live in an out of town community, I cannot stand my local supermarket. High prices, no display of item prices, terrible service. So I initially tried to speak to the owner, but to no avail. So I took my buisness elsewhere. I travel 40 minutes to do my weekly shopping. Who loses, the local supermarket. I am happy to drive to a pleasant shopping experience. You can do the same.


    I think its the Law in New York State that all prices must be listed either on the item itself or right below it on the shelf (Thats what most stores do)


    I have found that the Twizzlers with the sticker to be cheaper and better tasting in these stores.

    SO if you must absolutely eat Twizzlers, look for the sticker.


    it seems that damoshe’s idea is a crowd favorite. however, many women who usually do most of the shopping are usually coming with most of their kids to go shopping. it is too hard to bring 5 of a product all the way to the cashier to see which is cheaper. its not practical. if it is a person shopping by themselves with no time constraint, like rushing because the kids day camp is almost over, then do damoshes’s idea


    I agree with Git Meshige. Plus, the money you will save from shopping elsewhere may even be more than the cost of the gas money to drive there. And you’ll get a more pleasant shopping experience!


    In NYC, I’d suggest buying what you can at Costco and stores like Pathmark and ShopRite (certainly, not keeping CY makes shopping at normal stores easier). I frequently go to 3-4 different stores for different items, according to the sale prices.


    Yes, but notice that the OP is referring to the Catskills, where there are significantly fewer options.


    There are definitely a few kosher stores there, and I’d imagine ShopRite in the mountains stocks kosher items in the summer, at least.


    For many, if not most, of the poor folks vacationing in the Catskills with their families for the summer, food prices are meaningless because it’s paid for with a Benefits Card.

    High food costs are also meaningless for the well-to-do country summer home owners who generally shop at Pomegranate anyway, so high food prices do not affect them either.

    And for the average family who can’t afford the Catskills, and whose children attend local day camp; we are happy with the Kollel Store, Paperific, Shoprite and being home at a decent hour on Sunday evening.


    “I am here to vent over the fact that the largest Kosher supermarkets in the Catskills have decided to stop using price-tags on 99% of the items in their stores.”

    I can not comment on this statement since I only shop at one of the largest Kosher supermarkets in the Catskills. Since I only shop at one, I can not make a general claim about the largest kosher supermarkets. The store I shopped in this past Friday, and again yesterday, had prices posted on the shelves, and also had a price check scanner in the store. If I wished to know the price of any item, I only had to check the shelf or use the scanner.

    I am sorry you had a frustrating experience shopping at this store (these stores?), but to take a swipe at all of the largest kosher supermarkets in the Catskills, is simply wrong ethicly, and probably halachicly too. In the meantime, adopt some of the suggestions offered here, or shop elsewhere.


    move to canada, no more smelly catskill mountains full of noisy smelly Nyers.


    “For many, if not most, of the poor folks vacationing in the Catskills with their families for the summer, food prices are meaningless because it’s paid for with a Benefits Card.”

    Do you think that benefit cards are bottomless? They are not. A benefit card is not a free pass to buy out the supermarket, whatever you want. (I had a benefit card for a while and then it was canceled because I moved– of course, I can’t reapply because the Farm Bill was defeated and food stamps are a thing of the past anyway. But I digress). Benefit cards do not give you enough money to actually buy food to support your family. You have to be a neurotic price checker and sale checker and even then it’s hard to put food on the table. The amount l used to get as a monthly allotment is only slightly more than what I would reasonably spend in one WEEK. It’s such a joke.


    Food stamps drive the cost of food up. What would happen to the skirt steak at 12.99 per pound, heimishe cheeses, nosh, chocolates, cakes if it wouldnt be for food stamps it would rot on the shelves.


    The hate and ignorance (take your pick) in some of these posts is astounding. No point in attempting dialogue.




    BTW, the law does not apply unless they grossed over 2.5 million dollars, so it might just be protesting that would do the trick.

    The law you posted is in regards to unit pricing. There is another law requiring conspicuous pricing which does not depend on sales volume.

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