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Mar 10, 2008

Caveat Emptor

Let the buyer beware!

This is in no way uncommon - we tend to expect buying in bulk to be cheaper tha buying individual packages of items. For example, one box of tissues would cost 3.5NIS, for example, and they would sell 3 for 9 NIS.

Yet that is not the case. One could meander into a supermarket and look at the bulk deals. More often than not, one will pay more for the bulk items than for individual items.

As a matter of fact, I recently read in a newspaper that a study was conducted by some organization to analyze whether it was cheaper to buy in bulk, including 2 for xx or 3 for xx and including buying larger size packages, or not. The overall conclusion of the study was that in general it is cheaper to not buy in bulk (in Israel), both because of the price and because of the waste (people who buy bigger packages because it comes out cheaper per gram to tend to throw out more, as they do not use up the whole package of food).

One example of how if one does not pay attention, he will get enticed to buy "in bulk" when he really is not saving any money, and even paying more, can be seen in the following picture I took when I was in the supermarket the other day. This case is not extreme, I have seen much worse. I just happened to have my camera with me at the time and noticed it.
As you can see, to buy one package of frozen burekas would cost you 8.99, but for the all low price of 18 you can get 2 packages!


  1. Why do you shop at Aleph?

  2. I sometimes go there and sometimes to Shefa. Each has some things better than the other...

    I could answer that there is a cherem against shopping in shefa... :-)

  3. Is that why chareidim don't teach math? So that the supermarkets can make money?

  4. Here in the states, in most places on the price label, they give the cost per pound, or ounce (those are measurments for the non US people out there), so that does make it easier.

    However, when they don't, my wife thinks I'm nuts when I take out my calculator on my phone to figure these out - Once I pointed this fact out to her, she sometimes does it as well.

  5. I shop at Alef because they don't impose a "Kupa" tax.

    Ever since they began the program of giving money to the Kupa their prices have shot up.

    I'll give tzedaka the way I please thank you.


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