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Pound For Pound Just Stupid

, , , , , | Right | December 28, 2021

I’m in line at the cash register of a grocery store. The fresh meat products at this store are priced “per pound”, as is fairly standard in the grocery industry. If you buy a three-pound package, you’ll pay three times more than the listed “per pound” price. The woman at the cash register in front of me does not understand that part. The cashier rings up a package of meat, and when the woman sees the price for the meat, she loses it.

Customer: “Excuse me, but that [meat product] rang up wrong. It’s supposed to be $8.”

Cashier: “Yes, $8 per pound. This is a three-pound package, so the total is $24, which is what it rang up as.”

Customer: “What do you mean, ‘per pound’? The sign said $8, so I should get it for $8.”

The cashier calls a manager to run over and double-check the price of the meat. The manager returns, confirms that the sign says $8 per pound, meaning her three-pound package will cost $24, and tells the woman that she can either pay the full cost of the package or she can leave it.

Customer: “Well, I have never heard of something being priced per pound. Everything is always priced for the entire package.”

Manager: “What kind of car do you drive?”

Customer: “What? Why does that matter?”

Manager: “I’m just curious.”

Customer: “Well, I have a Toyota Yaris.”

Manager: “That’s a pretty small car, right?”

Customer: “Yeah, it is.”

Manager: “So, let’s say you fill your gas tank, and there’s a great big pickup truck at the next pump. You both pay $60 for gas, even though his truck is way bigger than your little car. Is that fair to you?”

Customer: *Scoffs* “Of course not. My car can’t even hold $60 of gas.”

Manager: “That’s why gas is priced per gallon, right? That way, if you only use a little bit of gas, you only have to pay a little bit of money, but when someone with a giant truck uses a lot of gas, they have to pay a lot of money. Do you see what I mean?”

Customer: “…”

Manager: “That’s why grocery stores almost always charge per pound for fresh meat. Our butchers can’t always cut a perfectly equal amount of meat for every package, so by charging per pound, we can make sure customers only pay for the meat that is actually in their package. Does that make sense?”

Customer: “Well, I still think you’re ripping me off. I’ll take the meat this time, but you should really change your prices to be for the entire package. All this ‘per pound’ nonsense is just pointless.”

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