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Price Comparison A Must in Costa Rica

The latest report by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio (MEIC) confirms the need to comparison shop, for prices on identical products can differ as much as 153% in Costa Rican shops, including in shops of the same chain.

The MEIC report analyzed products like rice, milk, steak, ground beef, pork chops, chicken wings, mortadela, bread and grooming and hyegene products, all items included in the Canasta Basica (Basic Basket).

The average difference on identical products at different retail outlets is 126%.

An example cited by the MEIC is the price of a 100 grams of corvina (sea bass) that costs ¢4.115 at the Super Coope Tarrazu ad ¢10.430 at the Automercado, for a difference of ¢6.315 colones.

The study was conducted between May 4 and 17 taking into account the prices of 36 supermarkets in the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago, the most populated provinces in the country.

An investigation into the pricing practices of supermarkets reveals that some supermarkets charge more at the cash register than the price shown on the shelf.

Pricing anomalies
The MEIC also reports it has found anomalies in pricing of 25 products at five supermarkets.

The MEIC says that at the Super Gigante in Heredia, the walmart store in Alajueal and Mas x Menos in San Pedro, all had differences in some products between the shelf price that at the cash register, of more than ¢800 colones.

The report says the Super Gigante has five products, while Walmart four and the MXM three.

In Grecia, the smaller super Rosvil had anomalies in 11 products.

At the Walmart Alajuela, the MEIC said the price of a men's deodorant was labelled ¢1.590 on the shelf, but cost ¢1.642 at the cash. At Super Gigante, a shampoo with a shelf price of ¢4.206 cost ¢4.831 at checkout.

The report also concluded that the Automercado in Alajuela and Tres Rios and the Muñoz y Nanne and Cristal in Curridabat, are the most expensive to shop at.



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