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27 January 2009 @ 08:49 pm
1/27/09 digital price tags  
Weird. At the Safeway near Camden/85.
09 digital price tags

TJcheeseboy on January 28th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
Perhaps the extra $1.89 if you buy just one goes towards digital price tags for everything.
ashi: seashi on January 28th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Ahh, good idea.
Hein: azumangafub on January 28th, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
This is so they can increase the price while you are on your way to the checkout.
ashi: arrrr!ashi on January 28th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
"But I swear the tag said... oh."
Hein: 2D barcodefub on January 28th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Casandra Seidjia_yan on January 28th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
I think they are thinking environmentally. I'm starting to believe that stores will start charging extra for bags. They would charge extra for bags when I was living in Taiwan. It wasn't a lot of money but at least a penny.

BTW: I'm looking for a vegan chocolate bar.
ashi: noirashi on January 28th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Tcho of San Francisco is my current favorite, but last I checked, you could only order it from their website, http://tcho.com .

Scharfenberger, Chocolove, Dagobah, Lindt, and Endangered Species all make good dark chocolates which are dairy free. There are other good ones too.
Casandra Seid: sweet essencejia_yan on January 28th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Now it is time to fill my shopping cart. XD!
Wallace B.kuddle_lion on January 28th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
I think there a bad idea.
Several major chains such as walmart have been busted for price increasing at the register.
What is there to prevent changing the price.

For example.
The displayed price for say a bag of chips is $1.99.
Get it to the register and it rings up for $2.25.
You go back and check the price and its been updated to $2.25.
What then?

Or maybe I'm just paranoid.
ashi: kasumiashi on January 28th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
If that's being paranoid, than so am I.
I suppose you could snap a digital picture of the tag when you pick up an item...
Koukou on January 28th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
If the price tag changed on the way to the register, it would be a genuine, bona-fide price change that took effect during the time you were holding and not purchasing the item. This price would be displayed to other customers, who would make choices based on the information displayed.

The only way to cheat would be to make the tag display low prices only until a few seconds after you picked the item up.

Or, make the value change dynamically based on environmental conditions in a stateful manner, such as detecting demand for items in an RFID sensor network and increasing price appropriately. Coke tried temperature-based variable pricing with sensors at automated vendors, I've heard, and consumers balked*. But today, it might make shopping a little more exciting and make it into an economics "teachable moment" as well, eBay style.

Tag: NUTELLA 550g. Buy now! Next item removed is $4.59
Consumer: *grabs tagged item*
Tag: Beep. $4.59. Only 3 left.
Consumer: *grabs another nutella*
Tag: Beep. NUTELLA 550g. Now $7.95
Tag: Beepbeepbeepbeep *peanut butter and jelly prices rotate by 5cents*
Consumer: WTF!!!

*No word on whether the temperature sensors on the test machines were ever hacked.
Wallace B.kuddle_lion on January 28th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
So In this case it would be real time pricing based on supply and demand. LOL
ashi: cat6 diagramashi on January 28th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I wonder how these things are updated, and how difficult they would be to hack...
Koukou on January 28th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Looks like an infrared port on the side. (What's the CLUB-something sticker say?)

During economic depressions in Western Europe, runaway inflation was so high, the price of goods varied drastically from one hour to the next. Prices were posted in shop windows - and as soon as people got paid, they scrambled to change currencies or buy items.

In an African country, a pizza parlor had an electronic display to make the daily price changes easier. It was maxed out at 999,999,999.

Electronic displays at gas stations, I can kind of understand. Even in a stable market, the prices are highly volatile. But grocery stores, don't tell me foodstuffs fluctuate that badly - just stop with the price-changing promo games and you wont have to change tags weekly.

Either that, or they are preparing for something else >:).
ashi: juuni kokkiashi on January 29th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
It flashes if something is on sale for Safeway Club Card holders. I had to retake the pic a few times to get the "CLUB" text showing.
levi5384levi5384 on January 29th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
I've actually heard of these coming, as an environmentally-friendly move. I mean, think of how often they change out the tags on how many items daily in an average sized Safeway...?

I wonder what their landfill footprint is like just for tags that were used for 3 days, tops.
Chaz Boston Badenhazelchaz on January 29th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Most stores change their tags Tuesday night. Not all of them, just the ones whose prices have changed, but they're all over the store.

With the digital ones being cheaper, they save on labor costs -- that's my guess as to why they do it. Also, if it's RF based, I wouldn't worry about them changing the prices mid-day -- too much trouble.