Monday, October 30, 2006

Big Ben - Big Profits!

The Big Ben supermarket in Tbilisi - you know who you are - is a supermarket for ex-pats; Georgians can hardly afford to shop there and while the quality of many goods is very high, such are the prices. Oddly, many products are from Germany, such as the finest sugar - but who would want to be 2.50 Euros for a kilo of (ok, caster) sugar, when nextdoor you can get it for 80 Eurocents. I was appalled after I did my first bit of shopping and found a bill of about 75 Euros! However, it does have some useful things such as environmentally friendly cleaning liquids etc.

If the prices are not high enough, there are other creepy ways of making a wee profit. In Tbilisi it is common that on the one hand there is a system of stock checking tills (where the operator enters a code and it shows the goods with their price), but the final till receipt comes from a separate machine into which the operator types the amount. Apart from the fact that the operator seems to type in the codes for the goods from memory (and the text is in Georgian, so only they know), today I found that for my bill of 15.35 I suddenly paid 17.35, as it said on the till receipt. The hoodlums!

The Big Ben had been at the bottom of my list of shopping venues already, once I had clocked their price differentials, but now.....nice one! Sans moi!


Lilija said...

Dear Beate,
As far as I understand, I'm the reader your identified as having difficulties with adding comments. This time I follow your advice and hope, everything will be OK.
Thank you for interesting writings about your new impressions you share with everybody you know.
The Big Ben in Tbilisi and prices there don't surprise me, because in Vilnius we have many such examples. Wish you to find the best and cheapest shopping venues in Tbilisi.
Love - Lilija

Sandra said...

This is nothing to do with Big Ben supermarket, just to say that we're are aware of your blog and will read more often. Great! We'll be able to follow up your routes as I never seem to remember which part of the world we could find you in. Tbilisi sounds as good fun! Take care!
Sandra & Audrius