A Man Switches Price Tags So He Can Buy More Expensive Steak — Is That Legal?

In a world that grows more expensive to exist in with each passing day, we have found a guy who knows how to cut corners. He paid less for steak.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Oct. 27 2023, Published 3:49 p.m. ET

There have been so many times in my life when I have wondered why people just don't switch price tag stickers at the grocery store. I don't think I could do it, although as a kid I occasionally shoplifted a candy bar from my local 7-11. My drivers education school was next door to it and on our breaks, a gaggle of 15 year-olds would undoubtedly overwhelm the proprietor. I am not proud of it. Then again, we were kids.

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A TikTok snagged by the @southcentraljag account shows what appears to be the hand of an adult man switching price tags on two packages of steaks. Grownups should know better but then again, everything is too expensive nowadays. Plus, grocery stores love to price gouge. Can we blame him? How illegal is this? I bet no one is doing this for vegetables, which I totally understand.

Packages of steak at a grocery store
Source: Getty Images
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The price is wrong, Bob.

It's unclear who this gentleman is or at which store he is doing the price tag switching, but it goes off without a switch. Well, the actual sticker swapping does.

Steaks can be a hot commodity and prices vary depending on the cut of the meat. At this store, a 0.94 lb. bottom round package of steaks is going for $7.84. However just a hop, skip, and a jump away is a much more expensive option.

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So far, the most impressive aspect of this caper is the ease at which this fella pulls the cheaper-price sticker off. In all my years of trying to remove a price tag without issue, I've never succeeded. I always rip something, or leave part of the sticker behind. Not this guy. He's good.

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After deftly removing the price tag, he walks a few feet over to the pricer steaks. He has his eye, or should I say ribeye, on a $41.21 package of you guessed it, ribeye steaks. To be perfectly honest, the nearly 3 pound package does look tastier.

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That price does seem rather insane for a regular grocery store purchase. What gives? According to a June 2023 piece in WCCO News, the price of beef in Minnesota was going up due to a cattle shortage. Perhaps this was a nationwide issue.

Kelly Schmidt, CEO of Minnesota Beef Council, said they were "seeing record high cattle prices as well because the processors in the middle that need the beef to get to the restaurants and stores, they're really having to fight for that product." Evidently the higher prices were all landing on steaks. Kelly suggested buying ground beef instead.

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In Minnesota, it takes about 15 months to repopulate the supply so this could be happening well into 2024. Also, I'm kind of bummed out by the idea of "repopulating supplies," when that must mean birthing and raising more cows? Oh no.

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Not many people in the comments were supportive of this maneuver, except for one person who said, "We are scanning our own groceries. We may as well make our own prices too! I approve this ad." Most folks were of the mind that if a person can't afford something, they shouldn't buy it. They are of course forgetting how unreasonably priced most items are.

Not to state the obvious, but this is illegal and falls under the realm of shoplifting. If you do attempt this and get caught, you'll be treated like a shoplifter. You've been warned.

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