As we’ve reported in other articles, the price of pot is on the decline – hash, hash, hooray, your stash will last an extra day! While this is good news for consumers, it’s not necessarily across-the-board. It’s simple – just because pot is getting cheaper, that doesn’t mean every dispensary everywhere is adapting to these lower prices. Some continue to sell marijuana at an inflated price. So, what do you do if this happens to you? What do you do if a dispensary overcharges you?
Unfortunately, you can’t do a lot. A business can charge you whatever it wants. They do this at their own risk, of course. Not many pizza lovers will buy a pie from a restaurant than charges five dollars a slice when the place around the corner charges $1.50. And this goes for marijuana too (or any other business for that matter). Customers want affordability; a dispensary that doesn’t offer any risks alienating their clientele.
There are exceptions, naturally. If a restaurant sells exceptional pizza, it’ll continue to draw customers despite being more expensive than the competition. Dispensaries that sell superior products will also retain clients even if they sell their herb at higher prices. People care about quality and they’re willing to shell out the money for it.
But some businesses sell mediocre or inferior products at high prices. And that means it’s up to you, the sage shopper, to know a rip-off when you spot one.
The Art of the Haggle
In some industries, haggling is expected. When buying a car, for example, you’re expected to agree on a price rather than purchase a Pontiac as is. Purchasing a house is this way as well – no one buys at the asking price except when the market is hot. Even medical bills and cable bills can be discussed to a point. However, not all industries welcome this kind of negotiating.
If you were to walk into the grocery store and ask the cashier for a lower price on a bag of grapes or if they could throw in a free carton of milk to go with your Fruit Loops, they’d laugh….and call security. Dispensaries are like grocery stores – asking for a lower price isn’t a crime (you won’t be featured on an episode of Cops (but chin up, fame will find you eventually)) – yet bud isn’t something that comes with bargaining….at least not when you’re buying it legally.
Still, there are exceptions. If you notice the shop across the street selling Cheeba Chews for two dollars less, you can try using this to your advantage. Some business owners will meet or beat the prices of their competitors and others will compensate in another manner. They might give some free rolling papers or extra flowers, for instance.
Some will simply adopt the not-super-helpful mantra: if you don’t like our prices, don’t shop in our store.
If you’re going to attempt to negotiate for your nugs, there’s two things to keep in mind. First of all, make sure you’re negotiating with the right person – most budtenders don’t have the authority to lower prices even if they want to; that’s a decision management makes. Second of all, take no for an answer. Creating a scene inside a marijuana store isn’t something you want to do – you’ll get kicked out for one thing. And you’ll get a reputation for being a hothead pothead, for another.
The Importance of Variety
Most of us don’t marry the first person we date; we go through several romantic partners before we decide on who we’re going to spend the rest of our life with. Deciding on a pot store isn’t this serious, but variety remains important.
Instead of going to one pot shop – the one closest to your house or the one your cousin recommended – shop around. This not only gives you a price point – you can see if the rate you’re getting for Blue Dream is indeed a dream – but it also allows you to try different products and experience different levels of quality. The most popular dispensary in your town may sell the cheapest flowers, but the dispensary in the next town over may have better ones.
You Can Research Prices
You can meet Mary Jane on the internet – sort of. You can’t order marijuana online and have it shipped to you (not yet, anyway), but you can certainly do your research and learn what constitutes a good deal. There are several articles that keep up on the present price of pot (including some on this awesome site called Wikileaf). Staying abreast to the changing trends arms you with the knowledge you need in order to prevent yourself from overpaying.
Wikileaf takes this one step further by letting people who live in legal states search for the best marijuana deals in their area. Thus, you can learn what dispensaries are charging for specific strains from your couch or your cubicle……..just tell your boss you working on a TPS report.
Nobody likes to get ripped off – it’s not the best feeling in the world to pay twenty dollars for a t-shirt you saw online only to find that same t-shirt at the local Target for half the price an hour later (damn you, Amazon!). But searching for the best deal is the onus of the consumer – very few cashiers are going to say, “Psst.…..don’t buy this here. You can get it for cheaper elsewhere.” Unless they think you’re hot, then they might. They might also help you shoplift.
When it comes to weed, dispensaries are like any other business. It’s up to you to make sure you’re not being ripped off before any tearing starts. You don’t have much recourse afterwards – cannabis sales are final and, while some managers may be empathetic to your cause, many will tell you that there’s little they can do. You can’t return your Trainwreck because you found it for cheaper somewhere else…especially not when it’s three-quarters gone.