Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lulav and etrog: what a scam!

Every year, there's a rush of Jews ordering lulav/etrog sets to pray with during the sukkos holiday, which starts with the first full moon (exactly two weeks following) after Rosh Hashanah. Every year, the cost gets more ridiculous for a fruit that looks like a lemon plus some greenery tied together. A few years ago, it had been $35/set (to start--more luxurious sets up to $100). One year there was a "shortage" and a $10 surcharge. This year basic sets ran $50. What the hell! I thought about not buying a set, but going to shul without a set reminds me of that Far Side cartoon of the Duck Club meeting and the one guy who forgot to bring his duck. Other guys in shul will lend their sets to the guy who doesn't have one, but it's unbecoming. Fortunately there was a fire sale in the neighborhood: $30/set, while they last. So I scored. But really, it looks like it should cost about $8.95 plus shipping. It's enough of a scam, in my opinion, for a big discounter to move in and take over the market. The profit margin must be obscene. The market, I suspect, is ripe (sorry) for some serious competition.

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