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A wedding gift from Trader Joe’s?

April 4, 2010

T and I headed to our local Trader Joe’s this weekend to pick up some wine for the wedding, as well as some other essentials (green curry sauce, cereal, ice cream bars — you know).

We wine shop at TJ’s fairly regularly, so we bought an assortment of 20 bottles that we drink ourselves occaisionally — all about $6-$8.  Nothing super fancy, but no two-buck chucks either.  Since the restaurant has us covered for a Pinot Grigio and a Cab, we selected:

  • King Shag Sauv Blanc (New Zealand) – 8 bottles
  • Tato Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy) – 6 bottles
  • Novella Petite Sirah (Paso Robles, where we’ll be spending 1 night of the mini-moon) – 6 bottles

We were putting the two boxes in our car — and suddenly T said:  “That was really cheap.  We got 20 bottles of wine and it was only $130?  With tax and a bunch of other food?  That can’t be right.”

We checked the receipt, and sure enough, TJ’s had unknowingly given us all 8 bottles of the sauvignon blanc as a wedding gift!  Thanks Trader Joe’s!

Since we come from puritan stock (and don’t want bad wedding karma!) we went back in and let them know of the mistake.  They gave us a 10% discount for our honesty, and we paid for the $50 worth of wine that we very easily could have stolen.

Would you do the same thing?  Or would you count it as your lucky day and drive away with the free wine?  I have to admit, it would have been nice if T wasn’t so good at math and didn’t notice that it was too cheap — I wasn’t paying attention at all.

(image credit:  Todd Mecklem)
16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2010 9:05 pm

    Good karma will definitely follow you! But I think 10% is a bit low… they should’ve offered you at least 25%!

  2. April 4, 2010 9:26 pm

    Yeah, I would have felt too bad about it to take it, especially since you hadn’t driven off yet.

  3. April 4, 2010 9:42 pm

    I agree with the good karma. I would have gone in too. The guilt would have been too much.

  4. April 4, 2010 10:13 pm

    I would have done the same thing and let them know they forgot to ring up some bottles. But usually I don’t check over my receipt and don’t really pay attention to how much I have in my cart vs. how much it should cost. It’s a bad habit but I dislike grocery shopping and just want to get out of the store asap.

  5. April 4, 2010 10:24 pm

    I generally know how much a “regular” trip costs and a “regular” trip + wine or meat might cost, roughly. But since we were buying so much wine, I didn’t know. Obviously i don’t pay attention either!

    10% was the “crew member” discount — but i agree, it could have been more!

  6. April 5, 2010 7:08 am

    I think I would’ve felt too guilty and would’ve gone back too. But don’t they do a discount if you buy a case? Anyway, good karma for sure.

    • April 5, 2010 7:39 am

      Do they? I know a lot of wine places do — but I’ve never heard that from Trader joe’s. But i’ve never bought 12 bottles at once before either 🙂

  7. April 5, 2010 11:27 am

    I agree, the 10% is VERY low. My neighborhood Harris Teeter gives me 10% when I buy a case of ANY wine, and Kroger does 15% of certain kinds. But, you are a good person for being so honest!!

    • SP permalink*
      April 5, 2010 1:20 pm

      True, but TJ’s has the best selection of lower priced wines, at least ones that I’ve actually tried and know I think are drinkable.

      Then again, buying elsewhere would have required some serious wine tasting over the next couple weeks to be sure we found something we liked — doesn’t sound all bad! 🙂

  8. April 5, 2010 2:20 pm

    I don’t drink wine (and therefore don’t buy any), but with an error that large, I would have definitely gone back. Often at the grocery store, the cashier will charge me for the wrong produce item (they key in the wrong code) and I don’t realize it until after the fact. I’ve never gone back on these. It’s often in my favor, but it’s been not in my favor enough times that I figure it all evens out.

  9. El Cheapo permalink
    April 5, 2010 8:43 pm

    You guys are awesome and yes I would have done the same thing. Maybe. haha

  10. April 5, 2010 8:49 pm

    T would like me to include a follow up in which I tell how his contracting gig accidentally paid him $4000 extra (double paid for same hours billed) today, and he called them and returned the $$$$

    But he only gets a follow up comment, not an entire post. 🙂

  11. April 5, 2010 9:43 pm

    That was very noble of you!! I don’t think I would have caught the error… I barely look at my grocery receipts and I don’t do math. haha 😉 But if I had caught it… would I have gone back? It depends. If the cashier was nice (and I have to admit that 99% of the time the cashiers at TJ’s are nice), then more likely the answer would be yes. It would also depend on my mood. If I was tired and/or cranky, I would probably rub my hands together like Mr. Burns, and then quickly drive away! 😛

  12. April 6, 2010 7:08 am

    I think if I had noticed, I would have gone back. But in general, I do not pay enough attention to my life to have noticed.

  13. April 6, 2010 1:06 pm

    I would have done the same thing. You can not undervalue good karma.

  14. April 11, 2010 8:03 pm


    I am glad to see I am not alone in this world. I have gone back for less. Walked our of a store once and realized I did not pay for a bottle of salad dressing. I have two kids so checkout can be a bit choatic sometimes. I went back the next day and paid. You should have seen the girls face. Looked at me like I was crazy but I felt better. No discount though. P.S. – Congrats on the wedding.


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