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Iceland Mag

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Price gouging at a tourist mini market: Charged 750 ISK for bottled Icelandic water

By Staff

  • Reasonable price? If you are dying of thirst in the middle of the desert, yes, but perhaps a bit too high in Iceland. Photo/Marsibil.

A small convenience store in West Iceland has come under intense scrutiny and criticism after a local woman tweeted a photo of outrageously overpriced bottled water sold at the store: A 750 ml. bottle sold for 750 ISK. For reference: The exact same, or at least equally good Icelandic water is free from the tap.

Read more: The easiest money saving tip in Iceland: Don't buy bottled water!

The store at Þrastarlundur, located off the Ring Road between the town of Borgarnes and the village University village Bifröst in West Iceland, offered its customers a 750 ml (25 oz) bottle of water for 750 ISK (7.3 USD/6 EUR), and a 1 liter (34 oz) bottle for 850 ISK (8.3 USD/ 6.8 EUR).

After the photo went viral on social media local media picked up the story. A journalist with the local newspaper Morgunblaðið contacted the owner of the store for comment who explained that prices were set to reflect the price level at nearby stores.

"Sometimes our prices might be too low, at other times they might be too high, but I certainly hope that‘s not the case."

He promised to check the price of bottled water at the store, and then confirmed that its price had been „too high for the past six months“. The price of bottled water at Þrastarlundur was then lowered by 40% to 450 ISK (4.4 USD/3.6 EUR) per bottle.

The lower price is still far too high
We at Iceland Magazine are certainly pleased to learn that exposure in the media can help keep prices in check, and we understand the law of supply and demand: As long as there are customers willing to pay 750, or 450 ISK for bottled water there will be retailers willing to support that market. Still, we feel it is our duty to point out to foreign visitors that 450 ISK is still too much to pay for water in Iceland.

Read more: Downtown hotel, which warned guests not to drink tap water, sold its own bottled tap water

In fact, there is absolutely no reason to pay anything for water, because you can get just as good or even better water from the tap, for free. Icelandic tap water is among the purest and best in the world.

The easiest way to save money (and cut down on unnecessary plastic pollution) during your stay in Iceland is therefore to skip the bottled water! Buy one bottle, and then re-fill it at the tap. 

 

 

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