Monday, April 28, 2008

Every Sales Receipt in Russia Gets Ripped!

I've been to Russia now four times, and one of the most interesting and unusual retail practices in stores there is the Russian sales clerks' habit of tearing almost every sales receipt before they hand it to you or set it down on the counter (see picture above).

Supposedly, this practice goes back to the Soviet days, when most stores had the merchandise behind counters and glass cases. To make a purchase, you would ask an employee to get the merchandise for you and prepare a sales receipt, which you take to a second employee/cashier. After you paid, you would take the receipt back to the first employee to pick up your stuff. Then that employee would tear the receipt, to finalize the transaction, and prevent customers from trying to come back and get a second item later for free.

Although no longer necessary, the "receipt-tearing" practice continues to this day at almost every retail store in Russia out of an old Soviet-era habit! Makes it a little inconvenient when you need to present receipts back in the USA for reimbusement!


At 4/28/2008 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they want to rip my receipt that's OK, but I would probably start ripping their money before I hand it to them to see how they like that.

Maybe I've been in the union game too long? I would probably end up in the gulag: Wouldn’t I?

At 4/28/2008 10:41 AM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

Not that much different than Costco marking your receipts as you exit the store after checking your cart.

At 4/28/2008 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that's the worst thing they do then I'm ok with it.

At 4/28/2008 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if you planned to reimburse the receipt provided you shouldn't really tell accountants that it consists of vodka, beer, grill meat and stuff ;)

At 3/15/2010 11:42 AM, Blogger Valentina said...

Hey there, I am glad I found an explanation finally! I have just moved to Russia from Europe and in addition to all cultural shock I got this story with receipts! I started asking shop assistants why do they do that in every store and the answer is "because I have to". No logical explanation has been given to me once, I asked in about 5 stores by now. Seems like people here just never question anything even though they do things that are completely illogical!


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