Some Prague stores still practice a dual pricing system. The tourist pays more than twice the price. In the case of cigarettes, however, the vendor violates the Excise Act. Sellers themselves say it’s normal.
We took a camera to several shops in the centre of Prague. We tried to buy a cigarette when speaking English, as opposed to speaking Czech.
We have tested cigarettes as the price of the box that the seller must not exceed is shown on the box. In four out of ten cases, we were charged a higher price for the cigarettes than stamp listing price. One of the retailers in the Mostecká 22 shop talked to us and tried to explain that this practice is completely normal, and he has referred us to a shop that distinguishes the price even more. When asked if the price is not a problem for the Czech Trade Inspection Authority, the seller explained that if a tourist agrees with a higher price, even if it is different from a cigarette stamp, everything is fine.
Some vendors charge double prices for other goods as well. For example, in Mostecká street, the seller explained that the water is normally CZK 70, but CZK 40 for Czechs. We tried to buy chewing gum in the shop a next door. When a colleague spoke Czech and asked for chewing gum, the cost was CZK 20, but when we requested the price in English, it was CZK 50.
Cigarettes? Only with lighter
Some vendors advocate a higher price for cigarettes by attaching a lighter to them. This is also highlighted by the inscription, which can be seen in the Wine & Food shop in Mostecká Street near Charles Bridge.