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“I still feel somewhat taken advantage of,” Mr. Blum commented.

“Note that in this case, there is another important factor that could justify the high price,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Market price is determined by supply and demand. Since stores had sold out and there was a great demand and minimal supply, many people were now willing to pay this high price – so that even double the regular cost is likely considered a fair market value now.”

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Mr. Blum thanked Rabbi Dayan for having clarified the matter. “I feel better now,” he said.

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Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.