Fruit vendors at the Shilin Night Market in Taipei recently signed a joint pledge to sell fruit with price tags and use electronic scales to make prices more transparent amid complaints about overpriced fruit at the market.
The fruit vendors made the pledge in the wake of a recent complaint filed by a group of Singaporean tourists to the Tourism Bureau that a fruit stand in the night market charged them NT$1,800 for four custard apples, which is three times the usual price.
Taipei City’s Market Administration Office launched an investigation into the fruit’s prices last week amid concerns about the pricey fruit’s impact on the reputation of the market, a top tourist attraction in Taipei.
Director of the office, Wang San-chun (王三中), said they did not locate the fruit stand that sold overpriced fruit to the Singaporeans, but have instructed a total of 20 fruit stands at the market to put price tags on their fruit and to use electronic scales to make the price of their produce more transparent.
“Most of the fruit stands sell high-quality fruit with services like tasting and slicing the fruit, and so the prices of the fruit would not be the same with those in other markets. However, we will make sure that the fruit is not overpriced,” he said.
According to the fruit stands at the Shilin Night market, fruit available at the stands, such as guava, star fruit, papaya and pineapple are sold at about NT$30 per 100kg.
A fruit vendor, surnamed Lee (李), said her business was affected by the complaints about overpriced fruit at the market, and urged the city government to make frequent inspections to protect the rights of legal vendors.
“We do not want some bad vendors to damage the reputation of Shilin Night Market and hurt our business,” she said.
Economic Development Commissioner Huang Chi-jui (黃啟瑞) said his department planned to push forward the certification mechanism at major night markets to help tourists identify reputable vendors.
Wang said customers can contact the Market Administration Office at 02-28815557 or consumer inquiry hotline at 1950, if they found vendors failing to use electronic scales or to put price tags on the products at the market.