Urban Market Basket
The Urban Market Basket (uMB) is a field survey of the average prices consumers paid for 65 commonly-purchased goods and services. Similar to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Urban Market Basket is a 10-market pricing survey in cities with the highest populations of African-American and Latino shoppers.
Issued quarterly, The Urban Market Basket is provided as a service to Urban Shoppers to increase awareness of current market prices. As a consumerism best practice, the uMB is a useful tool to gauge the price value of items purchased, and the equity of pricing at places where they were bought.
The uMB survey covers large metro areas including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Dallas, and Detroit. It includes representative data on products and services found under Grocery, Housing, Utilities, Health, Transportation, and Miscellaneous classifications.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION
Print a specific city’s uMB information and KEEP IT HANDY. Compare prices for items you bought at the grocery store or other retail establishments with those listed in the uMB to determine if your prices are in line with the city’s average pricing. If consistently above average, you might want to reconsider where you spend your money to find more value.
Know the average price for various services such as dental or doctor visits listed in the uMB. Use that information to negotiate a legitimately lower fee closer to the city’s average price for those services. If your costs are significantly above uMB average prices for those services, you might want to reevaluate your service providers.
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