I used to get my watch batteries replaced at the Walmart jewelry counter for $2--which was way less than paying a jeweler. Gladly I signed the waiver to not hold them liable if the watch was damaged--I don't wear expensive watches. When the price went up to $3 I thought it was still a good deal.
Then one year I needed a battery replaced in my Relic watch. Walmart refused it, said I hadn't purchased it from them and it was an expensive watch and they didn't want to be responsible if it was damaged. I volunteered to sign a release--no dice.
So I went to JC Penneys where they replaced the battery. I signed a waiver and paid them $10. I thought that was highway robbery but didn't have much choice.
After that I needed a battery replaced in a watch I'd purchased from Walmart and they gladly replaced it--for $5. Steep I thought--for a $20 watch--but better than $10.
Imagine my surprise today when I was in the Dollar Tree and found my watch battery there, brand Sunbeam, for a dollar. But that's not the best part. The best part is that there were 8, yes 8, batteries in the package. Eight watch batteries, good until 2012, for one dollar.
I bought the batteries, brought them home and my husband put a new one in my Mickey Mouse Watch. Appears I'm set for watch batteries for at least a year or two.
Moral of this story? We're getting ripped off paying $5 and $10 for a battery replacement, IMO. If I can buy 8 batteries at retail prices for $1, what are the stores paying wholesale? And it can't be the price of labor causing the store to charge so much. It takes about one minute to pop the back of the watch off, remove the old battery and pop in the new one. And it can't be liability if they have you waive your right of claim against them for any damage they might do to your watch.
Bottom line? It has to be greed, plain and simple. They overcharge because they can.