This is something I often wondered when living in or visiting the US, especially now living in Germany, where the valued added tax is figured into the price, so what you see is what you will pay.
I think it has alot to do with the fact that different states have different sales taxes. Since most stores get their products from different states and distribute to states all over, it would be a hassel to print out different prices on every item thats going to a different state.
It is all about sticker shock, and they can show you a better price on a item if they don't have to put the tax on it. When I shop I add 10% to everything I buy so I do not get this shock, and my bill is usually a little less.
And there are several states that don't have a sales tax but make up for it other ways.
Great answer, that makes so much sense. :P
This is what I always figured.
That does make sense!