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An Approach to Ethical Shopping

What do you do when you are at a store and the cashier rings up the item and the price is wrong? Not just wrong, but extremely wrong, and in your favor. Do you speak up and tell the cashier that there is a mistake and that the total should be more? Or, do you let it go and think it’s your lucky day? Do you think it’s a blessing and happily accept the discount? Here’s my approach to ethical shopping.

When this happens to me, as it did yesterday afternoon, I always speak up and tell the truth. I would hate to think that I am hurting someone else’s livelihood by stealing. Now if it’s a minuscule amount and I am running late or in a hurry I won’t do anything and just pay it forward somehow in the future.

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photo credit: ntwerpenR

Yesterday, I went to Michael’s to get some silicone cupcake liners so I could reuse them and not have to always put paper liners in the muffin pan. (I plan to use them for my egg muffins that I have planned for dinner tonight. ) I of course had  a 40% off any 1 regular priced item coupon to use. I found the very last pack of silicone cupcake liners. It was a 12 pack of pastel liners for $9.99. I thought that would be about 50 cents a piece once I use my coupon and decided to get them.

I walked up to the register and set them on the check out counter along with my phone with the coupon on the display. The cashier went to ring it up but there was not a tag on it anywhere. She asked me if there were any more. I told her that they were the last ones and that they were $9.99. I told her I could go over to the aisle again to check but I was pretty sure that there weren’t anymore.

She said, “Alright, 99 cents I believe you.” and rang it up and asked me if I wanted to use my coupon. I thought she was joking when she said 99 cents. Then I saw the total of $1.06 and was shocked. I stopped her and told her they were $9.99 not just $0.99. I would have loved to get those silicone liners for just a few cents but I didn’t feel right about it. I laughed and told her that and that I wouldn’t need a coupon if they were only 99 cents.

What would you have done? Have you ever been in a similar situation? I’d love to hear about it.

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