Random Financial Thoughts

I have a feeling @Rastiln is never posting on here again.

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Sucker. I just use their “come back and save $15 off your purchase of $75” coupon they send me, buy 2 bags of pet food instead of one, get free shipping, and about the right amount of time passes that a new coupon shows up just when I’m running out.


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But it’s literally in the terms and conditions that you can cancel at any time (not any time after the first x months) for any reason. So it is not a violation of the terms. And Amazon could absolutely require an upfront charge of X to require minimum purchases, but they don’t. Why don’t they?


Unethical… these are clearly meant to be consumed in the restaurant.

Assuming that you were 13 or older and the cutoff for the child’s price was 12 or younger then this is petty theft.

Ethically questionable


Theft if you don’t pay for it. If you open a bag of chips, eat it while shopping, and then pay for the empty bag when you go through the checkout line that’s fine though (but you specified that this is NOT what she did).

I think subscribing to something and then canceling is fine FWIW.

HARD disagree

The price was “$10 if you do it the easy way or $9 if you jump through these hoops” and you are free to choose between doing it the easy way or jumping through the hoops and saving $1.

Yes, even moreso if you’re not actually an alcoholic or other addict seeking recovery.

Conversely, a homeless person seeking shelter from a Christian mission who sits through a worship service in order to gain a free meal & lodging for the night, despite not actually believing in God, is not doing anything wrong. There is no implication in the mission’s offer that it is only intended for Christians.

Unless the apple was being offered as a free sample, yes.

I’d say this is ethically questionable… best to ask someone who appears to be in charge if they mind if you grab a donut or two. Most churches would happily give an atheist a couple of donuts, but some might say that they are intended for fellowshipping worshippers & attendees.

No, I would tell her she forgot it.

Almost always, and I’ll usually take a minute to straighten out a few haphazard carts already in the stall too. BUT… if the store has what I consider to be an extreme shortage of such stalls and it’s really bad weather I might not because I do think they have some responsibility to make this task reasonably straightforward. If I can’t even find where to return the cart I might not. But I will try to leave it out of the way so as not to cause damage to other cars or get in the way of other shoppers.

Absent a specific policy allowing this, yes. But I don’t sweat the odd pen that lands in my purse and later on my desk at home. I wasn’t intentionally stealing it… but when I brought work home it was tucked in and… whatever. Pens also travel the other direction so I’m not worried about it and neither is any reasonable employer.

Much grayer: school supplies for yourself when they are paying to send you to school. You should ask about this.

Probably ok but still better to ask: an actuarial student taking supplies (notebooks or pads of paper, pencils, erasers) to use in studying for an actuarial exam


Yes, unless it’s billed as a double feature


Yes, and I bet most restaurants would not allow this, but yes either way.

But that’s not what they’re offering. They are offering an easy option and an option with strings.

If you wanted 50 of the item right away without subscribing the (pretax) total would be $500, not $450.

There’s nothing “single item” about the price at all. YOU are misinterpreting the pricing structure that Amazon has set.

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By the way, I responded before I read NAs responses. I see we largely answered the same other than the k-pods from an AA meeting question.

To me I don’t see a gray area there. AA isn’t like church where it’s for anyone & everyone. It’s private and confidential and intended for those who are seeking healing and recovery from an addiction.

Now if you were an alcoholic who was only semi-serious about recovery but you really wanted a cup of coffee they probably wouldn’t mind if you showed up and attended the meeting and snagged a cup. But taking 10 k-cups home with you??? No.

This seems vastly more immoral, as typically returned items are thrown away. You’re intentionally wasting 50% of the product you ordered knowing that you won’t use it.

I feel pretty neutral on it because companies clearly allow it, otherwise they would charge a restocking fee. But it’s wasteful. I don’t do that primarily for environmental/social reasons. The impact to the company isn’t my concern when they knowingly allow this.

I’m just a little disappointed this thread immediately drifted, but none of this shook my moral core nor am I upset at GoA. It is what it is, being upset at the internet is foolish.

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Oh, I don’t see it as a grey area either, my point was more that the places who make the rules get to decide what is and isn’t okay, and I’m just not familiar enough with AA to know if this is common/a well-known thing AA does, etc. I didn’t want to be stuck in a gotcha moment of “well actually AA says it’s fine but you clearly think it’s stealing and the Amazon thing is no different.”

Like, as a kid my church got bakery donations from Kroger every week and set them out quietly in a back hall for anyone to take, churchgoers or outsiders, no questions asked. Only no one ever advertised this, there were no signs, no announcements. An outsider might see people coming in, taking all this food (and most of it was sweets, certainly not just basic essentials) and leaving, and might not understand what was going on, thinking people were stealing treats. But it was how it was all meant to work.

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I’m not sure if you mean the pants that have or have not been worn. But clothing is absolutely resold. Food is typically thrown away as they can’t vouch for its safety once it leaves the store. But clothing is resold if it’s in acceptable condition. So if the reason you’re returning it is that you noticed a manufacturing defect then they’ll return it to the manufacturer, but if you’re returning them because they don’t fit then they’ll get resold.

And if you wear the pants once and bring them back and say they didn’t fit… you’re a lying liar who lies but if they can’t tell the pants were worn then they’ll still be resold.

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Interesting, throwing away returned clothing isn’t as common as I thought (and I knew it wasn’t 100%), but based on various credible-seeming sources it’s anywhere from 3%-25% of returns are discarded. Several sources also note that due to the need to move inventory, it’s very common for returned items to end up in a “25% off” sale or similar.

It’s also Costco’s business model to not provide fitting rooms and just assume that a bunch of clothing will be returned. But I assure you that stuff is resold. If you look there’s usually different piles they put stuff in: what can and cannot be resold. And they always ask why you’re returning clothing.

Nonetheless in the example now being discussed, you know there is a 3-25% chance of the extra item being thrown away (I would assume this is more common with SHEIN and similar but I’m sure occurs in most companies), and you know that there is a good chance the returned item will end up on a sale due to not being available while the rest of the inventory is being sold.

I maintain that, due to environmental waste combined with reducing the profit gained by the company, buying extra/returning is objectively a worse act than the subscription cancel which started this conversation.

I don’t know that at all though. I assume there is a 0% chance of the item being thrown away. Where are you getting 3-25%? And is it specific to items that are in acceptable condition to be resold?

I looked up several credible-seeming sources on Google. It’s not worth finding a scholarly study but that was the total range of several sources, with sources giving a different range but all in the same ballpark.

Specifically for non-damaged clothing?

Yes maam.

Edit: I’m not arguing against doing this. IMO it’s wasteful, like throwing away a recyclable. It’s not the worst thing in the world, it’s just not great.

I mean, off the top of my head 3-25% sounds reasonable for the percentage of clothing sold with defects.