Dennis Prager has created a video touching upon something that I’ve believed to be true for a long time: It’s stealing to waste a sales person’s time if you know that you won’t end up buying from that store. If I don’t intend to buy from that store on that day, I spell it out to the salesperson. This is especially true if I’m shopping around for something that is sold at a store dedicated to one product or supplier, such as a car dealership. “Yeah, I’m thinking about buying an electric car. Yours is the first dealership I’ve been to, but I’m going to be checking all of the local dealerships.”
I’m committed to getting the best bargain for myself, but not to stealing — and stealing someones time and energy is still a form of theft. My approach in this internet age is to do my research online first. Only after doing my research — once I’m satisfied I know what’s out there — do I decide whether I want to buy from an actual store or an e-store.
I should add that it’s not just customers doing this. One of my friends has a local retail store. She discovered recently that a company that manufactures a line she sells in her store is undercutting her prices and actually encouraging people to try in the store but to buy online. That’s really low.