• Shoplifting cost American retailers $11.7 billion in 2009, costing the average retailer about 1.5% of profits. When that percentage grows much above 2%, it can lead to layoffs or even bankruptcy.
  • Some estimates suggest that nearly one in 10 Americans are active shoplifters. {Wowzers!}
  • Because the retail industry’s profit margins can be so thin, “the theft of one $5 heirloom tomato from Whole Foods can require sales of up to $500 to break even.”
  • The term “shoplifting” first appeared in Elizabethan London.
  • Kleptomania is different from shoplifting. Shoplifting remains substantially an economically driven crime.
  • In the first year of the Great Recession, there was an 8.8% spike in consumer theft in the U.S.

Deadly Sin rings by Stephen Webster

I’ve been offered service barter a couple of times. My first instinct was to say “No”, which I promptly did. Later I wondered why I was so quick to say no. After all, I was actually interested in their services – perhaps not right away, but I could definitely use them.

There are several issues with service bartering (setting a fair value and scheduling being two of them), but let’s say we agree on the price, and both can accommodate each other’s schedule as needed. What bothers me is this:

• Would I perform just as well, knowing that I’m not getting any money for it, and maybe, nothing at all immediately?

• And would they do a good job with their part, after the memories of my contribution have faded? Wouldn’t I become just an annoying “freebie”?

I think for most people it’s fair to assume, we’d both do a half-assed job, or more likely, would take forever to do it.

Service Barter: Not a good thing for established businesses, probably okay for students and beginners.