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Legal Ways To Shop Lift

Updated on September 13, 2015

Shoplifting which is otherwise known as a five-finger discount is very simply the theft of goods from any retail establishment. Yes shoplifting is against the law, or at least it was up until now. I've listed this hub under the category of travel and places, because you have to travel some distance to take advantage of legalized shoplifting. You won't find this in the United States yet, but if you hop on a plane you can find stores in Japan that let you temporarily take clothes to your home without paying a dime for them. The Japanese clothing store GU allows their customers to try on up to three pieces of clothing and then leave the store. Customers are so to speak allowed to test drive clothes out as long as they return with the cloths before the end of the day.

Shoplifting and certainly not this policy makes any sense to the management staff who are trying to combat shoppers when they buy something, and then later change their minds, and return the item back to the store for a full refund. This same idea has been used for some time now by online clothing & accessory companies who use the test it out approach for a while before you buy it. This new approach to shoplifting is helping the customers make an educated decision about their purchases, and spending money is truly what it's all about anyway.

This idea is smart for everyday shoppers, and the company by reducing the number of returned items which saves both time and money. Now there are some catches to this form of legalized shoplifting. The store limits the sanctioned shoplifting policy to just thirty people a day. This form of shoplifting also applies to both glasses, and clothing which includes under garments. This policy provides an alternative to the experience that a lot of women dislike when they have to go into fitting rooms to be sized up by a stranger while standing under weird lighting to simply just try a bra on. People also like the idea of being able to take photos of themselves wearing glasses and sending these photos to their friends for their opinions on how the glasses look on them.

There really weren't a whole lot of details given out to the public about the store policy on this so-called free shoplifting experience. There's always some kind of a catch on anything out there in life that's free. Somehow one way or another you are always going to have to pay for a so-called freebie. I figure that there will be a ton of red tape, and paperwork required for any customer who wishes to participate in this free shoplifting experience. I also figure that you will have to show some sort of valid picture I.D. or drivers license to store representatives before you can walk right out the doors with unpaid merchandise from the store. They even might require credit card information or want to make a copy or even keep a form of your identification before you are allowed to take their merchandise out of the store and home with you. Regardless of whatever red tape or paperwork may be required for the free shoplifting experience, I'm sure that there are certain safeguards in place to help track and protect the store's merchandise.

The other thing that has dawned on me about this new form of legalized shoplifting are certain sanitary issues. What happens to the clothes once people are finished wearing them, and return the items back to the store? Are the returned clothes washed before they are placed back onto the store shelves or are the returned clothes immediately put back into circulation onto the sales floor "as is" for someone else to wear? Let's face it not everyone who participates in this method of legalized shoplifting SHOWERS just prior to walking into the store, and trying on these clothes. I guess this is only good in Japan because I'm not so sure, for so many different reasons, that legalized shoplifting would at this point work in the United States or some other parts of the world. Like the Food Lion says "that's my two cents", and that people is TheHoleStory!

That box of Milk Duds are really going to cost you some day.
That box of Milk Duds are really going to cost you some day.

Have you ever shop lifted? (All answers will be kept confidential)

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4 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Legalized Shoplifting


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    • costumesngifts profile image

      costumesngifts 3 years ago

      This is an interesting perspective and as a shop owner, I do see how you would regard it as a legalized form of shoplifting.

      As someone with a bad case of germaphobia, I have never nor would I ever attempt to do this!

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I did not know Japan does allow customers to take their clothes without paying for a day. That would be good if you need a new outfit for a wedding or a christening. You can take a dress without paying first, use it for the occasion and then return it in the evening but I think people who are honest won't do that but I think if that will be allowed in England, a lot of people will do just that.

    • Kara Skinner profile image

      Kara Skinner 3 years ago from Maine

      I've always wondered about the clothes put on as well. I think that applies to those put on in the dressing room as well as those who take them out for a test run. This is a really interesting method of doing things, and it's very practical. I know there have been times when I've tried things on in the store and then never worn them for various reasons, so trying them out in a test run would definitely help me with shopping. I bet they do take the credit card information, which makes sense to keep them from losing merchandise. I would hate to try it out with undergarments, though. That seems humiliating! Excellent hub.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Interesting facts. But with all these strangers test driving clothes and such, I'll think twice before trying it out myself.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      This is a surprising eye opener for most of us. Great research. Will it work in the west I wonder ? It's bound to be tried in the future. A really good subject. Well done.


    • AngelRayne profile image

      Angel 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Unfortunately, with the way people are today, I truly do doubt that the type of lending system they are using in Japan will be available here. I say this in view of the fact that even if there were a lot of people to be honorable and use this type of system right. There are usually plenty of those who will screw it up for the others. It is just how things work these days, as sad as that is. I am in my thirties and shake my head at the way some people are these days.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      If you take the clothing from the store with permission, that’s not shoplifting because it isn’t stealing – unless you fail to return it. Anyway, this is a new take on an old custom. I grew up in a small Southern town of about 5,000 where everybody knew everybody’s family, and all clothing merchants had the custom called “taking out on approval.” If person, usually a woman, picked out a garment or several garments and couldn’t decide which one she wanted, the store signed them out to her. She was allowed a reasonable length of time, usually a few days to decide. Sometimes she returned them all. This was on the honor system, and only a dishonest person would take out a dress and wear it for a special occasion then return it. We just didn’t do that. I don’t believe undergarments were allowed to be taken on approval.

      Someone mentioned tryng on shoes. I have had a plantar wart on the bottom of my foot for 30 years, and I think I picked up the virus while trying on sandals. Years ago, (god, I’m old) shoe stores required the wearing of socks or nylons while trying on shoes.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      Never heard the expression '5 finger discount' - LOL. Don't think I like the underclothes being brought back - not good! Thanks for sharing.

    • JoanCA profile image

      JoanCA 3 years ago

      I was wondering about people wearing the clothes as well. But when you try on clothes or shoes at a store, who knows how many people have tried them on before you and what illnesses or infections they may have.