Brad Fitzpatrick (brad) wrote,
Brad Fitzpatrick

18 cent Amex purchase I should've stolen

I went to Home Depot this evening to buy an 18 cent bolt. It's a piece of the bed which the movers lost oh-so-long ago but I just finally was bored/motivated enough to fix.

Anyway, I find the 18 cent bolt and then see the scary check-out lines. I thought about just stealing it. I figured: my not being in this line scaring away other customers w/ larger purchases might be worth 18 cents to the company. But no, I don't steal it....

So I decided it'd be funny to try and use the self-checkout machines w/ an unscannable item. What wasn't funny was waiting in line only to discover the machine I was assigned had a broken bill scanner, so I was forced to use a credit card. For 18 cents. (19 cents w/ sales tax!)

I realize now I should've stolen it: the credit card processing fee (which is typically higher w/ Amex compared to, say, Visa), was almost certainly more than 18 cents!

So I think Home Depot lost money. Had I stolen it, they'd only lose the cost of the bolt, but they'd also get to write-off the theft on their taxes!

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