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18 cent Amex purchase I should've stolen - brad's life [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Brad Fitzpatrick

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18 cent Amex purchase I should've stolen [Oct. 8th, 2006|10:42 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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!
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: flashfire
2006-10-09 05:54 am (UTC)
I guess the real, burning question would come when they took inventory - was it really stolen, or did we just drop one somewhere and lose it?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-10-09 05:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, the area was a mess. Opened packages, mislabeled stuff, mixed up parts....
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[User Picture]From: flashfire
2006-10-09 05:59 am (UTC)
That's a job I'd gladly skip over, too. I'd probably even rank fast food employee over taking inventory of stuff like that.
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[User Picture]From: chris
2006-10-09 07:56 am (UTC)
frequenting the bolt section at home depot a lot lately, I can tell you that their inventory control is pretty bad. there is a lot of stuff mixed up and I've found different types of the same size bolt all thrown together.

also I think I got about $5 in bolts free last week. they must have missed them when i checked out, and they ended up being the wrong size so I took them back. they weren't on the reciept so I said they could just have them since I couldn't use them, but she insisted on giving me store credit anyway.
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[User Picture]From: henry
2006-10-09 09:55 pm (UTC)
Tacoma screw is the shit for nuts & bolts. It's pretty much all they do so naturally they're really good at it. There's one in Frelard.
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[User Picture]From: wildilocks
2006-10-09 06:03 am (UTC)
I wish I'd never said yes to receiving Amex @ my shop. They insist on billing separately and the charges are about double other credit cards which all get billed together with EFTPOS & eeeeverything else nice and neatly. I have to alter by hand every single transaction that comes through with Amex and it often takes me a while to realise the reason things aren't adding up is because of the frickin Amex charge.
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[User Picture]From: dina
2006-10-09 04:25 pm (UTC)
How do fees work then? Do you have to give them a percentage of the sales?
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[User Picture]From: wildilocks
2006-10-09 04:42 pm (UTC)
*nods* it's about 1 or 2 percent I think. The other CC transactions seem to be more like 1/2 to 1 percent: it's not as obvious how much they are either, because they are all billed together for the month [so like, hundreds of transactions in one fee amount], the Amex has it's own charge for *every* *single* *transaction*! Of course if I was a gigantic big store, my credit card charge percentage would be significantly smaller, so maybe the bolt made them a 1 cent profit or something :)
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[User Picture]From: crucially
2006-10-12 11:52 pm (UTC)
I tend to only use shops that take amex :)
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[User Picture]From: lakeguy
2006-10-09 06:10 am (UTC)
I think that is why some places have limited for credit card stuff.. I think you should have gone though the people manned checkouts to see the reaction to you using the credit card for 19 cents
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[User Picture]From: kfk2
2006-10-09 05:58 pm (UTC)
According to the Merchant's agreements for at least Visa and Mastercard (and probably all the others), the Merchant's are not allowed to set a minimum for credit card transactions if they wish to take the plastic. Most places that do set minimums, generally get away with it because people don't know about hte merchant's agreements.
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[User Picture]From: dabroots
2006-10-09 07:12 am (UTC)
I've gotta admit it would have been kind of fun to hear about you getting busted for stealing an 18-cent bolt.
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[User Picture]From: dina
2006-10-09 04:24 pm (UTC)
I feel certain that at some point in my life I am going to get a call to bail Brad out of jail (there is just no avoiding it) and it will probably be for something as dumb as that.




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[User Picture]From: bsdguru
2006-10-10 08:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah try and explain to the judge that he wanted to skip the queue to save the store on merchant fees.
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[User Picture]From: mrwiz
2006-10-09 08:50 am (UTC)
you pretty much just stuck it to the MAN! That'll teach them to have long lines...
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[User Picture]From: notjohndavid
2006-10-09 11:24 am (UTC)
usually companies that are as big as Home Depot have their own credit card processing/financing company. I think they may actually work through CITI group but they may not pay that much for processing
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[User Picture]From: dossy
2006-10-09 12:14 pm (UTC)
In other news: a flash mob of evil descends on Home Depot to purchase ten-cent or less items individually on AmEx credit cards across the country. Home Depot stock loses $3.
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[User Picture]From: muerte
2006-10-09 06:20 pm (UTC)
Home Depot is a huge store! There was absolutely nothing else you could have bought, or needed to make the trip worth it? How much in gas did that $.18 bolt cost you :P
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-10-09 06:38 pm (UTC)
Dina had a whole list of stuff she wanted, but stores overwhelm me. I mostly went for the drive.
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[User Picture]From: nolegs
2006-10-10 12:28 am (UTC)
Does Home Depot stock/sell the toilets they use in their public restrooms?

You should have stolen the bolt. You should've stolen two bolts and one of those little gardening spades. Maybe some candy if they sell it. Stealing is fun!
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