Public Interest Courtesy Rule #9

lollies.jpgAs can be expected, supermarkets display their various wares in order to increase the likelihood that potential customers will purchase said items. Such goods available for purchase within these stores include loose lollies and chocolates, fruits such as grapes and cherries, and various other items such as nuts and yoghurt drops. While these items are available as individual pieces and can be easily accessed for purchase, they are not free samples and should not be eaten prior to purchasing and leaving the store.

While it may be tempting to do so, these items are in fact not made available for people to sample indiscriminately prior to purchase. They are also not made available so that customers can take a few freebies home for later use or consumption. Just like it would be considered inappropriate to eat an apple or bag of chips, or drink a bottle of soft drink in the store without purchase, these items also require purchase before use. Just because these items tend to be small, readily eaten, and able to fit in your pocket does not mean that you should do so. Aside from the obvious legal issues of not purchasing items which you consume or intend to consume, the constant dipping in of people’s hands into containers or picking over fruit is a rather unhygienic practice to indulge in.

Please remember that all items available in stores require purchase before use or consumption. There are obvious exceptions such as when companies provide customers with free samples from in-store displays. However in such cases to ensure that customers will not be confused, these free sample displays will be clearly signed and normally manned by a sales representative from the relevant company.

The rule in this case is simple. The temptation to indulge in ‘free’ sampling should be resisted at all costs. After all stealing is stealing.


  1. Navilyn

    I totally agree! I’d really hate to see someone go to jail over a ‘loose’ m&m!

    But, in all seriousness, I’ve seen it so many times. I’ve been in line before, waiting to pay, and someone is drinking from a bottle of Coke.
    The cashier even said, “Did you get that here?” Albeit, the customer could have lied, and said, “no”. But, yes, stealing is stealing…

  2. rashenbo

    Very good points. Blog mad dropped me off and I thought I’d say hi while I was here.

  3. LorriM

    Congratulations on making it into 9rules!

    I have been a member since Round 4.

  4. Tracey

    Hi Navilyn – Nice to see you back again. This is all very tongue in cheek, I’m certainly not against people doing what they’ve got to do to get by. This is just one of those things that irritate me because I always do the right thing…that and I think it’s gross to pick over food that someone else may buy. Cheers.

    Hi Rashenbo – Thanks for stopping by…hope to see you here again.

    Hi LorriM – Thanks so much…such a pleasant experience to be on 9rules. Cheers.

  5. Rob

    Nice site – dropped by from Blogmad.

    Those that consume before purchase only annoy me if they don’t pay for the items. If you’re on a large supermarket run and are gagging for a drink then I’ll open a water bottle and swig from it because I intend to pay for it.

    I’d never indulge in something that would need to be weighed before purchase. Plus, it’s only ever fluid I’d consume. At the end of the day I’m sure the supermarket would rather I did this and paid for it than leave sooner than intended because I need to quench my thirst because leaving early means spending less.

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