When you’re out running errands or just shopping for something to do, it feels good score the best deal possible. The idea of paying less than full price for a product is very attractive.
Bright tags noting reduced prices and clearance merchandise pose alluring opportunities for label switching. Sometimes the temptation to swap out a more expensive label for another price tag that will ring out at less can seem too appealing to pass up. But this seemingly easy form of shoplifting isn’t without penalties. The more expensive the item, the harsher the potential punishments for shoplifting.
There’s more than one way to avoid paying full price, but all the forms of label switching below are considered shoplifting. Common forms of tag swapping include:
- Removing UPC labels from product packaging
- Peeling off adhesive tags from clearance items and placing the sticker on another item
- Placing the cardboard tags from a lesser priced item atop a more expensive item without tags
- Creating replacement UPC stickers that ring up at a reduced price
- Swapping packaging, such as moving something from one box to another box for a similar but lower priced product
Passing along the costs to you
Costs of shoplifting often fall back on customers just like you. Shoplifting and other forms of shrinkage create significant challenges for retailers. A common solution is to raise prices to offset the costs of lost merchandise. Another option is hiring security personnel, which again can translate to higher costs for consumers.
Rather than risking the steep fines, potential jail time and criminal charges that accompany a shoplifting conviction, consider savvy shopping instead. You may find the thrill of bargain hunting via coupons, discount outlets or bulk retailers far more rewarding.