While researching a post on saving money at the movies, I asked for tips and some suggested sneaking in! The idea bothered me for days and got me thinking about five scenarios where I have to chose between taking the ethical high road and saving money.
Is it ethical to sneak into movies? What about buying counterfeit DVDs?
I’ve never snuck into a movie and what bothers me about this is the same thing as buying a counterfeit DVD, made when someone records the movie with a hand-held video camera from inside the movie theater. The person burns the recording onto DVDs, slaps on a cover sheet, and sells it on the street for a big profit. The problem is that the little guy gets cheated. Sure, the movie executives and stars make the big bucks, but the no-names are more likely to lose their jobs when movie studios don’t make the expected money. By doing both these things, theaters have to raise their cost and the buyer goes from being frugal to being cheap.
You’re walking down Canal Street in New York City or the Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles and you spot counterfeit brand name items at bargain prices. Ethical to buy?
No. The fake bags, shoes, and shades emblazoned with a designer’s initials or logo may be far less expensive, but you are still paying for the brand name not the item. I have no problem with a bag that looks similar to a brand name bag as long as you don’t try to pass it off as the name brand with fake logos and tags. My reason for not buying knock offs is that I’d be mortified if I got called out by the designer while walking down the street – although not very likely, it could happen. Also, why would I waste money on fake items? I rather work hard and get the real thing.
You’re heading to the movies and sneak in snacks to avoid paying for the expensive theater popcorn and soda. Ethical?
I’ve sneaked in snacks and the only reason I don’t think it’s unethical is because I am not stealing from the theater. If I didn’t bring in snacks, I still wouldn’t buy the expensive popcorn and soda. By snacks, I mean almonds or a protein bar and not a full meal.
You’re in an all-you-can-eat buffet and you wrap a leftover muffin in a napkin and stick it in your purse. Ethical?
I figure the food is headed for the trash so why not pack it up to enjoy later. Technically, I paid for it, but I draw the line at packing an entire meal for later.
You ask for a cup for water at a restaurant with a self-serve drink station and you fill it up with soda. Ethical?
This is one of my pet peeves. I can’t stand it when people do this, especially if they’re eating with me. I feel like any minute we are going to get called out. This is stealing and will force the restaurant to raise their prices so everyone loses.