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Anecodatal but: In London there are already multiple shops/restaurants/bars that no longer accept cash.

I bought a falafel wrap from a basic market stall the other day in London and they didn’t take cash at all. Makes sense- less germs, less chance of robbery, easier accounts, better chance of adhering to tax laws, and better convenience to me as a customer.

"better chance of adhering to tax laws" That wouldn't be seen as an upside for the majority of small traders I've known.

Plus its only convenient because you had the payment method they accepted.

I've seen the same in Amsterdam, but I believe it's important to understand why they do that.

According to additional anecdotal evidence, no cash what so ever is their way of reducing the odds of a burglary. Within myriads of shops, one shop that doesn't offer cash payments is way less likely to be broken into.

A little off topic but interesting point: In America restaurants must take cash but stores don’t. This is because once you’ve eaten you now owe a debt and cash must be accepted as payment for debts, as required by law. But if you are buying something you don’t have a debt yet, so they are free to turn you down.

One way to get around this would be to eat your candy bar or whatever in the store. Now they must take your cash, or accept not getting paid I guess.

> One way to get around this would be to eat your candy bar or whatever in the store.

That would be theft or criminal damage.

I know people who regularly eaten or drank a store's product while shopping and then scanned the empty container at the cash register. Never heard of anyone having a problem with that.

Just becomes some people get away with it doesn't make the practice okay. As the owner of a larger store where you're dealing with random people, you're not going to do very well if you have a policy of "you can use whatever you want and then pay for it later". Why is why none of them do, and I would have never thought that something so common sense would need to be made explicit when you enter a store.

That’s exactly how restaurants work. What’s different about stores?

As an aside, I eat things at stores all the time. Grocery stores, convenience store, whatever. No one has ever said anything to me and no one cares.

Also I drink all the time at bars and pay at the end. The idea of “tab” is very very old, and it seems to work pretty well.

When I was a kid and my mom took me shoe shopping, I would always wear my shoes out of the store. Most other kids do the same things. And you pay at the end, not before!

Have you considered this is just some personal hang up you have and not representative of other people?

And you’re talking about common sense, but I don’t know where you live, but in America it’s very very common to eat in stores. Parents give their kid a candy bar and eat it. This happens all the time.

Honestly, what you’re saying sounds a little crazy.

Restaurants and bars are not comparable, as they are customarily paid after the meal. Also, there is one to one customer service there so someone is keeping an eye on you, as opposed to a large retail establishment.

And the idea of tabs doesn't apply to my comment since I excluded out situations where the customer's credibility is known by the store employees. I live in America, and while I haven't paid attention, I don't notice people using what they're buying before they have bought it.

The common sense is that what if someone comes into your store who can't afford to pay for what they have consumed? Do you think Walmart and Target and grocery stores can afford to make it official policy to let people consume before they buy and not suffer losses from people who toss the wrapper or empty bottle in an aisle somewhere? Or can't afford to pay?

It works if it's a small place and you trust everyone, but once you scale up, I don't see how it works.

Because of social norms? I don't need to pay for a candy bar if I eat it, but I do, because that's just what I do. There's so much trust in almost every society that what you're talking about just doesn't happen very often.

Every person has many opportunities to steal pretty much all the time without consequence, and yet, they don't.

Have you ever heard of someone bringing up a candy bar wrapper or empty drink container to the cashier and suffering any consequence? Even criticism?

As far as I can tell stores have a policy they just don't tell the customers about.

Yes, I have, which is why I know it's sometimes (BUT NOT ALWAYS) treated as theft or criminal damage. In England.

Weird. Why punish people who are attempting to pay? Seems like a self-defeating move.

This is the reason why fast-food restaurants are always prepaid. A regular restaurant could also require you to pay for the most expensive combination up front and then pay the difference back.

Do you have a source for this? Beyond the print on the back of dollar bills, that is?

Saw that recently in Copenhagen also.

It's only allowed in certain circumstances, although I don't know how well that's enforced -- some places are just very reluctant to take cash.


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