Not talking to a merchant if you’re not planning on buying anything

Home Coffeeroom Bais Medrash Not talking to a merchant if you’re not planning on buying anything

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  • #1448466

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    What’s the halacha here:

    At the recommendation of my physical therapist, today I walked into a mattress store to test out different mattresses.

    The thing is that I am planning G-d helping to buy a new mattress from Costco.

    When I walked into the store, there were no customers, only one employee smack in the center.

    I told him, “I want you to know that I am not planning on buying anything and I don’t want to waste your time.”

    He said, “Well, you’re the only one here. You’re not wasting my time. I can at least educate you on the different types of mattresses.”

    He taught me some stuff, and I told him that I have to do this quickly because I had to be somewhere soon (I really did have to rush to be somewhere).

    As I was heading for the door, he asked me where I live and etc… I evaded the questions and flew out of there.

    Is it okay to check out goods at a store if I’m straight up with the store owner or employee?

    Is this an ask your Rav question?

    #1448568

    Nechomah
    Participant

    I think you did fine. You’re not allowed to waste their time by asking frivolous questions when you have no intention whatsoever to buy anything. You made it clear from the start and he told you that you were not, in fact, wasting his time. I think your LOR will agree with this assessment. Not sure what his other questions at the end had to do with (maybe he thought he would ask you for a date), but if you were in a hurry and left politely, then no chance of chilul Hashem on that score either.

    #1448606

    Joseph
    Participant

    You are not permitted to even ask the price of an item if you have no intention of purchasing. But if you told the merchant upfront of that intention, then you’re fine since he agreed to talk to you despite knowing your intentions.

    #1448617

    Meno
    Participant

    You are not permitted to even ask the price of an item if you have no intention of purchasing

    I don’t know what the halachic sources say about this, but I would imagine that a vast majority of merchants would prefer that people come in and ask about price even if they have no intention of buying. Salespeople would love any opportunity they can get to convince you to buy.

    I once walked into a bank with the intention of closing my bank account and I walked out a half hour later having opened 3 new accounts and applied for 2 credit cards.

    #1448667

    Joseph
    Participant

    “I don’t know what the halachic sources say about this”

    The halachic sources say that you are not permitted to even ask the price of an item if you have no intention of purchasing.

    #1448670

    Meno
    Participant

    The halachic sources say that you are not permitted to even ask the price of an item if you have no intention of purchasing.

    Thanks.

    Do you think that in light of what I said, the practical halacha might be different?

    #1448678

    Joseph
    Participant

    I can’t pasken. But if it is known they don’t mind in such a scenario then it probably is okay.

    #1448696

    Yossii
    Participant

    Unfortunately there is another issue you need to keep in mind which is the owner of the business, I work at a judica store and some people come because they are bored and don’t plan on buying anything,they come in asking a million questions just because they want to shmuze with someone,I usually recognized these people and don’t waste to much time on them but I see some other workers that would shmuze with the customer about a item(and it’s obvious they won’t buy it for example a kid would ask about a expensive claf migila)just because they don’t want to work while there is many other costmers at the store so they are both stealing from the boss

    #1448743

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Joseph: Thank you. Yes, I intentionally did not ask him about any prices. Once, I looked down at a price of a mattress, and then caught myself, so I looked back up —but not before experiencing shock that I was staring at a $4,850 comfortable rectangle.

    #1448744

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Nechomah: Thank you 🙂

    So, I was a bit more specific when I told him that I had to be somewhere. When I first came in, after telling him that I was not interested in buying anything and was just there to look and that was it, I told him that I had a “class” to go to soon, so I only had like less than five minutes.

    Later, his personal questions were still sales-interested, in my humble opinion. As I was rushing from the back to the front of the store, he told me to come back when I had more time. I think I said, “Okay thank you. Bye.”

    Then he asked me where my class was located. I told him the name of the city, thinking that he would realize that I was in a super rush and leave me alone, since it was about an hour away.

    “Do you live there too?” was his response.

    For the record, I do not live in that city, or near the mattress store either. I just happened to be in the area for an appointment.

    Anyway, I didn’t respond or give him more answers. Just “bye thank you!”

    Luckily the store was relatively small! 🙂

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