This post has become less important to me, now that Canada is officially getting rid of the penny, but the idea of it is still relevant.
You know those people who quibble in a grocery store over a $0.01 discrepancy on their receipt?
Yeah, that could be me.
You might be rolling your eyes at this point, groaning:
“DAMN.. she’s one of THOSE!
Cheap as hell, but has the money and shouldn’t complain at all and just let it go!”
Let me tell you all the reasons why a penny to me, is not just a penny.
“A penny is the start to a million”
In French, they say: “Un cent est le début d’un million”
Translation: A penny is a start to a million.
Every business person tells themselves that at the start!
The Price Scanning Accuracy Policy
In Canada, we have a Retailer Price Scanning Accuracy law that basically ensures that retailers have accurate prices that are scanned at the register.
In Ontario, it’s only mostly big retailers and grocery stores, but in Quebec, was it EVERY retailer!
The premise of this policy, is that if the price scanned differs from the tag, you can get the first item for free (a value up to $10), and on any subsequent items, you’ll be refunded the difference.
So a penny? Yeah, if it can get me something for free up to $10, I’m going to complain.
In the U.S., there is no specific law regarding price scanning accuracy, but some retailers like HEB Central Market in Texas, will honour the rule if you go to them with a price discrepancy.
The idea of retailers making a profit without doing anything
A penny here, and a penny there, multiplied by a million customers, is $10,000.
Imagine if it was not just a penny, but an average of a dollar per million customers — that’s $1 million in the retailers pocket just from their “oops” mistake, banking on the fact that people are too lazy to check their grocery receipts and/or complain for a penny.
I don’t know about you, but I am not about to give up even a penny that I am entitled to to fatten the wallets of a corporation that wasn’t supposed to get that money in the first place.
I reckon over the year, we’ve saved about $50 in just complaining about price differences, getting anything from eggs to fancy mushrooms to milk for free.
I even got a free jacket once, after a retailer refused to give me back the $1.29 I was entitled to because of the price difference. I complained, went through the whole gamut up to their lawyers, and got the jacket for free.
Money is money
A penny, or a dollar, makes no difference to me.
Money, is money.
Heck, I am the girl who will dart in between people’s feet to pick up a penny, so why would I NOT complain about a penny difference?
I have a special knack for scanning the ground to find money, and the most I’ve ever picked up was $20, and for some reason, it’s more exciting and thrilling for me to find money on the ground than it is to earn it by working.
(Hmmm. Food for thought.)
How do you think rich people get and stay rich, anyway?
Surely not by giving the money away to those who haven’t earned or deserved it!
They probably check the receipts as much as I do, knowing that the difference between breaking even and making a profit could be as small as a penny here and there in the early years of wealth building.
The self-made rich people are careful about their money because they recognize the value of having to work hard to earn it in the first place, and I am no different.