The Art of Stealing... by Roy Mackey
You know stealing has always been a bit of an issue for me. It started shortly after my first big heist. We almost pulled it off but the gopher came home! I was five at the time. Albert my cousin and partner in crime was a year or two older. It was a hot summer day and the two of us were bored stiff. Finally I said lets hit the Baxter joint! The Baxters rented our old house back on the farm. They were gone for the day to Cranbrook and both my parents had headed out camping for the weekend. My cousin was a little leary at first but I told him if we found cash we could be set candy wise for the summer. Well it turned out we never got much... a sugar jar and a large box of wooden matches. Nerves got the best of my cousin before we had a chance to dig much. So we split and headed up to the gravel pit to stash our scores. We had a fort up there. Along the way I realized that the fort would be the first place that our parents would check if they suspected us. So along the way I spotted this gopher hole and pushed the goodies deep into the hole, out of sight.
Well sure enough Dad and Mom came home early. I guess the wooden boat Dad scored at the dump sank. It cracked wide open right in the middle of the lake! That pretty well ended their camping trip. They lost all their gear and everything. The only thing Dad was able to save was a couple of cases of beer they had with them. Not too sure how you can swim with two cases of beer. Luckily he had them in a net hanging over the edge of the boat. Mom said as they swam to shore his head was under the water half the time. Needless to say they had a refreshing swim as mountain lakes are not that warm even in the summer. Dad was just happy he managed to save the beer.
Well to make matters worse on our end the Baxters got back from Cranbrook and noticed their sugar jar and matches were gone. They phoned my parents and of course we were the first two suspects. My Dad, being a bit of a mind reader came in my room and said he wanted to take a walk up to the gravel pit. I knew he figured we were guilty. Probably because we were the only two kids in the area for miles. Anyway I was pretty confident and said sure. As we walked along the path I was thinking how good an idea it was to not stash the goodies in our fort. Well as we walked by the gopher hole the matches and sugar bowl were right in plain sight! I guess the gopher came home and had to move them to get in his hole. I was busted.
Well that was a bit of a trauma for me. He gave me two options. The first was take a big cut in my food rations. Just the thought of that was unbearable. The second option was to go over and apoligize to them. Dad told me he learned that trick from some natives he once knew. He said natives were highly evolved and never needed jails. Not like us whities did. He always said whities were always trying to control everyones life because they could never control their own. That's why whities build so many jails. Well I opted for the second mostly because the last time I was put on food rations our dog almost starved to death! Have you ever tried Gravy Train? Well that's another story.
Anyway having to apoligize for something you did to someone is a real drag. Kind of leaves a deep scar on your insides that you don't forget. Ever since that time I had one hell of a time trying to dig up the courage to steal another thing. Mom always said that Dad ruined my chances at career in politics when he made me do that. I guess she figured I talked so much I would have been good at it.
Ever since that time I have been fascinated with those brave enough to steal. This has led me to some interesting observations. The most fascinating is the fact that I noticed that it is not only the public that steals but retail owners and producers are also big fans of stealing. They have all sorts of tricks to do that. I will be adding more to this list in the next while. For now here are a few below. I will be adding more as I remember or notice them.
The Lastest Trick in Stealing
"Keep Your Eyez on the Label"
You know I have kind of made it a bit of a hobby watching for companies that steal. It is a lot of fun and I get to post my results up here. It is not like I just look for companies that steal. I also look for companies that offer remarkable service and quality. As I find them I post them under "Really Cool Websites" here on this site. That is one of the nice things about the internet, everyone has a place to voice their two bit oppinion.
Anyway here is the latest very suspicious company. I stumbled across this product a couple of years back and just love it. My energy goes way up when I use it and thus figured the price was easily offset by the value. That was up until just recently. You see quite a while back we were bragging about this product to someone and told them about one of the ingredients it had. One of the reasons we were buying it was because it had that ingredient... not sure what the hell it was now. Anyway during our conversation we pulled it out to show them and were very surprised to find it was not on the list of ingredients??? We tried to find the previous container but no luck it was long gone in the recycle bin.
Anyway somewhat disappointed we paid no attention and moved on. We still liked the product so whatever. Then a week or so ago I ordered another container. When it arrived I saw the label had changed and knew that was a red flag for sure and something must be up. Far more white space on the label was a big clue the company is trying to save some "green" ... I mean be more green. After all ink prices aint getting any cheaper and white is cheap to print! Accountants love those kind of penny pinching tricks. But it tells me that profits are faltering, they are getting desperate and using the green movement to justify it. Thus I quickly checked the ingredients list matched against the older container which I had kept after the last incident. Sure enough there were three ingredients no longer on the list.
So being fair I checked the box again for a brochure or some other notice that they had made more improvements to the product and thus had eliminated those other.... who knows maybe recently discovered as carcinogenic ingredients. Well no luck so I checked their website... no luck there either. No mention about the amazing new improvements to this product anywhere. Yet the proof was here on the list.
I then decided to write the company an email but no reply... not even some "men in black" stopping by telling me to "shut the F up" or else. Since I had already opened the container and returning it was too much hassle I decided to just eat it.
Needless to say though I will not be ordering from this company ever again. After all like my dad used to say "if you bend down in prison to get the soap once... then that's a mistake... twice... then you are a slow learner.... three times... you ain't lookin for the soap" Now needless to say I do have to look for a replacement but beats having some accountants from some company picking my pockets...
If you look close on the list one thing I did notice is that the amount of psyilium, a very cheap product, has gone up what looks like 20%. I guess that was to offset the removal of those, I am guessing expensive, other ingredients.
Now I am not saying that this little stealing trick will not work for them. Hell it will likely work great. After all most consumers are stupid anyway... right? Not to mention the ones that are smart enough to notice are likely too shy to say anything anyway. I am not totally sure but I think this company is a networking marketing company and thus most of the sales reps will not likely notice either. Hell they are usually all too busy trying to get five people to tell five people so that they can reach the Double Diamond Top Company Rep status. You get a free car for that you know!...
Here is the Marz Barz "pick your pocket" scam. This one is going on right now so if you are fast you will be able to spot both the old and new versions.
Above we have the old 58 gram Mars "energy bar" and above that is the new 52gram Mars Bar!! Same great price but new convenient size!!! It no longer says energy bar for some reason also. What's really amazing is the fact that the newer version has less caloriies!! The older version had a thigh packing 260 calories and the new version has only 240 calories! Heck a guy could afford to eat two now!! : )
What makes this pick pocketing gig so great is the fact that the bar is give or take ten percent smaller yet the price is the same! Now if you figure out how many of these candy bars they sell the ten percent turns out to be a lot of... "stealing". The trick to pulling this kind of scam on your customers is you really gotta believe your customers are pure idiots. You can bet an accountant some where just got a huge raise for this brainstorm! Funny though I don't remember hearing any commercials about this great new "improvement" If you notice even the labeling looks slimmer and thiner... nice touch. I also like the little green label showing the calories. Makes it look like a good thing or something.
Just to note the only reason that I am noticing the candy bar scams is I am on a strict diet to lose some weight. I eat four candy bars and drink two double long shot americanos every day. The diet by the way is working great! I am losing weight, feeling more energized than ever, sleeping better and everything. The best part though it has given me a chance to notice some interesting things about candy bars.
Here is a Real Sweet Scam I call the "Twix Trix" This one is also under way at this time.
The bottom Twix is the older pain in the neck larger size. The newer more convenient and smaller size on top has the same great price and even has less calories!!!! I guess partly why is the fact it is conveniently 7 grams smaller... 50 g instead of the old heavy 57 g. I wonder how they managed to make it less calories?? If you are out shopping for candy make sure you don't get stuck with the old... way heavier one!! May as well leave it for some other sucker! : )
In this case they are only stealing seven measly grams of candy off of you. Wonder what seven grams times millions of candy bars is! You do the math. Someone's getting a raise this year and you are paying for it!! Doesn't that make you feel warm all over!!!
The important thing to note here is that stealing under a company name is a lot easier and the nice thing if you get caught no one has to go to jail or get a record. Once again another advantage to owning a big company. This is something to really think about if you are planning a career in stealing.
My guess once again is this companies accountants got out of there cages. Accountants are great for coming up with scams like this. The big reason is they know math and how to multiply seven grams times millions of candy bars. So if you have a company and are having a hard time coming up with ways to steal then unlock the cages where you keep your accountants. Be careful though they can bite and if you are not looking and will even take over your company if left unattended.
The newer more convenient size on top!!!
Here is a hot little trick pulled at Staples Business Depot!
I call this one "A Quick Swipe for a Big Clean-up" !!
This is shoplifting at its finest! I have been buying these paper towels from Staples for a long time now. They were great value for the price. Sure they were kind of soft but had good absorbency. The price was around $5.11 a pack. Well a couple of trips ago they were out. In fact they seemed to be out for quite some time. Of course I now know why. They were bringing out the new and improved convenient size. The same great price just and easier more convenient to carry size! The last thing they needed was some old stock on the shelves when the new size came in. After all anyone looking would obviously want the newer and more convenient smaller size so the old ones would have never sold!! : ) One of the really neat tricks was keeping the packaging almost exactly the same. Of course it had to change slightly in order to justify the price staying the same.
Well since I have a bit of an eye for detail I noticed the new "convenient size" right away. Luckily for me I had a pack of the old size still at home. I am sure this was something that they did not count on. After all most people only buy more when they are out of the old.
Now you have got to understand I am not pointing any fingers here. I am just pointing out neat ways you can skim off the top if you own a business. After all a lot of businesses know their customers are just plain stupid anyway.
I am sure if you looked into this in further detail you could probably nail this idea to accountants. They are great for ideas like this. After all it is win/win. The customer gets a new convenient size and the company makes more profit!! Hard to say if it was the paper companies idea or if it was pressure from Staples but either way it is sharp thinking. Needless to say I have stopped buying this brand... my guess others will too. This will be good for the accountants since then they can say it was a good thing they cut back on the production costs just in time. In fact it was just before sales started to drop! The boss will give them a raise and be even more thankful of the services and wisdom they offer!!
Now not all scams are pulled by stores with zero respect for their customers. Lets face it there are people out there who make regular shoplifting a bit of a hobby. In fact some even make a career out of it. Thats an obvious fact as accountants can easily find that one.... bought twelve hammers and sold only ten before running out. After all numbers and facts are their game. That's why they are so valuable to a business.
The Tag Team at Home Depot!
This one looked like a great gag! I was at home depot late one Saturday night looking for some metal screws when I saw the alarm go off . I looked over and saw two guys walking through the detector... both at the same time. The one guy l know had just left the till in front of me with a small purchase. The other guy was empty handed and just leaving the store. The guy that just left the till stopped and said "it's probably my phone". He then went back to the detector and waved his phone near it. Sure enough the alarm went again. "Yup it was his phone alright" The staff told him to keep going and off he went.
Well at first I bought it then something struck me as fishy. The two guys looked the same... not as far as their physical features but their energy and disposition. Lets face it if your half sensitive theives have a bit of an energy about them that's not that hard to spot. These guys matched yet were acting like total strangers. Ok not a big thing being home depot. Probably not that often that high powered lawyers and micky mouse starving contractors come in together. Just the same the other guy seemed to come out of the blue and barely slowed down. Honest Joe though came back to prove it was just his phone that set off the alarm. Why did the second guy barely even slow down. Any honest person finds those alarms un-nerving and always stop and look guilty for a second or two at least. This guy never flinched.... maybe he already knew it was going to go off...?
All guy one had to do is come back with his phone, which I might add likely had an active detection tag gizmo stuck on or inside it. He waves the phone near the detector to prove it is his phone and sure enough. In case anyone was suspicious then they could have even searched the guy. No matter since it was the second guy that was carrying the stolen goods in the first place!!! That guy was already half way across the parking lot. Guy one was just a nice easy going sort of chap. Of course between the two he was the more presentable one with the nicer smile.
I guess I could have pointed that out to the staff but the mothership told me that I can only stay here as long as I don't interfere with the natural order of things. Kind of like watching a gazelle getting eaten on the Sarengeti by a lion... nature must take it's course. Besides my Dad always said every good cop owes his life to the bad criminals of the world! Otherwise he would be out of work with no money to feed his family. In fact he always said they should give tax breaks to criminals for all the police work they create. Otherwise all those cops he said would be sitting around drinking beer and smoking pot while their families were out begging for coins on the street just so they could eat! He had a point I guess.