Antique Store Reverse Shoplifting

My Dad was a department store manager for his whole career, so the idea of ever shoplifting was abhorrent to me growing up. Never did it. Not even a piece of candy or a baseball card.

Strangely, this week I’ve become a ‘reverse shoplifter’ and may do it more in the future!

What’s a reverse shoplifter? That’s my name for someone who brings merchandise into a store and leaves it for the store! Let me explain …

I bought a box of vintage ornaments a few years ago, but some of them didn’t fit into my collection. I collect mid-century Shiny Brites, but included in the box were some old hand-painted reflectors that were probably from the 1930s. Ninety year old ornaments in good condition are pretty rare, but they just aren’t my thing.

I felt bad that every year they just sat in my ornament box and didn’t get to ‘celebrate’ the season. They deserved to find a good home, but I wasn’t up for all the trouble of figuring out how to sell them or see them get broken in a Goodwill box. Even donating them would take some time and effort.

Instead, I brought them into a local antique shop that has a booth with a lot of other ornaments like them and just dropped them into their display. I unloaded them quietly – in about 5 seconds – and had to laugh at the nearby sign that said I was “Under Video Surveillance”. I don’t think anyone saw me, but who cares if they did?

I imagine whoever rents that booth will soon find them, put a price on them, and maybe not even know they were reversed shoplifted. They will maybe just think they forgot to tag them the last time they put ornaments out. I would guess they would sell them for $2-$3 a piece, but I will just be happy if they get into the hands of someone who will appreciate them.

I’ve got a lot of collections of vintage things that I could probably declutter in 2021. I’ve never been much for garage sales or selling things on eBay, so maybe more ‘reverse shoplifting’ is a simple strategy for getting unique items to the right people.

Strange, I guess, but has anyone else ever done anything like this?

Image Credit: (c)

2 thoughts on “Antique Store Reverse Shoplifting

  1. A few weeks ago I cleaned out my ‘guitar/music’ closet. The long-overdue job resulted in a box of surplus cables, adapters, capos, microphones, etc. Took everything to the local Music-Go-Round. Though their main gig is used music stuff, nothing I had was of much value to them. Rather than take it back home to the garbage bin, I said: “It’s holiday season. How about just I leave everything here; you put out a ‘free stuff’ box and earn some customer good will?”.
    “Gee. That makes sense”

    Liked by 1 person

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