Is it wrong to buy at a discount?

I have been mulling this idea around for quite some time now – at least a year. I wonder if anyone has any insight into this problem.

Is it wrong to buy at a discount? Or is it SOMETIMES wrong and sometimes ok?

I am somewhat of the opinion that if I can afford to pay full price (or sale price) at a regular store, I perhaps should not go to the Salvation Army or Goodwill store to buy something that someone who truly cannot afford to shop anywhere else might need. For example, I found a long black skirt in my size at Goodwill last year for about $3. It was the only one in my size. If I have enough money to buy a similar skirt at a regular clothing store, is it ok for me to buy it for so little and perhaps deprive someone who really can’t afford it of needed clothing?

On the other hand, someone pointed out to me that she deliberately buys from secondhand stores because she does not want her money to go to large companies that support ideologies that she does not believe in (abortion “rights,” gay agendas, etc). I see her point, too.

Another scenario: We own a Catholic bookstore. Our staff is knowledgeable about all our books and products and are always reading and researching in order to help our customers choose what they need, we strive not to carry anything made or printed in China, and to carry only orthodox Catholic materials.

We have friends who will either come into the store or call and keep an employee busy answering questions about various products, sometimes for hours. When these friends have learned what they need to know to purchase a book or gift, they’ll say something like, “I am going to go order it from Amazon because they’re cheaper.” They have just stolen time, expertise & information from our employees when they had no intention of buying from us. They have just made it that much harder for us to compete with giants like Amazon or B & N, who can afford to buy books in large quantities and offer deep discounts. They have pushed us one step closer to closing down, and they are supporting a company that supports gay agendas and abortion on demand. They are taking food out of the mouths of our children and those of our employees.

Why do we always strive to buy it cheaper if we don’t need to, or if by doing so we are hurting families? What are we saving the money for? To buy more stuff?


4 thoughts on “Is it wrong to buy at a discount?

  1. Good question.

    I always buy at Goodwill or other thrift stores if I can. There is never a shortage of second hand clothing in this country. Most of all the clothing in our home is from thrift stores, and many of our furnishing. Reusing discarded items and using your resourses wisely is not depriving anyone of anything.

    Now, the scenerio you describe about the book store is not the same thing. That is dishonest, and while you can not do anything about it, those consumers are stealing from you. I would never try to save money in that manner. I would, however, buy a book at a thrift store if I needed it, rather than new from a store, but not if I have spend a great deal of time with a salesperson first.

    Anyway, I missed Ian at the trade show by about two minutes. Maybe next time!

  2. Hi, “Kitty”! I totally agree with your comments about people “shopping” the competition instead of supporting good Catholic family businesses. We have run into this when people prefer “Wells Fargo” type businesses to our smaller mortgage company just because it is a big name brand. We think it has more to do with our culture that tends to be very “what’s in it for me” oriented, instead of, how can I best support Catholic business? (Or in our case, not only Catholic, but pro-life.) This is why we formed Pro-life Professionals (, to try to raise the bar and encourage people to support businesses because they are run with our same morals and values, not because they are the cheapest or have “big name brands”. We try to support you wherever we can… Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Thanks, “pro-life professional!” We appreciate your support and try to support Catholic (and pro-life, and family-run, and local) businesses over the competition whenever we can.

    Which reminds me! I am planning on repainting my kitchen and saw wall hanging I really wanted at Hobby Lobby. It is just exactly the size and shape of what I was thinking of to put in the mud room – it is black wrought iron and has a rooster at the top and 7 hooks along the bottom – perfect for little coats and gloves in winter and little sun hats and gardening gloves in summer. HOWEVER, it is made in China and you have just reaffirmed why I cannot buy it. It supports forced abortions instead of strengthening families. Do you know any American family-run businesses that make and sell “country” type items for the home?

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