Store Institutes $5 'Just Looking' Fee
'I'm not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 26, 2013 9:08 AM CDT
Updated Mar 30, 2013 7:00 PM CDT
The store is sick of people who just browse.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Attention, showroomers: An Australia specialty food store has implemented a $5 fee for "just looking." Two Reddit users brought attention to the Celiac Supplies store, posting photos of a sign out front explaining the policy, which promises to deduct the $5 when customers buy something. "There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere," the sign explains, claiming that "many" stores have similar policies.

"I've had a gut full of working and not getting paid," the store's owner says. "I'm not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths." But retail experts are dubious about the strategy. "My immediate reaction would be to leave," one says. It's probably safe to say "many" stores don't do this, but Daily Finance recalls one similar example, in which a shoe store charged a $20 fitting fee.

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Showing 3 of 42 comments
Mar 31, 2013 8:39 PM CDT
Being a specialty store - just having the product on display is a service/product! Why do people pay money to visit a museum? Or ... should they be let in for free? Museums spend money curating and staffing and putting everything into an exhibit... so you MIGHT buy a trinket in the gift shop at the end of the exhibit? NOT This makes perfect sense for a specialty shop. Wouldn't work so well in a big box store. I'd be pissed too if I spent so much time and money setting up an exhibit of my products so people can check my stuff out only to buy it from the online retailers who don't have to incur the heavy overhead of a brick and mortar store. You people need to realize -- seeing the product with your own eyes IS a service in itself. The higher price you pay in-store PAYS for that service. If you want to save money, order online and deal with returns you could have avoided by paying a little more in-store. I applaud this guy for setting a new standard.
Mar 31, 2013 5:42 PM CDT
even the hookers do not charge for looking. Just sayin..................
Mar 31, 2013 2:04 PM CDT
I think this is fair. And it's an unusual situation, not likely to spread to other retail stores. I browse online and then usually end up at Walmart or Amazon. All the money other sellers have spent to develop a great website and to display their goods, well, it really is kind of the same situation. I have to say, putting myself in this retailer's shoes, that I would be angry if people jammed up my store, fingering the merchandise and then walking out the door without buying anything, all with the original intent of buying it elsewhere. And if they do buy something, they get the $5 back. A lot of people seem to have this sense of entitlement these days. Well, you might have to actually pay for someone putting their money and time and effort into their store and then you use all that for free. Not.