WWYD – Returning item to store

WWYD – Returning item to store

I was at the shopping center the other day, and was approached by a young mother, with a sleeping baby in the stroller. Someone I didn’t know.

She asked me if I was going upstairs – I was.

Then she asked if I would return an item that she was holding to a specific store because she took it out of the shop without realizing, and without paying for it. So would I please return it for her, because, the baby is sleeping….

I offered to watch her baby while she returned it herself (even though there were elevators right in front of us and she could have shlepped the stroller into the elevator) and she said “you don’t have to help me, I’ll find someone else”.

Last thing I want is to be accused of stealing an item that I would be trying to return for someone else.

What would you have done?

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  1. karen says:

    you did right!

  2. Lady Lock N Load says:

    What was the item? Something very expensive?

  3. Devora says:

    I would have done the same! The last thing you need is to explain to security how the item came into your possession.

  4. Ilana says:

    I’m not going to say your response was wrong, as you had to do what you are comfortable with. However, as a frequently harried shopper with children in tow, I too have forgotten to pay for an item that was at the bottom of the cart. I have more than once fine back into a store to bring an item back. No one thought I was stealing, just the opposite. They wereimpressed that I was that honest. If anything, is made a huge kiddush hashem. That being said, I also would not have allowed a complete stranger to watch my sleeping baby. The one time I realized I had an unpaid item after I strapped all my kids into the car, I kept the item in my car and returned the next time I went (also greeted with thanks, not accusations)

  5. Dan says:

    You did exactly the right thing.

  6. Shira says:

    You definitely did the right thing! It sounds very shady to me and I think she was afraid she herself would get into trouble, so she was hoping you would help her out of a potentially bad situation.

    • batya from nj says:

      I don’t think ppl. would get into trouble for returning something to a store. People get into trouble for removing things from stores without paying for them but not for returning them.

  7. batya from nj says:

    I think that the stores would have appreciated the item being returned. If you were a thief, you would not have returned it b/c thieves usually don’t return things that they have stolen.

    I can totally understand why this lady would not want to leave her baby with a complete stranger. THAT would have NOT been smart move on her part even though we all know that her baby would have been safe with you but SHE would have had no way of knowing that.

  8. Philo says:

    sounds fishy – you did exactly the right thing

  9. Andrea says:

    If I was shopping with my baby sleeping in a stroller, well, to me, that would be the perfect time to return something. The kid is SLEEPING! No disturbances! LOL . I would never think of asking someone to do that, personally. Sounds weird.

  10. Echo says:

    When my oldest was 18 months old, I took her to the Disney store, and had her in her stroller. We had wandered the mall a while, and she was sleepy so I thought nothing of it when she pulled the hood on the stroller down for more shade, and went to sleep.

    I bought a stuffed toy for her and went on my merry way , even looking in a few stores for myself because- sleeping baby means I can actually focus on the clothes.

    I go to my car and push the hood on the stroller back, to reveal my little angel had snagged a disney store pillow, put it behind her head and promptly passed out on it.

    Horrified, I went right back in the store and tried to give it back and apologize.

    They threatened to call security, accused me of using my child to shop lift then having second thoughts, and were all around nasty people to me.

    I have yet to go back to that location, 5.5 years later.

    After that experience, I would not ever try to take something accidentally taken by another person back for them.

  11. shoshana says:

    I can relate to this mother since I myself am claustophobic and wouldn’t enter an elevator for no money. I find myself asking favors from people sometimes for that reason. I can see myself in the same scenario and don’t see what’s fishy about it. My kids many times take things without my knowledge. Don’t see what there is to be afraid of returning it, soo normal. Besides I wouldn’t either ever leave my precious baby with a total stranger.

  12. kweansmom says:

    You did the right thing and don’t give it another moment’s thought. Taking something accidentally from the store and having to sheepishly return it is an embarrassing situation, especially since as Echo pointed out you may be accused to shoplifting. I would never pawn off that task on anyone else much less a complete stranger. Maybe she did indeed shoplift and had second thoughts, and wanted to avoid the consequences?

  13. sheldan says:

    I have to go along with many of the answers and say that you did the right thing. The person should have gone back to the store himself/herself and not had you do this. This makes no sense.

  14. I wouldn’t even consider doing this. I think you made the right decision.

    Also, look, I know I’m not a mom & might be accused of “not getting it,” but I don’t think a sleeping baby is an excuse not to return something you ACCIDENTALLY STEALED

  15. Oh my gosh, I’m so embarrassed. I didn’t mean to submit that comment yet & obviously had a total brain fart because “STEALED”? Who am I?!?!? Woof, that’s embarrassing.

    • sheldan says:

      Relax, Kate. We all have probably had typos in a post where we want to EMPHASIZE something we feel strongly about… :-)

  16. Lady Lock N Load says:

    I agree that the whole thing was very strange! However,since this happened in a very frum store, I may have done it for the woman if the item was a candy bar or something inexpensive. I may have just walked into the store and put it down in it’s right place and walk out. I really doubt anyone would call the cops and make a whole stink about a candy bar.
    But if it was a bracelet or earrings from that expensive store on the second floor? No way.

    • sheldan says:

      LLL, even if it did happen in a frum store, the woman was asking another person to go into a store where he/she had not been and return an object he/she did not take to the store. Sounds very dangerous to the person who chooses to do this “favor,” and it still is the responsibility of the woman to take the object to the store herself…

  17. batya from nj says:

    Had the woman approached Hadassah & asked her to watch her baby for a few minutes while she went & returned the item, I’m pretty sure Hadassah would have also been shocked that a perfect stranger was willing to leave her baby with her.

    As I mentioned I would have probably returned the item as a favor to the woman & I would have immediately approached someone explaining the situation. Despite Echo’s experience above I think in most cases stores are VERY thankful to have their merchandise returned to them voluntarily by customers.

    Bottom line is that you have to be comfortable to do someone a favor & if it makes you uncomfortable then you don’t have to do it.

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