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Ethical dilemma


I have a retail store and we sell AFL football cards. We have been approached by someone who wants to weigh each pack of cards to find those containing bonus (more valuable cards). Once found, he will buy only these packs. The sale could be worth in excess of $200.00 which for a football card sale is excellent. However, it leaves with the knowledge that none of the remaining packs contain the bonus cards. This means we already know that a kid spending his or her pocket money on a pack of cards in pursuit of the rarer bonus cards is going to miss out. What is right for the business in the short term is to take the $200.00+ sale. The sooner I move the stock and bank the cash the better. Ethically, it is better to ask this guy and his scale to leave and let each customer try their luck with fair odds. The ‘card shark’ would trade the cards at a profit, extracting more money from the kids. Some are already on eBay.

Fairness is at the heart of this and it’s a consideration on various levels. The ‘card shark’ uses the scale to gain a significant advantage. Is it my job to police that? Is the world a fair place? No! So why should I perpetuate the myth? Taking the money and running and not letting on to the kids is business at work. The reality, however, is how I live with myself. If I expect fairness in business and life then I need to deal with it that way myself.

I’ll tell the ‘card shark’ to get his stock elsewhere.

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By Mark