To Pay or Not to Pay When No One is Watching

[Feature]The Business of Having Faith in Humanity

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You see heaps of fresh vegetables sitting on the roadside, and no vendor in sight. The situation seems to be dangerously tempting.
Yet, shoppers who use this unique system known as oki yasai, which literally means “leaving vegetables” at an unattended roadside stand, do leave the asking price in the money box, believe it or not.
This method of doing business, known as senyou kouri or “use first, pay later”, was started some 300 years ago by medicine merchants from Toyama Prefecture who sold household drugs throughout Japan, something that continues to this day.
Using a similar strategy, some snack-food manufacturers leave candy bars and other snack items in offices at no charge, on the understanding that payment for consumed items will be collected later when they come to replenish the supply. This business model, while limited to transactions involving small amounts of money, rests on the seller’s trust in the buyers’ honesty.

Arranged by JQR Editorial Staff

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