I'll admit it.  I reverse-shoplifted.  And I'm wondering if you too have ever been successful at sneaking an item back into the store to pay for it.

It felt a little weird doing it, and it's not something that I plan on doing again.  But this is the story of how I reverse-shoplifted.

I placed an order online at a store that offers the pick-up service one day last week, and the attendant put all of my groceries in the back of the SUV like usual.  She gave me the receipt and everything looked just fine.  It wasn't until I got home and started unpacking the groceries that I discovered that I'd received some Duraflame firestarter logs that I didn't order.  Hmm.  My order was pretty huge, and when I arrived to pick it up during my assigned timeframe, the workers were just putting the finishing touches on it.  In their haste to get it out to my car quickly, they must have accidentally thrown someone else's logs in with my hummus and carrots.  It happens.

Should I have considered this a big score for a chilly day, and kept the free logs?  I'm curious what you would have done.  My conscience would have none of the "free-gift-with-purchase mentality," so I took the box of logs back to the store to make it right.

I really wanted the logs, so rather than return them to the customer service area and try to explain how I accidentally got them for free, I put them in a cart in the parking lot, rolled them back into the store, did a little shopping for more milk, Greek yogurt, and medicated corn pads for my 9-year old (don't ask).  Then I took all of the items through the check-out line.

No one had any clue that I had smuggled the logs into the store to pay for them.  If any loss prevention officers were watching me on video that day, they probably thought I was a weirdo but they didn't say anything.

This is the same store that can regularly see me pick up an extra stray grocery cart from the parking lot and wheel it back into the store, trying to help them tidy up.  If the world is going to become a better place it starts with grocery cart returns. And helping stores with their accounting by paying for unaccounted-for things like Duraflame logs.

I love my neighborhood store and don't want them mad at me.  And I don't want bad karma chasing me down over $15 logs, so reverse-shoplifting seemed like the perfect solution.  Whether it catches on in East Texas remains to be seen.