2020年1月11日 星期六

Is It O.K. to Buy a T.V. From a Pawn Shop?

The Ethicist columnist weighs in.

Money isn’t an object; I could easily go to a big-box store. However, purchasing something used seems more environmentally friendly and frugal, and there are several pawnshops in my neighborhood. On the one hand, it seems exploitative to participate in this industry. I don’t want my good price to come at the expense of someone who needs a quick infusion of cash. On the other hand, it would be presumptuous to assume that whoever sold the item in the first place isn’t acting in their own best interest. You could argue that I am indirectly providing an opportunity for someone to sell something if they could use the cash. Of course, if the owner were disreputable and the TV had been stolen, this would be unethical. But I don’t know the reputations of the specific pawnshops in my neighborhood and wouldn’t want to make unwarranted assumptions.

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