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The NYTimes ran an article about stores that are not accepting cash. Is this common?

It seems like it shouldn't be allowed. What if someone doesn't have a charge card or smartphone?
 
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No, it isn't legal; if you look at a greenback you will see it says, “Legal tender for all debts...” or similar on the reverse.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if somebody went along, bought something costing $25, left twenty‑five dollars in cash behind, and was then accused of shoplifting.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, it isn't legal; if you look at a greenback you will see it says, “Legal tender for all debts...” or similar on the reverse.



But if I'm operating one of those stores and I say "No, I won't accept that cash in exchange for that bottle of tap water" then no debt exists because no contract was created.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:

Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, it isn't legal; if you look at a greenback you will see it says, “Legal tender for all debts...” or similar on the reverse.



But if I'm operating one of those stores and I say "No, I won't accept that cash in exchange for that bottle of tap water" then no debt exists because no contract was created.


The fact that a store puts an item for sale with a price tag coupled with the fact that the customer picks it up and approaches the cash(?) register, creates an implied contract.
 
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There's no contract until the very moment the agreement is made. If I run a store and a customer comes up to my register with an item with a price tag, I can refuse the sale simply because I flipped a coin and it landed in a particular side.

A price tag also doesn't imply cash or a fixed price. You can always still barter and haggle.

I do wonder how stuff like VAT works when bartering though.
 
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That all said, I cannot remember the last time I used cash. Between credit and debit cards, and ApplePay on my phone and watch, the same $40 has been sitting in my wallet for months and months.
 
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P.S. Similarly, I write out one check a year. To the IRS.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, it isn't legal; if you look at a greenback you will see it says, “Legal tender for all debts...” or similar on the reverse.


There are already all kinds of limits in lots of places for using many small coins or large bills for paying, so I don't think that's accurate.

I think societies going cashless is a good thing. Sure, a system is needed for people without bank accounts, and maintaining privacy for transactions is also important, but the technologies for those are here. In Sweden, for example, you'll have a hard time using cash.

Bear Bibeault wrote:. Similarly, I write out one check a year.


I never under understood why the US is so behind is getting rid of checks - they feel like something from 19th century.
 
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Not sure what is going on with the formatting!
 
Paul Anilprem
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:There's no contract until the very moment the agreement is made. If I run a store and a customer comes up to my register with an item with a price tag, I can refuse the sale simply because I flipped a coin and it landed in a particular side.


Not entirely correct. While it is a settled principle that a price tag on an item for sale in a shop is generally not an offer to sell but it is also a settled principle that the shop owner cannot refuse to sell or change price on discriminatory or unreasonable grounds. It is covered by unfair trade practices statutes. If you use a coin to decide whether to sell to a particular customer or not, I believe you will find yourself in a court defending your action in no time


A price tag also doesn't imply cash or a fixed price. You can always still barter and haggle.


Regarding haggling, you have to consider unfair trading practices as well.
Regarding barter, that is possible only if both the parties to a trade agree to it. One party cannot force the other to relinquish their right to pay in cash.


I do wonder how stuff like VAT works when bartering though.


AFAIK, a barter trade requires the parties to disclose the fair price of their wares to the tax authorities and the parties are liable to pay all taxes on that price.
 
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:There's no contract until the very moment the agreement is made. If I run a store and a customer comes up to my register with an item with a price tag, I can refuse the sale simply because I flipped a coin and it landed in a particular side.


Not entirely correct. While it is a settled principle that a price tag on an item for sale in a shop is generally not an offer to sell but it is also a settled principle that the shop owner cannot refuse to sell or change price on discriminatory or unreasonable grounds. It is covered by unfair trade practices statutes. If you use a coin to decide whether to sell to a particular customer or not, I believe you will find yourself in a court defending your action in no time


A price tag also doesn't imply cash or a fixed price. You can always still barter and haggle.


Regarding haggling, you have to consider unfair trading practices as well.
Regarding barter, that is possible only if both the parties to a trade agree to it. One party cannot force the other to relinquish their right to pay in cash.


I do wonder how stuff like VAT works when bartering though.


AFAIK, a barter trade requires the parties to disclose the fair price of their wares to the tax authorities and the parties are liable to pay all taxes on that price.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Tim Moores wrote:. . . There are already all kinds of limits in lots of places for using many small coins . . .

Those are old. Pennies are legal tender in this country, but not more than twenty of them; if somebody tenders twenty‑one pennies, you are allowed to refuse them. It has been like that for as long as I can remember.

I never under understood why the US is so behind is getting rid of checks - they feel like something from 19th century.

They tried to abolish cheques in this country about four years ago and there were so many complaints from customers. Of course it has always been legal to refuse a cheque. Most tradesmen reuse cheques because it takes so long to go to the bank to pay them in. We have our friendly neighbourhood builder's and plumber's bank account numbers programmed into our Internet banking.
 
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The U.S. Dept. of Treasury says:
"There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise."

The Federal Reserve says:
"There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. "

So businesses DO have the right to refuse cash.  
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:. . . no Federal statute mandating that a . . . person . . . must accept currency . . .  

I never knew that. Looking at the Bank of England website, I found the same applies in this country. So it is quite OK to run a shop not accepting cash.
But what happens if they are offered cash and refuse it?
 
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Then obviously the trade isn't going to happen.
 
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On the other hand, I know plenty of jobs where pin is refused, only cash accepted...
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:But what happens if they are offered cash and refuse it?


I think for any transaction to take place, both parties must agree that what is being exchanged has equal value - or each side must think they are getting the better end of the deal.

So if i offer you cash and you say no, then either I make another offer, or the transaction doesn't take place.
 
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. . . so if I walk away with the goods and still leave the appropriate cash behind, have I stolen the goods?
 
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I would say yes, you have.  The other party did not consent to the transaction.  i'll check with my legal expert/lawyer - my wife - and see what she says.
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote:

Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, it isn't legal; if you look at a greenback you will see it says, “Legal tender for all debts...” or similar on the reverse.



But if I'm operating one of those stores and I say "No, I won't accept that cash in exchange for that bottle of tap water" then no debt exists because no contract was created.


The fact that a store puts an item for sale with a price tag coupled with the fact that the customer picks it up and approaches the cash(?) register, creates an implied contract.



In the UK this also covers incorrectly priced items. if you see a 10ct diamond ring priced at £25.00, the shop doesn't have to sell it, it can refuse the sale.
 
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Wendy Gibbons wrote:In the UK this also covers incorrectly priced items. if you see a 10ct diamond ring priced at £25.00, the shop doesn't have to sell it, it can refuse the sale.



It seems to me that in the UK it's also legal to refuse to accept Scottish bank notes, even though they are legal tender throughout the UK. (I know some Scots who aren't amused by that. Yes, they voted for independence.)
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:. . . in the UK it's also legal to refuse to accept Scottish bank notes . . .

The nearer you are to the border, the more likely they are to accept Scottish notes. Where I am, about 100 miles from the nearest part of the border, Scottish notes are usually accepted. If I go to London, I don't even think of taking Scottish money with me.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote:. . . in the UK it's also legal to refuse to accept Scottish bank notes . . .

The nearer you are to the border, the more likely they are to accept Scottish notes. Where I am, about 100 miles from the nearest part of the border, Scottish notes are usually accepted. If I go to London, I don't even think of taking Scottish money with me.



Here in north yorkshire they are unusual, but Ihave never had any trouble.
 
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Whether you have your regional specific currency accepted depends on how familiar the person receiving it is with that currency, and familiarity comes from coming into contact with it through regular circulation. So it makes sense that Scottish notes are widely accepted in England close to the Scottish border, and then less so the farther you go from the border. In my home town of Buckinghamshire I had a few retail jobs as a teenager and I remember there being a bunch of fake Scottish £20 notes doing the rounds, and the fraudsters had reasonable success on the basis that the majority of shop keepers didn't really know for sure what a real Scottish £20 note looked like. Some confident talk from the unscrupulous customer and the deal was done.

Whenever I visit London I usually draw cash from the ATM in Belfast airport that dispenses Bank of England notes. London folks tend to stare blankly at my Ulster Bank notes. However, Northern Irish money is widely accepted in Scotland.
 
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Tim Cooke wrote:Whenever I visit London I usually draw cash from the ATM in Belfast airport that dispenses Bank of England notes.


Now they exchanging those to plastic ones. So they could easier fall out of the hands. They became slippery. So I barely have cash. Anyway, when I do have cash I tend to spend them quicker.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I thought half the population of London have given up cash, using Oysters and contactless for just about everything.
 
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Did I hear also that London buses no longer accept cash? Only Oyster cards or something?

I did use a contactless debit card on the Tube when I was there last year and it was very convenient.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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That's history about Oyster cards only on London buses. They haven't sold tickets for years.
 
Tim Cooke
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Just goes to show how little I visit.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Would you want to?
 
Seriously Rick? Seriously? You might as well just read this tiny ad:
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