Can a business earn if it relies solely on customers’ honesty? The answer is yes, but the question is whether or not this kind of business model could be profitable in the long run. Honesty-based businesses are those that operate without any attendants, and customers are expected to pay the right amount on their own. There have been examples of honesty stores in the Philippines. In fact, the Manila Police District (MPD) launched its very first “honesty store” in 2019. Unfortunately, it closed down after 6 months of operations.
However, a security guard from Cavite still believes in the goodness and honesty of people, so he opened an honesty fruit store. His store in Noveleta, Cavite, has no attendant but is entirely open to customers.
Rodney Pampag has no time to handle a full-time business because he works as a security guard at St. Martin Hospital. But it didn’t stop him from starting a fruit store business, even if no one was around to handle it. Every day, Rodney fills his honesty fruit store and leaves his goods for customers to weigh and pay for on their own. Rodney explained in an article written by Sid Samaniego for Diyaryo Milenyo, “Kumuha ka ng naaayon sa kagustuhan mo at timbangin mo ayon sa sukat nais mo.” [Get as many as you want and weigh them as you like.]
“Naniniwala ako na honest ang lahat ng tao dito, sa bawat galaw at kilos nila alam nila kung tama o mali ang kanilang ginagawa”, he added. [I believe in the honesty of people. In all their actions, they know what is right and wrong.]
In a separate article on GMA News, Rodney explained that he doesn’t mind if customers decide to pay less. Since his items are perishable goods, Rodney also accepts if the customer decides to lower the cost of his products based on their quality. “‘Pag alam niya po sa sarili niya na medyo hindi na okay ‘yung produkto, pwede niyang babaan mismo ‘yung presyo sa sarili niya,” he said. [If the customer notices that the products are now of lower quality or are not as fresh, they can choose to pay less for them.]
The 43-year-old father of three children earns around P750 per day from his honesty fruit store, which he says helps his family a lot. Rodney is proud that since he opened his store, no theft has occurred. When it happens, though, he said that he won’t really mind because maybe the person is really hungry and needs it the most.
You can watch the video from GMA News:
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