Christian ethics in online stores?

How do think ethics Come in to play as a Christian vs the person example say you have a Etsy shop everybody is offering free shipping but in Reality it is not free shipping they just included the shipping in the price but did not tell people.

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Welcome to connect @Ian777. I hope you are doing well. It is good to have you joining our ranks. Connect is set up as a forum to encourage discussions as you have just done. We do you hope to get to know our members. If you would be so kind as to answer the questions such as: Where you are from and what perhaps you hope to derive from the forum. It will be helpful, and who knows there maybe someone here from you home town. I do like your question. The concern I have for such companies is when they start using the price said they offered which included shipping as the standard and then charge shipping on top of that. From my perspective transparency in pricing eliminates suspicion and distrust. God-bless you and your journey.

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Hi @Ian777, oh that’s an interesting question, thanks for asking :grinning:. I suppose that we could look at this through the focus of Business Ethics from a a Christian perspective.

This link below summarises Wayne Grudem’s look at various spheres of ethics, including that in business, stewardship of money, and honesty etc. It’s based on his book Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning

The summary to this particular topic here says:

Six core ethical convictions from Scripture establish boundaries for making business decisions: (1) truthfulness, (2) not stealing, (3) honoring marriage, (4) loving your neighbor as yourself, (5) confidence that there is always a right decision available, and (6) trust in God.

I suppose you could apply these six principles in your own decisions of buying or selling, whether it’s a gift from an online shop or something even more significant and integral to daily life. If you’re sensing a business owner is not exercising these principles in their own ethical decisions, you then have the choice whether you hand your money to them or not. I’ve certainly made a decision in the past not to spend at a certain shop chain because I don’t like the message behind their brand, even though their product is very likeable.

I think it comes down to your conscience when spending your money. You could ask yourself some questions such as - is this shop meeting my hopes for honesty and integrity? Will they use my money in a way that meets my values of ethics and morality? Is the Holy Spirit convicting me to not spend my money here?

Each person approaching this issue may have their very own nuanced look at it, so I really think that this is a personal choice. My example earlier of me choosing not to purchase from a particular brand doesn’t mean I disapprove of other Christians shopping there. I just followed what I believed God was saying to me.

I hope this helps a bit :blush:.

https://www.crossway.org/articles/34-ethical-issues-all-christians-should-know/#business

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I been thinking about opening a online shop for candles some shops offer free shipping but to me there is no such thing as free shipping someone is paying for weather it be the business or the customer meaning it is either incorporated in the price for the customer
Or the business taking a lost so want to be a transparent as possible with people

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I think it is great that you consider ethics in what would seem a mundane decision to many. I think it is very important for Christians to think carefully about the items we purchase, including both the nature of item itself (is it a good use of our monetary resources, would the item somehow hurt our witness for Christ, etc.) as well as the seller and/or brand. With that in mind, I will provide some personal thoughts on the specific topic.

I honestly do not see anything wrong or unethical with sellers using “free shipping” or buyers purchasing such items. I say this because I do not believe any real deceit is involved. I think people who shop online regularly have become accustomed to (not really) “free shipping” and just understand that is just added into the overall purchase price. I suppose it is more convenient sometimes just to see the price at a glance instead of either having to view the item details, shipping, perform calculations, etc. To provide some contrast, I would find advertising “free shipping” and then charging a handling fee or similar to be bit deceptive.

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Thanks as I said I want to be as up front as possible I think all business
Should have integrity Christian or other wise because I think it is one of things that reach people say for example returning customers
Ask about product e.g. what cause you to name you business that a opportunity to share the story of business and in our case our testimony for example our candle business is called Jehovah Nissi gifts which gives us a opportunity about it.

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