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Shoplifting, also called and known as stealing, is an illegal way to get what you need without money.

Unless dumpster diving it is always illegal and is also against the moral of the majority of the people, included lots of those who are sensitive to food waste (even only theoretically or "politically") and probably would sustain you (and maybe even help or justify you) if you dumpsterdive. Usually most of people who believe in Karma or in a certain ethic also don't do it and judge it negatively, so be always careful when you talk about it (e.g. with your host) and be sure the people around you share this point or are open to the discussion about it before to tell you do it.

In spite of all this it might result quite useful for nomads and people living with no money, especially for what concerns those products that rarely are found in the dumpsters and are often very expensive (good food like nuts, veg chocolate, agave syrup, etc but also technology or DIY tools).


It is important and good to have a sort of moral while doing it, i.e. consider what and from whom you are "borrowing" your things. It means that shoplift from a big supermarket, a mall or a big corporation (you are absolutely not making any direct damage to the people there, local workers and original producers are already paid the same, just stockholders might see a small reduce from their profits that in any case are already huge and not considering this relevant) is not the same as taking your stuff from a small shop in a small village whose owner lives out of his/her income and may also offer you something and be nice if you ask him/her.

Certain countries are easier than others, certain shops are also easier than others, just always check the situation before you do it and be careful.


  • You must keep in mind that you are committing a crime (at least from the point of view of the society and the law, that could differ from yours..) and that its consequences can be worse than what you think if you are not lucky nor smart.
  • Cold blood is the main and most important shoplifter's skill. You must pretend and behave as a normal customer, thinking that you are not doing anything wrong and keep calm. It is innatural for most of the people since automatically your heartbeats will start to increase and adrenaline to flow in your veins.
  • Check the situation, cameras, security, scanner. do it rapidly and without let the people notice you are doing it
  • Be fast, and fearless in the very moment you are putting the object away, going around and show your object (that will magically disappear) is the best way to call the attention
  • Be humble and always conscious of the risks. Cleptomania is very easy to be developed and it is exacly when you think to be so good and able to do it everywhere that they will..

If they catch you

  • again cold blood is the most important thing to keep in mind. Being humble, sorry and apologizing for what you have done will put you for sure in a better situation than being cocky and trying to escape. Smile, say sorry, "i tried it", listen to the people who caught you and try to reason with them.
  • Most of times they will ask you to pay what you have taken, you can do it (be careful cause there might be a fine also) but also say that you have no money. You can try to make them pity, explain why you did it, apologize and show to be somehow conscious of what you have done, this might work and you can let be gone with no consequences but is at completed discretion of the security workers and if you are not really luck they could also easily call the police
  • If police comes is not the best deal for you. Of course they will search you and check if you really have no money to pay what you took, in case you have it must be very well hidden (safety belt, etc). If it is not your residential country consequences should be lighter than normal, as always with police just obey what they do and keep calm and sorry.