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Prohibition of cheating
(04-25-2013, 03:56 AM)Hrvatski Noahid Wrote: I note that the term "items" is used. Does the same principle apply to services offered on the free market?


This depends on whether or not an agreement was made initially as to exactly what services would be provided for what price. If a set agreement was made, obviously any change is cheating (and overcharging must be compensated for, even if it is less than one-sixth).

In a case that no detailed agreement was made and a service was rendered with expectation of payment, the service rendered is considered as a purchased item. For an item that has a more-or-less set market price, a variation of one-sixth from the market value calls for annulment of the sale or compensation. Likewise, the same price deviation should be considered cheating for a common service. See "The Divine Code", Part VII (The Prohibition of Theft), ch. 5, topics 6, 10, 14:

5:6. It is forbidden for a seller to “cheat” a buyer (defined as a legal term in topic 10), whether in pricing (beyond a maximum percent of the worth of an item, such as telling a buyer that the item is worth $2 when it is only worth $1), or in the amount being sold... One who “cheats” another in these ways is a thief, and this is prohibited as part of the Noahide prohibition of theft.
This applies as well to other types of business, such as a renter or contractor (when a contractor receives payment based on the work he does), or exchanging currency or the like. In any case in which there is unjust financial gain for either party, and either party misleads the other, this falls under the prohibition of cheating.

5:10. ...the Sages established a definite boundary for cheating that is forbidden and must be repaid.
The Sages established that the cheating that the Torah forbids in buying and selling is set at a sixth or more of a total set value of the sold object, such as selling an object whose set value is $6 for $7, since it is the way of the world to tolerate this much extra as the cost of dealing with merchandise, and not as theft.
This only applies regarding an overcharge beyond the set value of the merchandise. But any mistake in the measure, weight, quality, or amount of an object is considered theft, and the perpetrator must return the money received from such theft even for the smallest amount, since people are fastidious in this matter.

5:14. For items that have no set value, and the buyers in the area can choose to do business with many different merchants (including telephone, mail-order and Internet sales), each charging more or less than the average price, there is no cheating involved in selling or buying at these different prices...
Likewise, if the buyer is not prepared to pay the price that the seller is asking (even if this is the set market value of the merchandise), and he only agrees to buy at a lower price, this is not considered to be theft or cheating (as would be the case if he deceived the seller about the item’s value).

Messages In This Thread
Prohibition of cheating - by Hrvatski Noahid - 04-25-2013, 03:56 AM
RE: Prohibition of cheating - by Rabbi Moshe Weiner - 04-28-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: Prohibition of cheating - by Hrvatski Noahid - 04-30-2013, 03:06 AM
RE: Prohibition of cheating - by Director Michael - 05-01-2013, 12:42 PM

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