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The Dirty Dozen: How To (Legally) Get Away Without Paying For Things

February 14, 2018



“Dude, I know you’ve done this stuff before, but I really don’t think this is going to work.”


My friend James expressed his lack of confidence in my ability to pull off what I was about to attempt.


“Of course it will work. I know exactly what I’m doing,” I said.


We pushed open the doors to reveal the fresh hot baked dough smell that you experience on the inside of a Krispy Kreme.


The mission? Go in, order a dozen assorted donuts, and convince the cashier to just give them to us without paying.


Now before you think I’m a lying thief, I want to explain first that we had filled out a survey during our last visit, which earns you a free dozen at your next visit. I can’t endorse using the below strategy to get you things you don’t deserve. It’s about using true facts to help convince someone to believe in what you’re trying to do. It requires ethical truth. DON’T STEAL SHIT.




Back to the survey we had filled out:


The issue here is that we didn’t have the code from the survey, since one of our roommates threw out the receipt we had been saving.  But I had been counting on 12 hot round circles of diabetes for over a week, and if I had to pay for them, then I’m sorry, but they just weren’t going to taste nearly as good.


As we walked in, a line started to form behind us. I kindly let everyone cut us, since I knew this explanation would be awkward with paying customers putting pressure on the cashier.


Once the line cleared, we walked up to the glass box of sugar bagels, and began to pick out our favorite flavors.


“Lemme get a glazed chocolate sprinkle (essential), a few hot originals, that Oreo one which looks tasty AF, and the rest you can pick out your favorites!”


“haha alright man, let’s see,” the Krispy Kreme employee laughed.


“I’ve been looking forward to this all week man. I think my favorite part is just picking them out.”


I was completing step one of this challenge: relate to the other person with humor to build trust. It sounds silly, but you’ve only got about two minutes of conversation to convince this person that you’re just like them.


As we slid down to the register, this was the point where James looked at me and smiled because he knew I was about to just ask for this guy to hand me the donuts so we could leave. But I knew there was an art to it. You can’t just say, “can I have these for free?” and walk away.


I pulled out my credit card and held it up, “I have a question! So you guys have those surveys where we can earn a dozen donuts, right?”


“That’s right.”


“So James and I come here like once a week, and we filled out that survey last time. We talked about your co-workers Christy and Jessica, made fun of Dunkin’ Donuts, and got the code at the end. Problem is, we left it on the kitchen table, and our roommate threw it out yesterday!”




I continued to build trust by creating the number one thing you need to pull this off: a story.


The second element is to create a point of conflict, giving the person you’re talking to the opportunity to help you save the day. Remember, step one was all about allowing them to relate to you. Once they see themselves as you, it’s easier for them to say “yes” to helping you solve your problem because it makes them feel like they solved a problem that’s partly theirs. Sharing the story helps them share your experience.


The employee laughed, “why did he throw it out!?”


“I don’t know man! But we were so excited about getting a free dozen. Now we planned on paying for these, and still will, but is there any chance you can let us have this one, especially since you know we’ll be back here a week from today as loyal customers?”


This is the moment of truth where he had to decide if he was going to hand us product without collecting any money.


Then I saw the $11.99 on the register turn to “-$11.99 PROMO.”


I smiled.


“One more question,” I asked. “Does the survey get you a dozen originals, or assorted?”


“It’s original. But I got you this time.” The employee smiled as he pushed the box across the counter into my hands.


I looked up at James, and his face was priceless. Not that I’d be willing to pay anything if it did have a price. I hate paying for stuff.




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