Unethical business practices are those practices that are morally unacceptable, which certain individuals bring into their business environment because they want to make more profits at the detriment of their customers. They are unacceptable because they go against the principles of morality.
Everybody has conscience and also knows when he/she is doing what is wrong or what the society frowns at. Ideally, there are things a businessman should never do because when they are done, they would tarnish his personal image or the image of his trade. Since reputation is involved, one has to do everything humanly possible to avoid those practices which could destroy whatever you have built over the years.
What are those unethical business practices?
Lying is one of those things that are common with some businesses, especially the small ones. They come in different forms actually: it could be that the individual deliberately offers a substandard product to a customer and makes him pay the same price that is supposed to be for a standard product, by not disclosing to him that the product quality is not standard. Or the person may also offer fake products to his customers and make them believe the quality is right.
Some marketers could dubiously remove the tag that comes with a particular product and replace it with that of another product that has a better quality all in an attempt to deceive the customer.
3. Expired goods:
Expired goods may be offered to customers by illicitly removing the expiration date and typing in a longer one to make the customer believe the product is still very viable and fit for usage/consumption
This is another sharp practice some people get involved in. they simply reduce the quantity of the product and sell the product for the same original price. The buyer ends up losing some quantity; though it may not be obvious because of the size of the quantity removed. The individual eventually pools together the quantities he has reduced from different packages and re-package them for higher gain.
Some refurbish a product that should otherwise be discarded and replaced. For example, a pipe or valve that should be discarded is sandblasted or repainted and resold as a new one. Eventually this product fails to meet the purpose for which it was bought.
There are also cases of some people stealing goods for sales; or abetting thieves to supply stolen goods to them which they buy at cheap rate and sell them at a higher price to make more money.
What are the dangers?
These unethical business practices are not without inherent dangers which they pose to either the businessman or his customers. Some of them include, but are not limited to the following:
i. Loss of reputation:
The worst thing that could happen to any businessman is for him to lose his reputation while trying to cut corners. The moment customers discovers you have been cheating them in one way or the other, they no longer trust you. When they lose their trust in you, your reputation is gone; and when you lose your reputation you have lost everything.
ii. Monetary loss:
Your customers could suffer monetary loss as a result of your insincerity to them. When he buys a refurbished machine from you and takes it to run his business as a new machine, the machine is bound to break down sooner or later. When this happens, it would cost him some monetary losses; it would also cost some money and time to get a new machine to replace it.
iii. Loss of lives:
Selling fake consumables or drugs to a client could result in loss of lives because of the toxic effects those drugs may have on one’s health in the short term or in the long run.
Stealing or abetting thieves could land you into a serious court case, and also stain the reputation of those who buy from you innocently.
One must always weigh the consequences before thinking of getting involved in any form of unethical business practices. The consequences are usually high and they far outweigh the advantages of such involvement.