Yesterday I reverse shoplifted a copy of The Beat Handbook into the August Barnes & Noble. I left it right between On The Road and The Dharma Bums. Then I offered Crystal's son $20 to visit the store and try to buy it. Which he did. It caused a little confusion at checkout - I guess it wasn't in their system - but somehow they fixed a price of $14.95 (which is close - it's really $14.99) and sold it to him. So now he is up $20, B & N is up $15.70 (they charged 75 cents tax), and I'm out $35 ($20 for the errand and $15 for the book, which I got back).
So how is that beneficial? Well, it helped me understand what happens at a big chain store when one reverse shoplifts a book and someone tries to buy it. Unfortunately, my hope that B & N would order a copy to replace the sold copy seems to have been just that - a hope (I can tell by checking my BookSurge royalties). But, at least a clerk there has seen the book and knows that someone liked it enough to buy it.