Over the past few years, the ‘shopping trolley theory’, or ‘shopping cart theory’, has been widely discussed over social media. The theory purports that a person’s decision to return a shopping trolley willingly to its corral can be construed as the ultimate test of moral character and a person’s capability for self-governance. But in the case of Malaysian supermarkets, not returning your trolley back to its corral could simply mean losing out on a precious 50 sen coin.
M’sian man earned a small sum by simply returning trolleys from parking lots to their stations
However, it would seem that convenience is still king for many Malaysian shoppers as a recent video will go on to show. Taking to the social platform TikTok to recount his experience, user @helmi_juhari, otherwise known as Mr Helmi Juhari, explained that he had noticed many shopping trolleys being left astray and scattered around the parking basement of his local supermarket.
The Penang native then decided to do the right thing and make an effort to push the shopping trolleys back to their caddies, where they could be made available for the convenience of other shoppers as well.
But as it turns out, his efforts didn’t go unpaid as Helmi managed to collect the 50 sen coins that were lodged in the locks of each shopping cart. Malaysian shoppers will no doubt be familiar with these locks, which are often used as a deterrent to prevent the littering of shopping trolleys.
The locks work by tethering multiple shopping trolleys together, and would only separate when a coin is inserted into the mechanism. To retrieve the coin, shoppers would first need to return their trolley to its caddy and tether it with another one before the mechanism releases the coin. And despite the fact that shoppers could risk losing 50 sen as a result of leaving their trolleys all over the parking basement, the habit is still pretty commonplace.
So much so that Helmi managed to collect a whopping RM7 in under 10-minutes, just by returning shopping carts to their caddies!
Netizens are impressed by his ingenuity
His video, which has since gone viral, has attracted much praise from netizens for its ingenuity, with some jokingly berating him for sharing this lucrative source of ‘side-income’.
“Husband: You go on ahead and get the shopping done, I have part-time work to do here.”
“Why would you reveal this secret to everyone? Now it’ll be even more difficult for me to find a source of side-income.”
“You could actually turn this into a full-time job. If you manage to collect RM50 a day, you may even earn a basic salary to last you for a whole month!”