Is it cheating to charge different customers different prices?

بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️Is it cheating to charge different customers different prices?▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:

? Question:

The questioner says: What is the ruling on selling an item at different prices, such as selling it to one customer for fifty Riyals and to another for sixty, and so on?

? Answer:

It’s better to adopt the same pricing for everyone, and if he does that, people will love him and identify him as fair and lenient. Nonetheless, raising the price slightly to allow room for bargaining is fine; the type of bargaining that commonly goes on between people (in marketplaces), where some customers like to haggle the price down whilst others buy at the set price:

{وَأَحَلَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡبَیۡعَ وَحَرَّمَ ٱلرِّبَوٰا۟ۚ}

“Allaah has permitted trading and forbidden interest.” [Surat Al-Baqarah 275]

This (variance in price) is permissible. For example, he has lenient customers who come and buy off him at a slight profit, and other customers come and haggle him down to a lower price. This is permissible, provided he doesn’t take advantage of gullible buyers by selling to them at extortionate prices, because it’s not permissible to do this, rather this is cheating, treachery and deceit. So for example, he usually sells the commodity for one or two hundred Riyals, but when a gullible customer comes -who is an amateur buyer and doesn’t know the prices- he sells it to him for five hundred Riyals, or more. This is criminal fraud, the money profited in this way is impermissible and he is sinful for this.


Translated by:

Abu Ishaq Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ba-‘Alawi

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