Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Do you think it ok to sell gifts you have received or things that were donated to you?

Asked by SuperMouse (30733 points ) May 29th, 2012

On another board where I participate one of the members has a very expensive piece of exercise equipment for sale. This is a piece of equipment he has discussed in other posts; he even linked a video that discusses the charity event that was held in order to help him afford this apparatus. Now here he is, out to sell it for a profit. His ad trying to sell it describes it as hardly used and in great shape. Do you think it is ok for him to sell this and make money or should he donate it for someone else to use? What about expensive gifts? Is it ok to sell expensive gifts you receive for a quick buck?

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20 Answers

Akua's avatar

Not at all. Someone is using it and thats all that counts.

Trillian's avatar

Wow. Purely a judgement call, but if he had an actual charity event to be able to purchase it one must wonder. Was it a physical therapy thing? Did he use it as intended and now is all better? Wow.

AshlynM's avatar

That depends on your situation.
If you can’t afford to eat, then yes, it might be ok.
If the gift was given to you by someone special or if the gift has sentimental value, you probably shouldn’t be selling it or giving it away, even if it does have monetary value. Did this guy have a reason for needing the equipment? I’d feel bad for selling it if it was a charity event that helped me get the thing in the first place. I’d probably just donate it or keep it.

bkcunningham's avatar

@SuperMouse, help me understand this. A person has a charity event to raise money to purchase an expensive piece of exercise equipment. The person receives enough funds to purchase the equipment and then turns around and is trying to sell the exercise equipment?

wundayatta's avatar

Ok? It’s legal, as long as he owns the equipment.

It’s pretty tacky, though. But then, people sometimes get the wrong thing—and it turns out they can’t use it. Maybe he feels justified in getting money for it, since people did donate the money to him in the form of the machine.

marinelife's avatar

Technically, it is OK to sell anything you own regardless of where you got it.

In the specific case you describe where people chipped in to buy it for him, it would be better if he re-gifted it to someone in need, more in the spirit of how he got it. But he does not have a legal obligation to do so.

nikipedia's avatar

It seems bizarre and like there must be more to the story—why hold a charity event to buy something you don’t actually want at all? Why would anyone donate to help someone buy exercise equipment in the first place? Perhaps he’s selling it to upgrade to a better version, or a more useful piece of equipment for his goals?

I think what seems weird here is that this person specifically asked for this gift and then turned around and sold it, which sounds like a scam. Usually, gifts that are sold or re-gifted are things you got that you never wanted. Case in point: I was recently the recipient of a tape dispenser in the shape of a black high heel. I will not be keeping it.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Trillian yes it is a physical therapy thing. It was seemingly used once or twice. The person is not all better.and could still use the equipment. @bkcunningham you describe it exactly.

Of course I know this is legal and is technically ok, but it feels wrong to me.

bkcunningham's avatar

What is the person going to do with the money after they sell the exercise equipment? If the person needed/wanted just the money, why not keep it from the fundraiser instead of purchasing the exercise equipment? It all seems strange doesn’t it?

Trillian's avatar

^^ Yeah that’s not something I would feel comfortable doing. And I don’t know if I could keep a straight face or refrain from making a derisive remark if someone told me that they did or were planning to do this.

SuperMouse's avatar

Near as I can tell it is a situation where the person thought they needed and could use the equipment and came to find out that wasn’t the case. Now that he knows he won’t actually use it, he wants to sell it.

Trillian's avatar

^^ and he has no compunctions about the fact that others went to time and effort, not to mention expense on his behalf? Does he/she not feel the least bit compelled to offer it back for them to recoup losses or recycle to another in somewhat distressed circumstances who could use it?

bkcunningham's avatar

I’d probably donate the equipment to someone else to use. I’d like to think that I would. It seems like that would be the decent and right thing to do. I don’t know the fellow’s circumstances and don’t want to pass judgement on him.

Fly's avatar

If he thought he needed it so badly that he held a charity event for it, chances are someone else needs it, too. I really feel that the right thing to do here would be to pay it forward. Imagine how all the people who donated would feel when they found out that the guy went around and sold it for profit? The only circumstance in which I feel that it would be okay to sell it is if he is going to use the money to buy the appropriate equipment.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

For most things gifted that weren’t asked for specifically, I have no problem passing them on to someone who can better use or better appreciate them.

In the example you write about, I think that man should give the equipment back to the charity that raised the money for him since they can probably find another person in need like he was.

bewailknot's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I totally agree, you said it for me

Symbeline's avatar

If it’s mine, I can do whatever the hell I want with it.

augustlan's avatar

Gifts in general, I have no problem with the receiver selling it. This particular item, received in this particular way, though… it just seems wrong. I agree with @Fly. The only acceptable reason is if he’s going to use the money to buy the proper equipment. If not, he should give the proceeds from the sale back to the charity, or just re-donate the item.

chewhorse's avatar

I think it tacky and if I found out someone I thought enough to offer a gift to took it and either sold or gave it to someone else, that would be the last time I’d think of giving any more.. It’s not however a problem that would cause me to break ties, just no more gifts (except maybe a gift card so they might buy what they really wanted)..

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