Easiest $90 I ever made... Ethical or Not?

41 replies
Hi Warriors,

This is a short tale of the easiest $90 I ever made... with an open question at the end.

I found a website that was selling a $260 guitar for only $160. So I bought it and straight away placed a free ad on a classified ads site offering the same guitar for $250.

The next day I had 4 emails:

2 of them said I was a rip-off merchant and will be exposed.
1 of them said he saw the same guitar on eBay for $90.
But...
The 4th one said "I have cash. When can I pick it up?"

So after contacting the 4th guy, I delivered it to his door and walked away with a cool $90 profit. He was happy, I was happy.

What are your opinions? Did I do the wrong thing?

I have always been taught to "buy low and sell high" so I have my own opinions on this but I'm interested to see what others think.

Regards

Ben

P.S. Anyone else wanna buy a guitar?
#$90 #easiest #ethical #made #unethical
  • Profile picture of the author Revolves
    I don't personally see anything "wrong". But as far as legality goes, if people can sell their old stuff, I don't think there's anything wrong with the not so old . But hey, I'll leave that for someone else to clarify.

    I believe what you did was pretty great business. People don't like seeing others becoming rich, so that might explain the first 2 emails you got.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tristen Loh
      That's smart way to make money online. It's legal & it's somehow similar to "drop-shipping" methods.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    If it was worth the price, I don't see what's wrong with it. There is always people that will pay what they think it's worth, or pay what they have to get what they want. Does that make sense? It's late here

    If the guy was happy with the price and product, who was hurt?

    Your sure not the only one doing it. People buy and resale all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vince Courtney
    Hey Ben

    I read somewhere that someone paid a fantastic amount of money for a piece of used gum that was alleged spit out by Brit spears. ( and they were likely happy about their purchase)

    By the sounds of it you delivered a quality product for just under the going rate.

    Well done IMHO.

    Regards,
    Vince
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      I have worked in customer service and sales for years.

      ...More prospects will claim the product is too expensive or a rip off then those who buy, agree on the price and walk away happy. Its just a numbers game and you don what any marketer or business person would have.

      Also it just depends on the value the prospect puts on the item.

      I was in Reece (plumbing store) the other week and saw a new dunnie (toilet) for 1,200 Bucks! Let me tell you that if i had a nice big home and my dunnie blew up that 1,200 dollars would seem great when shit is slowly seeping down my walls!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Rudge
    Ok cool, I feel better about it now. I knew what I was doing was legitimate but when I got those negative emails I started to doubt myself. I guess I'm just insecure.

    Tristen, yeah it pretty much is dropshipping... kinda. They're still selling those same guitars for the same price so I might just leave the ad up and see if I get anymore responses.

    Thanks guys

    Ben

    P.S. Vince, I just had a business idea... gonna start stalking gum chewing celebrities.
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  • Profile picture of the author gxd5
    Good job What you did is called arbitrage. Not only is it legit, it is one of the best ways to make money. The entire currency carry trade is based on this. You should do it as much as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlbertF
    It was your sale and they can't do anything from preventing you. If you got someone who is willing to buy, great!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      2 of them said I was a rip-off merchant and will be exposed.
      Those people are called idiots.

      1 of them said he saw the same guitar on eBay for $90.
      Did he buy it? I doubt it.

      The 4th one said "I have cash. When can I pick it up?"
      Rare breed - a real customer!

      You did business! Nothing wrong with that. You paid what the person asked when you bought it - and found someone willing to pay more.
      Buy low - sell high - it's called "profit".

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author FredJones
        It seems perfectly ok to me. I got some old coins (dated up till 1600-something unless I have been cheated by the roadside vendor - rather common in India) right now in India, and planning to list in EBay India.

        I bought them at what I thought to be a reasonable price, and I am planning to sell them at a "reasonable price" too.

        Now, is that wrong?
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    Yep, nothing wrong here. You did what every retail store does, buy a product then sell it at a profit. Anyone could have done what you did, but you were the one that took action. Nice job!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Stigson
    How can you ask if it was ethical? OF COURSE! You did business 101... He was happy, you were happy. I buy things because of quick delivery, VIP or whatever other 'awesomeness' that is involved.

    People buy for their reasons, not yours. So whatever his reason was, you don't have to think about it, just be happy you walked away with $90 and if I were you, I'd do this all day, 50 times if I could.. Heck even hire a kid to find the products cheaper for me

    I Say Nice Work, Very Entrepreneurial!

    - Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    It's pretty obvious that we have a consensus here - you did good Ben!

    Congratulations on your sale...


    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author ajeetroy
    Nothing is unethical with this, all the big companies do it. Its called marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam101
    Banned
    Ha! Your question is no question at all! Of course what you did was ethical. I would have been unethical if you sold a guitar that you know was defective.
    The entire global trade works on the same principle of buy low and sell high. The nasty emails that you got must have been from your competitors, who are jealous that somebody has cottoned on to their "niche".
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    • Profile picture of the author floodrod
      I agree, I see no problem with your method. If you expand, you will have to play by the tax rules, but there is a set minimum you have to reach before you pay income tax. Also must watch out for local sales tax is you progress in this line of biz
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    I know people who buy Amazon Gold box deals and then flip them on eBay.

    The deals are normally pretty good and if you can keep your money tied up for a few weeks, you can double it.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketing1012
    I dont think anything is wrong with this buddy, thats what an entrepreneur would do right?

    You didnt sell anymore then RRP. infact $10 under, so well done in my books
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  • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
    The first guy: was a competitor.

    The second guy: I'd tell him to and buy that $90 guitar...what's he doing hanging around my ad then. Yep, tell him right off to go and save some money and get it where he found it cheaper.

    The last guy: well, they were a genuine customer! $$$

    Adeel
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  • Profile picture of the author GoGetta
    This is the art of trading! Congrats! If they were happy then you have done the right thing. Do it again!

    GoGetta
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  • Profile picture of the author Smokey_Joe
    Not unethical, you offer and people accept at their own discretion. You are completely clean unless you are selling guitars that fall apart two days after the purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    No you didn't do anything wrong. Reselling items is perhaps one of the best businesses around!

    You will get e-mails from people saying that it's a rippoff. (just as you experienced)

    BUT

    Some people don't care about the price. They see something, they like it and they buy it.

    AND those are the people that you should target!



    Originally Posted by Ben Rudge View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    This is a short tale of the easiest $90 I ever made... with an open question at the end.

    I found a website that was selling a $260 guitar for only $160. So I bought it and straight away placed a free ad on a classified ads site offering the same guitar for $250.

    The next day I had 4 emails:

    2 of them said I was a rip-off merchant and will be exposed.
    1 of them said he saw the same guitar on eBay for $90.
    But...
    The 4th one said "I have cash. When can I pick it up?"

    So after contacting the 4th guy, I delivered it to his door and walked away with a cool $90 profit. He was happy, I was happy.

    What are your opinions? Did I do the wrong thing?

    I have always been taught to "buy low and sell high" so I have my own opinions on this but I'm interested to see what others think.

    Regards

    Ben

    P.S. Anyone else wanna buy a guitar?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      You should be ashamed of yourself.

      Should have sold it for $360.

      Where's your sense of profiteering?

      All kidding aside, this is how our free market system works every day of the
      week in just about every business you can think of that sells stuff.

      The PC I bought from my tech guy last April didn't cost him no $3,000 to
      put together, but he sure as hell had no problem charging me that much
      for it.

      But you still should have sold it for $360
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      • Profile picture of the author bigtex
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        You should be ashamed of yourself.

        Should have sold it for $360.

        Where's your sense of profiteering?

        All kidding aside, this is how our free market system works every day of the
        week in just about every business you can think of that sells stuff.

        The PC I bought from my tech guy last April didn't cost him no $3,000 to
        put together, but he sure as hell had no problem charging me that much
        for it.

        But you still should have sold it for $360
        Thats funny and I agree!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    This is exactly what shop owners do: they buy at 25$, place it on sale and sell it for 50$.

    Nothing wrong, and the way to make cash: buy low, sell high.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bert Ritz
    It's called opportunity and free enterprise. It's done everyday, everywhere. I know someone who goes to the local thrift store, buys things (particularly on the 50% off days) then spends the weekend selling the items at the local flea market--for 5X more.
    Anyone could have gone to the thrift store, instead of the flea market, but didn't.
    I had a friend that sold an old collectible on Ebay--cheap. Within days, the buyer reposted it at a much higher price (she didn't know what see had). She wasn't mad, she thought it was funny. But it's the name of the game...opportunity!
    I've bought things at garage sales and ebay that the people didn't know what they had and resold for much, much more because I did know the value.
    Nothing wrong with it at all. Envy is a prevalent cancer in society today.
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  • Profile picture of the author KylerDamon
    No one forced him to buy it from you, this is how business are done, buy Cheap to Sell it with Profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adaptive
    Hi Ben,

    You provided a service: you made the guitar available at a lower than usual price, to people whose homework stopped at the classified ads. You told the truth about what you had for sale, and nobody was hurt. Sounds to me that's in tune with ethical business.

    Regards,
    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
    That's what makes America great!! Capitalism!

    There's nothing wrong with what you did....there is always someone who will pay for something that they want....and it's not like you ripped them off....they got a guitar out of it!!
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  • Profile picture of the author warlords
    Ben, if you think that's unethical, you should be a pope.
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  • Profile picture of the author Craig Fenton
    Hi Ben:

    There is nothing wrong with selling a product for a profit as long as the item doesn't have a financial ceiling on it. For example in the U.S.A. there are only a handful of places where you could buy concert tickets/sporting tickets and even if you were offered a million dollars profit be able to take the money. Most states have a reseller restriction above a few dollars past the face value.

    For the guitar if you got 700.00 that was simply good business. The only part I don't understand is why would somebody talk about being a rip-off and want to report you? If they see it cheaper they have the right to get it for less but how did your post upset anyone?

    Thanks and keep making money!
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  • Profile picture of the author Hililuud
    Ha, I would like to do the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author iwanttomakemoney
    I don't see anything wrong with that scenario at all! Well done. I would have done the exact same thing
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    • Profile picture of the author melanied
      Not only is there nothing wrong with what you did, it's actually the foundation of commerce as we know it. Buy low, sell high. That's what business is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yudha Andika
    Nothing wrong with your cases...I can say, its nice job mate...its really easy money...lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Lancheres
    This is how business works... buy low, sell high. Perfectly fine in my books!

    Not to mention, I'm sure that guy is really happy to have gotten it for $250. I personally think that the ethical problem that you have lies in in the fact that YOU don't think the guitar was worth $250 (which makes sense since you bought it for $160).

    It's nice to see that you're trying to help everyone out by getting them the best deal possible. You have a good heart.

    However, business is business. It's not about ripping people off, it's about selling things that people want at a price they are willing to pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    Actually, it was very unethical. Please send me the difference and I'll go give it back to the person you ripped off. Really. You can trust me. Really.

    TomG.
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  • Profile picture of the author JennyDeen
    Hi Ben,

    All I can say is well done. There is absolutely nothing you did wrong, but everything you did right. I guess the 4th guy wanted it bad enough to pay to get it. Tough cookies to the other guys.

    Jackie
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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
      It depends on if you want a repeat customer or not. In this instance, it probably doesn't matter, but let's say you were selling something and you'd like your customer to come back. If he finds out he overpaid, by quite a bit, he probably wouldn't buy from you again.

      Not saying it is wrong, people in Real Estate do it all the time with RTO and Lease Purchases, but just something to think about.
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