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or unethical to sell a book I've seen in a freecycle drop-off?

(38 Posts)
Bennifer Sat 06-Aug-11 13:50:41

At work we have a freecycle (where you can leave and take books, and donate whatever you feel is free).

However, I've seen a book in ours that is quite an expensive book. Would I be unreasonable or unethical to sell it on ebay (even if I split half the profits with freecycle?)

The value of the book isn't massive, but it would probably sell for £50 or so.

festi Sat 06-Aug-11 13:56:10

yes it would.

MrBloomsNursery Sat 06-Aug-11 13:57:12

Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers. Somebody parted from it and didn't know it's value. You do. This is how the world works. Have you never watched Bargain Hunt?

TheSecondComing Sat 06-Aug-11 13:57:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

festi Sat 06-Aug-11 14:00:24

maybe mrBloomsnursery someone gave it away for free in a charitable way and anyone exploiting that for thier own gain is unethical. just let someone have it for free.

HarderToKidnap Sat 06-Aug-11 14:01:19

I think it's fine - you're not stealing from anyone. You're just being smart. I'd bung a tenner to charity I think just to salve my conscience, but really, life is about opportunity, here is one to make a few quid and nobody gets hurt.

Bennifer Sat 06-Aug-11 14:07:59

So far, this is one that splits the crowd a bit. I can't help thinking it is unethical, but I can see the 'business' logic behind it.

QueenStromba Sat 06-Aug-11 15:10:29

How about you sell it and give half to charity?

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sat 06-Aug-11 15:12:17

I think it'd be unethical unless you give all profits to charity...

DizzyKipper Sat 06-Aug-11 17:11:41

I assume you meant 'fair' not 'free', but I don't understand what your donations go towards, would it be a selected charity of the office's choice? It seems straightforward enough to me - you're allowed to take books but are supposed to donate what you believe to be 'fair' for the book. So if you want to take it on ebay and sell it for a profit be sure to donate what you honestly believe to be fair.

Bennifer Sat 06-Aug-11 17:29:14

Yes, I did mean fair, I'm going with it being unethical at the moment. Thinking along utilitarian lines, I think the best thing would be to sell it (at a lowish price), and split the profits with the charity. As it stands, someone could take it for 50p. If I were to sell it for £40, £20 would go to charity, and everyone's happy. It's not as if I'm desperate for £20, but it pays for a night out

Still, I might need to think about this a little more.

moonstorm Sat 06-Aug-11 17:30:56

Time's are tough.... I would just do it blush

moonstorm Sat 06-Aug-11 17:32:10

But then you said you don't need the money, so not so sure (I've got £50 to last until the end of the month...)

southmum Sat 06-Aug-11 17:33:52

Agree with moonstorm. I wouldnt hesitate but would stick some money in to the charity.

Bennifer Sat 06-Aug-11 17:34:19

well, i'm not swimming in cash

mayorquimby Sat 06-Aug-11 17:40:00

Go for it. Literally can't see anything wrong with it.

MrBloomsNursery Sat 06-Aug-11 17:43:03

Oh just do it bennifer. Give a few pounds to charity and keep the rest yourself. I personally don't see the problem. It's not like you're stealing it from someone and selling it illegally.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sat 06-Aug-11 17:55:34

As I see it there is a dilemma because you may know the colleague who didn't have any idea of the book's worth when they donated it.

I would take the book and leave a minimal donation (£5 or so) and then endeavour to find out which of my work colleagues (round robin email?) left it on the freecycle shelf.

If able to make contact with them, I'd say that I believe the book may have some value and that I intend to put it on eBay and will share the proceeds (minus ebay fees, p&p, initial £5 donation) with them without mentioning the amount the book may achieve at auction.

If I were unable to make contact with the donor, I'd sell the book and put 10% of the net proceeds into the works' freecycle box.

Northernlurker Sat 06-Aug-11 18:01:57

What is the book?

LadyThumb Sat 06-Aug-11 18:17:17

If someone at a car boot sale was giving books away for free, would you say 'no'? It's no different, really. Just sell it, give some to charity, and keep the rest!

Breatheout Sat 06-Aug-11 18:25:38

That's fiiiinnneeeee! Jeez, people can be self righteous!

pranma Sat 06-Aug-11 18:32:12

What book would sell for that price?
Honestly.....literally......sell it!

BahHumPug Sat 06-Aug-11 18:36:57

Yup, it's unethical and to me it smacks a bit of greed. If you give some of the money to charity that would be better.

Tbh, the fact you've had to ask shows you had a pretty good idea it wasn't quite right. But it's your choice. I just think the person donated it with the hope someone would get a real thrill out of owning a book they love but couldn't have afforded otherwise. You're taking that pleasure away.

redheadbedhead Sat 06-Aug-11 18:37:39

totally unethical!!! defeats the whole point (and loveliness) of Freecycle!

GrendelsMum Sat 06-Aug-11 18:38:30

Sell it on eBay and give half the profits to charity. Everyone benefits.

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