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'Giving' a birthday present but on loan terms

(67 Posts)
AppleCiderVinegar Sat 06-Apr-19 13:59:08

My DS and DB share a hobby. DB has a piece of expensive equipment he no longer uses which he's said he'd like to 'give' 13 yo DS 'as a birthday present.'

But DB also says he might want it back at some point so DS must look after this 'gift' in order to be able to return it in pristine condition in the future.

I asked DB to clarify whether this is in fact DS's birthday present or actually a loan. DS is very responsible and will value and take care of this thing but if he uses it for its intended purpose it will potentially travel with him and could get damaged or stolen. Also, I don't think birthday presents work like that.

Attempting to discuss this with DB has resulted in him becoming angry, offended, and calling me ungrateful.

Who is BU?

KC225 Sat 06-Apr-19 14:43:44

Bloody cheek. Him not you. I think hat s quite a mean thing to do to a kid. Loan him the equipment, and stick a foldable spendable in a card. Its not difficult.

Knittedfaires Love your 'a gift comes with ribbons, not strings' and I shall be using that in the future.

Margot33 Sat 06-Apr-19 14:47:19

Thats not a gift but a loan. It's sounds like a big responsibility for a child to look after, due to its high monetary value. I think you're quite right to clarify the 'gift'.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 06-Apr-19 14:47:47

Well, it isn't a birthday gift, but then your brother is under no obligation to buy your son a birthday gift anyway. That's up to him.

SleepWarrior Sat 06-Apr-19 14:49:27

Unless your brother is generally a selfish arse then he probably just hasn't thought this through. If you remove the fact that it's a birthday, then loaning his expensive item IS a generous and nice thing to do.

It doesn't really work as a gift, but unless you want to fall out with your DB I'd be very careful how you word it as it could come across as pretty ungrateful.

I'd say something like "Wow, that's a lovely and generous offer to loan DS your X. However, the chances of something happening to it whilst he travels don't seem worth the risk. I'd be concerned that the worry of it going missing/getting broken, plus the cost of replacing it for you, would also remove all the enjoyment. Thanks so much for thinking of DS though, I really appreciate it."

If he is generally a selfish arse then offending him doesn't really matter!

cstaff Sat 06-Apr-19 14:51:56

Who is the child here. It sounds like your brother is a big child. Tell him to grow the fuck up and definitely use the ribbons not strings phrase. That sums it up perfectly.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 06-Apr-19 14:53:12

That isn't even a helpful loan. The helpful sort accept that wear and tear will occur. It's a burden of responsibility.

I'd much rather buy, borrow or occasionally hire a cheaper version of the thing, than carry the risk of having to buy DB a new one.

Boysey45 Sat 06-Apr-19 14:54:45

Your brother is a tosser, either you give a child a gift or you don't, not some stupid loan.
Tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine and buy your son what he needs.

Hellywelly10 Sat 06-Apr-19 15:01:01

Whats the item op?

Hellywelly10 Sat 06-Apr-19 15:01:56

Anyway whatever it is db is being a knob head.

AWishForWingsThatWork Sat 06-Apr-19 15:02:39

Your brother's an arse, and your calling him out on this was the right thing to do. Refuse the loan' and tell him he can give your son a birthday gift or not, but if he chooses to give one, it must be an actual gift.

TonTonMacoute Sat 06-Apr-19 15:12:51

It sounds like a poisoned chalice, it's just a big argument waiting to happen.

redwoodmazza Sat 06-Apr-19 15:15:35

That is NOT a gift!

Knittedfairies Sat 06-Apr-19 15:18:32

Knittedfaires Love your 'a gift comes with ribbons, not strings' and I shall be using that in the future

I'd love to take the credit for this but I can't; I read it somewhere years ago and it stuck.

MenuPlant Sat 06-Apr-19 15:19:41

Sounds like your brother will be asking for it back in 3 years or something and will be terribly disappointed that it's not in mint condition and you have to buy him a new one.

If your son is to keep it in mint condition then clearly he can't actually use it, as there will be wear and tear. Even a tiny scratch and bingo your brother gets a new one.

I think no is the answer it's not a gift and the loan would be cool if it wasn't for the unreasonable mint condition (or presumably replace) expectations.

VanGoghsDog Sat 06-Apr-19 15:30:11

My sister's MIL used to do this all the time - 'give' her some jewellery, or furniture, then five years later ask for it back.

In the end sister just stopped accepting things from her.

But, yes, your DB is BU!

Inliverpool1 Sat 06-Apr-19 15:34:30

Also will this item need updating or be updated at some point in which case DB will probably want to trade it in and up, which is where the slightest dint could become an issue or have a monetary value you’re expected to reimburse. I’d say no thank you

DuckbilledSplatterPuff Sat 06-Apr-19 15:35:12

It's not a present. £20 in a card is a birthday present.

Effectively, it's storage and caretaking and free insurance of expensive equipment. Like a fee free hire agreement.

I agree with @MenuPlant.

Can your son save up for similar equipment second hand on ebay? Your DB is silly to sulk. I expect he was trying to be generous and thought you'd all be delighted, but he clearly values his equipment very very highly and can't see that a gift with strings attached isn't really a gift. Maybe he could let your DS borrow the thing under his supervision, without you or teen being "responsible" for it. That would probably be more appreciated by your son anyway.

Its good that your DS has an interesting hobby and I hope he has a lovely birthday.

rosablue Sat 06-Apr-19 15:36:44

Is it something that takes up quite a bit of space by any chance?

I reckon that your db is thinking that it is a cunning way to store the item without taking up space in his house or having to pay for storage - but to then be able to demand it back at his convenience and with the chance of demanding a new, up to date version if there is even a teeny scratch or issue with it even due to normal use (because sometimes it is easy to say you need to replace this because it has been stolen/broken/crashed - it's obvious that there is a problem. It's the little everyday wear and tear - little scuffs and scratches, tiny dents, worn handles and so on that mean it's much more difficult to agree to a new one - you say it's obvious that if you give something like that to your ds that he is going to use it so it will obviously reflect lots of use as your ds is into his hobby so uses it a lot, which your db knows - your db counters that he hasn't looked after it enough, it should still look pristine, he wasn't expecting him to use it all the time, just occasionally on special occasions and you're left at loggerheads.

Definitely sounds like one to avoid...

viques Sat 06-Apr-19 15:37:52

I know it is fairly common to lend someone an upgraded musical instrument so that they can progress, but that is a loan, not a gift. If that is the case the terms need to be made clear and the transaction called what it is.

If your brother no longer uses the thing, whatever it is , he needs to either relinquish it and gift it properly, sell it and let someone elapse have use of it that way, or put it up in his attic like the miserly tightfisted arsewipe he is coming across as.

Acis Sat 06-Apr-19 15:45:51

The gift is the free use of an expensive item. Maybe it's a guitar, free use of a good guitar is a great gift, maybe it's a mountain bike, free use of an expensive bike is a great gift.

Not when it is conditional on returning it when asked in pristine condition. That means it can't be used freely, and imposes an obligation to buy a new one to replace it if it gets lost or damaged in any way. That isn't a gift.

BabyBadger2 Sat 06-Apr-19 15:54:43

This shouldn't be a confusing thing! You are being gifted the loan of an expensive item.


Would you still have an issue with it if it wasn't sold as a birthday present?

My dad gift/loaned me his very nice SLR camera when I was 16. He never asked for it back but I was grateful for the opportunity to use it. Maybe sensible to ask about insurance etc and what happens of it gets lost or broken though.

CheerioHunter Sat 06-Apr-19 15:57:28

Nope. A gift comes with ribbons, not strings.

Oooo, that's good.

BringMeTea Sat 06-Apr-19 15:58:46

Sounds like a way of getting out of buying a gift while feeling magnanimous. Just don't accept this 'present' OP. Graciously of course.

Sparklesocks Sat 06-Apr-19 16:01:14

Yes I would be off with it too, it’s a lot of pressure for your DS to look after it and he probably wouldn’t be able to relax with it in the same way he would if it was outright his. What if something happens and it gets broken/damaged, are DS/you expected to buy a new one? And when will he decide if he wants it back?
I think it should be one or the other - either an outright gift, or a loan for a specified amount of time.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sat 06-Apr-19 16:07:23

I'm sure your DB means well, but I would decline or (if already received) get it back to him ASAP. I would guess he doesn't have kids? Just explain that you don't want your DS to have the pressure of worrying about the item getting damaged.

The fact that your DB gets umpty when you try to discuss it bodes ill for the future if you let DS keep it.

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