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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?

Myimaginarycathasfleas Sat 06-Apr-19 16:17:29

OK, your DB's reaction to discussing the terms of the loan tells you what you need to know. He clearly feels he's offering something of great value so he's unlikely to take it on the chin if the item gets damaged or lost whilst in your DS's care. Thank him for the generous offer but the responsibility of returning such a treasured item in a pristine condition would be a worry.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 06-Apr-19 16:19:49

"But DB also says he might want it back at some point"
So it's not a gift - not in any shape or form. It doesn't even look like much of a loan - more of a 'I want you to store this item for me and I will inspect it closely at a later date to ensure you stored it to my satisfaction'.

Nope. Sod that for a game of soldiers. Your brother sounds like he's trying to get out of buying his nephew a birthday present. Mean.

I would decline this gift-that's-no-gift-at-all.

kaldefotter Sat 06-Apr-19 16:22:16

I think you should decline this supposedly generous offer. It sounds like in a couple of years your DB will be demanding you replace his item with a brand new one because of some perceived damage (what reasonable people would call wear and tear).

SecretNutellaFix Sat 06-Apr-19 16:23:47

Your DB is being an arse.

He wants to use you as free storage for potentially a large item, and could possibly demand it back with no notification in its original condition.

If he' giving an item as a gift, it must be the item, not just the use of. If it's a loan then he needs to be clear about that and you need to be clear back that keeping it in it' current condition is unlikely to be guaranteed if your DS is to use it at all while on loan to him.

I think it's a drone, if it is and your DB wants it to remain in it's current condition then he needs to give a different gift and retain it himself.

jarhead123 Sat 06-Apr-19 16:38:45

YANBU, your brother is. Probably easier to decline

sollyfromsurrey Sat 06-Apr-19 16:40:16

dinkydolphin you seem to have failed to think of all the possible consequences of this 'gift' of a loan. What if the item gets damaged? Will the Ds be responsible for replacing it with a brand new one for Db? That would end up being a really really bad present. What about wear and tear? What if Db decides the wear and tear is not reasonable and demands a replacement? The loan of something is not a great gift for anyone let alone a young person who with all the will in the world, may damage or lose the item. What if someone else damages the item in a way that was completely not the fault of Ds? WOuld Db demand a replacement? Again, bad present. Either buy the kid a present or don't but creating a future problem is a really bad idea.

sollyfromsurrey Sat 06-Apr-19 16:40:55

dinkydolphin you seem to have failed to think of all the possible consequences of this 'gift' of a loan. What if the item gets damaged? Will the Ds be responsible for replacing it with a brand new one for Db? That would end up being a really really bad present. What about wear and tear? What if Db decides the wear and tear is not reasonable and demands a replacement? The loan of something is not a great gift for anyone let alone a young person who with all the will in the world, may damage or lose the item. What if someone else damages the item in a way that was completely not the fault of Ds? WOuld Db demand a replacement? Again, bad present. Either buy the kid a present or don't but creating a future problem is a really bad idea.

ilikemethewayiam Sat 06-Apr-19 16:49:26

I would say that your DB must stress to your DS that it is a loan and that he is totally responsible for its safekeeping. Say you will not take responsibility for its safe return. Its either a gift or a loan but you will not be involved.

greenlynx Sat 06-Apr-19 16:50:38

Your DB is BU. And his reaction is very telling. He sounds as a type who would demand equipment back and won’t consider wear and tear. I won’t put 13 years old in this situation.

LuvSmallDogs Sat 06-Apr-19 17:51:52

I vote that “a gift comes with ribbons, not with strings” becomes a MNism!

Yeah, I wouldn’t be comfortable with the responsibility of a long term loan of something like that. It sounds like a catalyst for family drama.

AppleCiderVinegar Sat 06-Apr-19 18:34:34

Thanks all for your replies. It seems like most people see this the way I do, though not all, interestingly!

I'm not ungrateful that my DB offered to loan the item, that would've been a kind thing to do.

My issue is that he started off talking about it as DS's birthday present, and got DS very excited about it. I thought it was an extravagant present and very generous, but tbh he doesn't need it anymore and I'd pass things on to family members in a similar situation.

Then the alarm bells started to go off - for me - when he started saying lots of things about how careful DS needed to be in looking after it, in case DB needs it back.

Of course DB is not under any obligation to give DS an expensive present! But I'd never give someone a present with strings attached, and the whole thing makes me nervous!

AppleCiderVinegar Sat 06-Apr-19 18:38:39

And yes, I agree that gifts coming with ribbons not strings puts it perfectly!

Aeroflotgirl Sat 06-Apr-19 18:44:05

Nope not a gift, I would refuse that even as a loan, it is very stupid of your brother to entrust a 13 year old with this expensive item, and I would not want responsibility for it.

alittlesnow Sat 06-Apr-19 19:16:55

@AppleCiderVinegar

Sounds like your brother wants to lend this stuff out, and then ask for it back, so he can complain, and say it's broken/faulty now, and insist you buy said item(s) new for him.

The way he is blathering on about you being 'ungrateful' is very telling, and suggests (to me) that he is after someone to buy new for him.

I am guessing golf clubs. fishing tackle maybe???

Whatever, tell him to stuff off. I have had this before. A 'friend' of DH's insisted on lending us his camcorder (back in the late 1990's) and we didn't want to as it was £450 worth of kit at the time (about £800 in today's money,) even though it was 2 years old or thereabouts...

But he insisted! So DH reluctantly took it from him, and we used it on our holiday (to Paris,) took some footage, and gave to back to him.

Surprise surprise... The day after DH gave it back, his 'friend' rang him and said it was broke, even though it was FINE when we gave it back. (Over 20 years ago now, so I can't remember HOW it was broke; bust lense or something.) He said we 'probably didn't mean to break it' and that he was happy to accept half towards anew camcorder... (About £225 - or £400 in today's money!)

Long story short, it caused a big argument as DH refused to cough up. He said we never asked to borrow it and we never broke it.

We all fell out after that, but it turned out he was not much of a friend anyway! (Not doing THAT to us!) Even to this day, we both swear that he lent it us, just so he could break it, then blame someone else for it being broken, and get someone to cough up towards a new one!

outpinked Sat 06-Apr-19 19:21:05

You cannot ask for a gift to be returned, once you offer a gift that then belongs to the recipient. This would not count as a gift, it’s a loan at best.

Friedspamfritters Sat 06-Apr-19 19:25:16

I'm with you and most PP I'd tell Dbro that you're not going to be responsible for such an expensive item if he might want it back in a specific condition as you can't guarantee what will happen to it while travelling.

ScrewyMcScrewup Sat 06-Apr-19 19:28:36

I'd tell your brother you can't accept because you can't guarantee it wouldn't be damaged in an accident, and there will be wear and tear in any case. He needs to realise this isn't a "great gift" (wtf at the previous poster who said that!) but a burden on you and your son.

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