To fall out with a friend over trying to sneakily sell me something

(53 Posts)
Cheeekmate Fri 07-May-21 23:29:31

Absolutely fuming with one of my close friends.

I’m always very generous with him (and all my friends). I invite him for dinner all the time, if I have tickets to an event I think he’d enjoy, I invite him along. We’ve been friends a long time. I do ok financially but am by no means wealthy or in the position to throw my money around, nor do I offer my friends generosity with the expectation of it being reciprocated.

He rarely reciprocates with much generosity but he’s quite an unusual character (and I suspect a level of Aspergers or similar) so I've never given it much thought.

Today I felt he crossed the line massively.

He sent me a message to wish me a nice weekend and ask what plans I had, which was really out of character. He then said he’d bought a gift voucher for a restaurant but he couldn’t use it, so if I wanted to use this weekend it I was welcome to it.

I was really pleased, particularly as he can be a bit tight sometimes. I thanked him and said how kind it was. Then I realised....

Of course, he was trying to sell it to me. He’d bought it and realised he didn’t want it. He wasn’t even trying to get some of his money back, he was trying to sell it at full price (possibly even to make money out of it as he’d bought it at a discount). The fact he’d disguised his request as a really nice offer, was both embarrassing (for me) and crass (of him).

If he’d outright asked if I wanted to buy it, I’d have been completely fine. However, the way he went about it has really bothered me.

I literally never fall out with my friends but this has made me want to blow my lid. I read him the riot act when I realised but it’s made me want to cut ties with him entirely.

AIBU? It was hours ago and I’m still so angry!

OP’s posts: |
Lollypop4 Fri 07-May-21 23:32:14

What a twat.
I hope you reminded him of all you've gifted him...

CharlieSocial Fri 07-May-21 23:32:21


ilovetomatoes Fri 07-May-21 23:35:26

Is there something else going on here? Is there a massive disparity in income? I earn a lot more than a lot of my old friends just because of the industry I’m in. There are often awkward money situations but I brush them off rather than getting angry as money is a strange thing and brings out weirdness in people. Would not get crazy mad at a one off scenario.

Bramblebutter Fri 07-May-21 23:37:25

Sounds like he is pretty thoughtless. I've had friends that are a bit anti social, I've out grown them

AmberIsACertainty Fri 07-May-21 23:43:19

Well if all that happened is what you've posted above then yes YABU, because I can't see anything there that makes me think he's expecting payment for it? Your post reads as though you've jumped to conclusions and just had a massive rant at someone who made you a kind offer confused

Cheeekmate Sat 08-May-21 00:12:08

I double checked with him and he confirmed that he was indeed trying to sell it to me!

OP’s posts: |


EmeraldShamrock Sat 08-May-21 00:15:44

I'd definitely bin the scrooge.

Teenagehorrorbag Sat 08-May-21 00:37:43

Well if he is on the spectrum maybe he didn't get all the nuances - you understood in the end and said no, so that should be it?

If you felt brave you could explain that it came across that he was offering a nice gift and then you felt disappointed?

If it's any consolation - MIL has a friend who visits every few weeks (outside, at the moment). She bought herself a tray of plug plants for £2 and then left them outside and forgot them for several weeks. They were brown and dried and she took them round to MILs as MIL is an expert gardener, to see if they were salvageable. MIL said possibly, and friend then said 'OK you can have them for a pound'!

MIL was a bit stunned as friend isn't normally tight - but gave her the money even though she didn't even want the plants. Needless to say, her green fingers did bring them back to life so all good - but WTF...grin??

friendlycat Sat 08-May-21 00:42:27

That isn’t very nice. As you say fine if he had been structured as “would you like to buy my voucher?” Perhaps he’s not good at communicating but saying “you are welcome to it” implies it has been gifted to you.

Best put down to experience. If it’s a good friend as you say, hopefully with time once you’ve calmed down and a bit of space and time the friendship can continue. Chalk it down to experience. No it’s not that nice, but do you want to blow out a friendship over this or not.

memberofthewedding Sat 08-May-21 01:33:51

Some people are really cheeky at trying to get you to do things for them for free.

I made myself some really lovely face coverings out of vintage fabric of which I have a big stash. Id been to my nephews for his birthday (same support bubble) and as I was getting out of the taxi a neighbour called to me over the fence. She asked where I got the face covering and on hearing that I made it, asked if I could make her one.

I was really taken aback and said " I hadnt thought of making them to sell. I dont have the time and this fabric is one of a kind so it would have to be quite expensive. Sorry!" She said "Oh, right...." In a tone which immediately let me know that she expected me to make her one for free!

Lesssaideasymended Sat 08-May-21 01:49:19

Pre Covid my DM had several vouchers for a restaurant that she wouldn't use so she gifted them to various people. Every one of them asked her how much she wanted for them, as I would have. She didn't want any money though.

Although I appreciate how it was put may have implied different.

OwlBeThere Sat 08-May-21 02:00:38

I don’t think he did anything wrong tbh.
You say you don’t do things to get things back, yet you also keep tabs on him not doing things for you. maybe he needs the money? I would never assume it was a gift if he’d rung me and said that, I’d have asked what he wanted for the voucher and said thanks for thinking of me.

OwlBeThere Sat 08-May-21 02:04:06

Also, if you think he’s autistic (the term aspergers is outdated, Asperger was a eugenicist, autistic people don’t really want that association for the most part) then he probably wasn’t sneaky. People with asd don’t generally have the greatest social communication skills.

mainsfed Sat 08-May-21 03:49:59

Of course what he did was wrong, not only was he not upfront about wanting to sell the voucher, he tried to make a profit from you by not selling it at the price he bought.

He sees you as a soft touch as you pay for him so much and he never has to reciprocate.

I would ditch him, but the very least never pay for anything for the twat again.

Taikoo Sat 08-May-21 04:00:50

I agree with above - he's a wanker.
You really need to ditch him, you're only being used.

Nitpickpicnic Sat 08-May-21 04:06:14

I understand you, OP. I have two (best) friends who prefer not to ever host anyone at their houses. I’m a natural host, and love cooking and entertaining. For years they didn’t even (separately) bring wine to my place. They’ve both managed to spend many whole weekends at mine without contributing anything.

Eventually I said something- quite calmly and casually- but probably there was an ‘edge’ to my tone. It had never crossed their minds- they were surprised and then mortified. They had no explanation for why they didn’t contribute or reciprocate.

They’re better now, but if things slide I’ve been known to send them my very enthusiastic child for the weekend- she can be just as exhausting and expensive to feed as they can. Plus I get some heavenly time to myself!

OP, don’t regret your blow up at him. It’s a natural consequence of his behaviour. And follow it up (calmly) with another conversation soon. Explain that while friendships don’t have scoreboards, there’s a certain lack of reciprocity that equal taking the piss. It’s also up to him to track the fairness of your friendship, or suffer the consequences. A grown up can handle it. My friends did (mostly). The blow up also means you have something to refer back to ominously when he does it again. Some people need that, sadly.

eatsleepread Sat 08-May-21 04:08:02

It's shit, but he's only in part to blame. You shouldn't have assumed that it was a freebie.

I wouldn't ditch a friend for this situation alone, but would if it was part of a series of (stinginess related) grievances.

mainsfed Sat 08-May-21 04:11:51

Usually if someone tells a friend they're welcome to have something, it's offered as free.

He was hoping to create a sense of obligation. So he tells OP she's welcome to have it, OP agrees, he then says £100 please, thinking it will then be difficult for OP to say she doesn't want it after all.

Nandocushion Sat 08-May-21 04:37:57

I am moving and have been offering furniture and kid items to neighbours. I have been very clear that they are free - we do not want to take quite a few things, and will have to pay to have them removed if people don't want them - but the neighbours still ask me several times how much money they can give me for the items. I have had to be very direct that they are doing ME a favour and not the other way around - but they have been very careful not to assume, and I do think that is a wise idea for you going forward, whether with this friend or not.

I agree also that as you say you believe he is autistic, he may well not understand what he's done wrong (speaking from experience here), so when you have calmed down, I would do as PP have suggested and explain to him why what he did was wrong. It's a lot less awkward of a conversation to have when the other person is on the spectrum.

OwlBeThere Sat 08-May-21 12:51:16


Usually if someone tells a friend they're welcome to have something, it's offered as free.

He was hoping to create a sense of obligation. So he tells OP she's welcome to have it, OP agrees, he then says £100 please, thinking it will then be difficult for OP to say she doesn't want it after all.

You can’t possibly know that was his train of thought. You don’t know him, you don’t what he was thinking.

ThatIsMyPotato Sat 08-May-21 12:54:03

Have you explained to him that usually people make it clear on first ask if they expect money?

mcmooberry Sat 08-May-21 13:24:26

No, you were NBU, he needed telling. How disappointing that the one time you thought he was being kind and generous....he wasn't.

sunshinesontv Sat 08-May-21 13:30:40

I thing he's a cf and I'd want a break from him too.

But if someone offered me a voucher, my first question would be 'how much do you want for it?' (even if I thought they'd refuse any money), giving myself the opportunity to say no if it was too expensive.

I don't think you should have assumed it was a gift, and the embarrassment you feel about that assumption is the main reason you're cross imo.

But yes, he's still a cf. If you'd told him you were going to that particular restaurant, I could understand that offer, but pushing you towards it so he could flog you his unwanted gift is mean.

JensonsAcolyte Sat 08-May-21 13:32:27

I had an awkward situation with a friend a few years ago where I (gladly and without expectation) helped her out while her parent was dying. Several 100mile round trips to the hospital (she doesn’t drive) and afterwards physical help with clearing the house. She offered me the pick of some items useful to a hobby I had, none were in particularly good nick but I could have used them. She then messaged me saying ‘we’ll call it £50 for the lot?’

She was grieving so I cut her a massive amount of slack, returned the stuff. But it did make me see her a bit differently and I felt like a mug.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in