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Ethics Question
Old 06-18-2009, 09:38 AM   #1
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Ethics Question

I had the ad below in Craigslist recently. Someone called about it a day or two later. He asked about the processor speed, and when I said I didn't know, he said "Well, beggars can't be choosers," and said he was sending a friend to pick it up.

The friend comes and I show him that it works, and we then put it in his car, and I say "What about the $65?" The guy says "Oh, my friend didn't mention the cost -- ha ha, he's so flakey!" and wrote me a check.

So, I realize now that the guy certainly misread the ad. I'm thinking I'll cash the check and then send him a "rebate" for $30. $65 is a pretty good price to get for the monitor, and also I think that the computer will be used for some charity thiing.

Your thoughts?
---------------------

17" Sylvania LCD Monitor + Free Computer! -- $65

I used this monitor with the computer that was hooked to my digital piano, but I now use a laptop, so the monitor (with the computer thrown in for free) is for sale. The max resolution of the monitor is 1024 x 768. The color is crisp and clean.





It works great with no problems, and it's quite thin.



It's nice and clean. The smudge you see in the top right is from a piece of old tape. I removed it, but there's still a slight mark:



The computer is an old Micro Millennia Pro, which was hot stuff in its day, but that day is long past. It works fine, however, with two small hard drives (1 MB and 3.9 MB), a zip drive, CD drive and floppy drive. It's running Windows 98. The keyboard and a Kensington Orbit trackball are included.

Give me a call at xxx-xxxx and come pick it up!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:09 AM   #2
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I'm confused - did the guy take only the monitor for $65 and not the rest of the equipment ?
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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Al, I do not see what the ethics problem is . The guy did not read your add correctly .It was clearly stated . This is one of the biggest complaints from ebay sellers . People do not read the terms and then are upset . If you feel the need to refund some money to ease your conscience go for it but you did nothing wrong .
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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I'm confused - did the guy take only the monitor for $65 and not the rest of the equipment ?
I'm glad I'm not the only one...
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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Hard to misread the ad. It does say $65 for the monitor.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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Keep the money. You did nothing wrong. But you are a nice person to have given it some thought.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:17 AM   #7
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The bigger story here, in my mind, is that you accepted a check for a craigslist sale. You have far more faith in humanity than I do.

As far as the "rebate", I agree with others. You did nothing wrong; I thought the wording on your ad was very clear (the title perhaps *slightly* less so). It's not your fault if people don't actually read what you've written.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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If the guy is not happy, he can bring it back. Plus, $65 for a nice monitor and a computer is a pretty good deal.

However if you feel really bad, you can send me the $65.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:45 AM   #9
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You advertised a monitor for $65. I assume the friend picked up the $65 monitor, as well as the freebie computer. Why would you want to slash the monitor price to $35? When I get freebies i ask questions about them, but not looking a gift horse in the mouth, and realizing that beggars can't be choosers, i don't push my questioning. Think that's what went on here and that you can cash the check and spend it happily.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
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I, too, don't see anything wrong with cashing the $65 check. When I look at a listing on eBay or craigslist, the first thing I look for is "$" signs. It's clearly in the title and the text. You don't need to worry about it.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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The bigger story here, in my mind, is that you accepted a check for a craigslist sale. You have far more faith in humanity than I do. . . .
I'd say the faith is going both ways. The buyer gave Al his bank account information.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:01 PM   #12
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Way to stick it to 'em, Al...
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
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Give me a call at xxx-xxxx
How did you get that telephone number? Mine has all numbers...
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:20 PM   #14
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Yes, he got the monitor and the computer for $65.

Thanks for the advice. I guess I won't give a rebate.

I wouldn't normally have taken a check, but the pickup guy (and his girlfriend) hadn't brought cash because they thought it was free. They seemed trustworthy, and I decided to take a chance.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:41 PM   #15
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So what's the next sweet giveaway deal looking like?
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:43 AM   #16
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While you're technically entitled to the bux you got, the use of cute pricing wording sucks and should be avoided. Everytime I see one of those ads where the seller is offering a valuable item "free" but is charging a bunch for some doodad that comes with it, I cringe. The last one I saw had a kevlar canoe offered free but the bundled paddle that came with it was $900. Oh how funny...............
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:00 AM   #17
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I think your ad is clear and the guy just paid his $65 "stupid tax".

Let us know if the check is any good.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:48 AM   #18
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While you're technically entitled to the bux you got, the use of cute pricing wording sucks and should be avoided.
I have to agree T-Al. The words "$65" and "FREE" in the same line serves what purpose exactly?

Sure, it isn't hard to figure it out, but a quick glance could give someone the wrong impression ($65 monitor, free computer). The line "give me a call and pick it up" even reinforces that (no mention of payment). And the guy did say his "friend" was "flaky", so maybe the guy did think he was getting the computer for free.

I guess, if your intention was to charge $65 for a computer and monitor, you should say that. Any attempt to be "cute" is going to create potentials for misunderstanding (or alleged misunderstanding).

At any rate, if the guy complains, go pick up the stuff and give him his check back. If he does not complain, then maybe he felt he got a reasonable deal, understanding the conditions or not. I wouldn't send him money back unless he called (and certainly not until after the check has fully cleared).

edit/add - there are even more hints here that the guy misunderstood your convoluted wording:
Quote:
He asked about the processor speed, and when I said I didn't know, he said "Well, beggars can't be choosers,"
So, he asked only about the computer, not the monitor? And, doesn't "beggars can't be choosers" imply he was getting something for free( not a bundle for $65)? What you were really selling was a computer and a monitor for $65. You were not willing to break them up, so the "free" thing is irrelavant and distracting - it's is two items for one price, not one item for $65 and one for "free".

-ERD50
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:28 AM   #19
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17" Sylvania LCD Monitor + Free Computer! -- $65

I used this monitor with the computer that was hooked to my digital piano, but I now use a laptop, so the monitor (with the computer thrown in for free) is for sale. The max resolution of the monitor is 1024 x 768. The color is crisp and clean.
Al, I see no reason to give a refund. Right at the very top of your advert immediately below the headline it is crystal clear that the monitor is for sale and the computer is thrown in for free.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:14 PM   #20
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it is crystal clear that the monitor is for sale and the computer is thrown in for free.
Now there's an oxymoron..........

The computer is only "free" if it can be had for zero renumeration with no strings attached to other items. There is a "free" section on Craigslist where things are actually given away and expressions such as TAl's ending phrase "Give me a call at xxx-xxxx and come pick it up!" mean exactly what they say.
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