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How would you react to this one?
Old 01-07-2008, 09:33 PM   #1
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How would you react to this one?

So you've had a friend for 15 years -- you met him at work, you and your wives see each other every couple of months, and you invite him to your guys-only dinner a couple of times a year.

You have the friend and his wife to dinner one evening and while the girls do their thing, you take him into the attic to look at fishing equipment (or whatever -- fill in the blank).

While you're up there he notices some old model airplane kits you have had since childhood -- you always meant to put them together but never got around to it. (You probably have your First Communion money too, but that's another story.)

Friend (who sells a LOT of stuff on Ebay) says "Hey, those are E-Bay-able," so you tell him -- "those old things? What the heck, go ahead and try to sell them." Friend does.

Friend comes back to you a month or so later and tells you he was right about their having value, and that he got a total of about $1,000 for them. He hands you a $20 bill and thanks you for giving them to him.

Now, while you know you meant that he should sell them for you, you admit that you didn't make that entirely clear, probably because you didn't think they were worth much anyway and were being casual about the whole thing.

But somehow you're still not feeling quite right about the whole thing.

Question: What's your next step?
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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....
WOW Remind me never to p*ss you off
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
Friend comes back to you a month or so later and tells you he was right about their having value, and that he got a total of about $1,000 for them. He hands you a $20 bill and thanks you for giving them to him.
Let's see..giving someone $20 for a $1000 gift would be an insult. Giving someone $20 for something that's worth $1000 would be in insult.

Either way I think it was an insult..probably by a doofus..but still an insult.

I believe the standard rate for having someone sell something for you on Ebay is they get to keep 20%. I'd tell him he owes you $780.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
So you've had a friend for 15 years -- you met him at work, you and your wives see each other every couple of months, and you invite him to your guys-only dinner a couple of times a year.

You have the friend and his wife to dinner one evening and while the girls do their thing, you take him into the attic to look at fishing equipment (or whatever -- fill in the blank).

While you're up there he notices some old model airplane kits you have had since childhood -- you always meant to put them together but never got around to it. (You probably have your First Communion money too, but that's another story.)

Friend (who sells a LOT of stuff on Ebay) says "Hey, those are E-Bay-able," so you tell him -- "those old things? What the heck, go ahead and try to sell them." Friend does.

Friend comes back to you a month or so later and tells you he was right about their having value, and that he got a total of about $1,000 for them. He hands you a $20 bill and thanks you for giving them to him.

Now, while you know you meant that he should sell them for you, you admit that you didn't make that entirely clear, probably because you didn't think they were worth much anyway and were being casual about the whole thing.

But somehow you're still not feeling quite right about the whole thing.

Question: What's your next step?
In retrospect, I guess you should'a been more specific.
Only you know you friend. You might want to explain the situation to him if he's the type that will not take offense. If not and you want to keep this friendship, then write it off. $1000 isn't going to change your life.
If you don't care, tell him what you were thinking and you'll find out what type of character he has (although I suspect you already know what he is).
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:43 PM   #5
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I think you should bring them back up in the attic and find something else to sell. Hey, you could make another 20 bucks and you'll get your attic cleaned out.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:46 PM   #6
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Maybe he thought that you gave him the attic stuff just to get rid of it...probably not. One might have expected him to split the e-bay money with you. To tell you he made $1,000 on the sale of your attic goodies and give you $20 tells me that he's an insensitive jerk. If you tell him that you didn't "give" the goodies to him and that you want 50% of the e-bay sales, he might give it to you and things will be OK again. If he says no, just think how strained working with him is going to be.

When I was working, I had work-friends and we got along great, some better than others. We exchanged gifts (weddings, baby showers, etc.), ate lunch, vented, consoled, etc., but all within a work environment...never in my home. Outside of work, I had another set of friends. I chose to do this to avoid situations like the one you find yourself in now.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:16 PM   #7
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Friend comes back to you a month or so later and tells you he was right about their having value, and that he got a total of about $1,000 for them. He hands you a $20 bill and thanks you for giving them to him
What kind of person deliberately tells a "friend" he got $1000 for your stuff and then gives you only $20? Does that make sense? Really? Possibilities to choose from:1) He is a total clueless jerk. He did get $1000, and is totally insensitive.2) He is pulling your leg. He really got $20 for the stuff and gave it all to you.3) He was not sure if you "gave" him the stuff, or expected to get the proceeeds yourself. So he is exagerating a hypothetical situation to pry out your "real" response.Taking a real shot in the dark, I don't believe anyone would be that totally clueless and insensitive that option #1 is true. Someone may get $1000 and keep it and give the owner $20, but I don't think they would "tell him" so, especially if it were a 15 year friend. I don't believe it.My guess is, he was pulling your leg.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:19 PM   #8
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Well I wouldn't be inviting him to my house anymore.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:25 PM   #9
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Just to clarify, folks, this happened to a friend of mine -- if I myself had ever had model airplane kits they'd have been long gone by now...

youbet, that was hilarious, and probably closest to what my friend WANTED to do...
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:26 PM   #10
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Tell him that you're still laughing at the $20 he gave you. Slap him on the back and say, "but I am concerned that the $480 check you must have put in the mail has gotten lost. After all, we both work hard for the money, and that 50/50 split will come in handy!"

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Old 01-07-2008, 11:27 PM   #11
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ok, just saw this didn't happen to you. Insert proper pronouns.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:43 PM   #12
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When I was working, I had work-friends and we got along great, some better than others. We....... ate lunch, vented, consoled, etc., but all within a work environment...never in my home. Outside of work, I had another set of friends. I chose to do this to avoid situations like the one you find yourself in now.
Ditto. W*rk was w*rk, and leisure was leisure.....and never the twain met! Mostly anyway....there were 2 guys who were (and are) good friends, and we did spend some time away from w*rk together, and have for many years. Other than them....nope.

In regard to OP, I agree with youbet....as a starting point!
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:23 AM   #13
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There is too much missing from this account to make a proper call.

What "contract" was made between the two parties when the models were "given" to the friend? What were the expectations of the original owner and were they discussed? Was there any discussion on getting any money for the sale or were they a gift to the friend for him to sell? If this is the case then the original owner has no reasonable expectations for financial gain as they were given away.

No contract means the original owner should have no expectation of financial gain from their sale by the "new owner". The $20 was a gift back to the original owner as a sign of gratitide for being willing to give them away.

The $20 gift seems like petty unless there was no expectation of any "cut" from the sale of these models. But, without knowing the full details of their "contract" I can't really make a judgement.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:07 AM   #14
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Dont need a contract to know right from wrong where I come from.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:52 AM   #15
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Hmmmm. Now if he'd bought it from you for $20 when he saw the kits, that would be one thing, but he sold them and then paid you for the kits. In other words he's acting as an agent or partner.

I'd suggest you express your feelings about the matter, that you value your friendship but feel taken advantage of. Tell him what you think is fair, suggest to him that that agents typically earn a 10-20% commission for their services plus expenses (so $200 would be his share), then suggest it was more of a partnership, and that a 50-50 split after expenses would be more fair.

If he doesn't go for it . . . perhaps you need a different friend.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:53 AM   #16
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... Take pics of him and sell them on Ebay.
wow. that was harsh.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:44 PM   #17
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I would never have put myself in that situation.

When the person said, "Hey, those are E-Bay-able," my response would have been, "So then, do you want to buy them from me to sell on E-Bay?" $20 then exchanges hands - - then, not later. Or, I would have said, "You can have them to sell on E-Bay, then. I don't want anything for them."

Later, when he comes back after selling them and tells me he got $1000, I would say, "Wow!! You did a great job of spotting something worth a lot on E-Bay! How did you learn to do that?" He would either say,

1) "You sucker!" (in which case the friendship is over), or
2) "I knew it would sell for more than $20, but was amazed at what I got!" Then he and I would share countless pleasant hours discussing it and perusing E-Bay together.

Along with borrowing and lending, this is one of those situations that I avoid like the plague. Friendships are generally worth a lot more to me than the value of the article involved. Avoiding misunderstandings about money and things, is a firm foundation for a friendship. Mutual agreement on loose guidelines for such things within the friendship shows respect for that friendship.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:34 PM   #18
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It really comes down to what were the parties' intentions at the time of the original transaction. Was the model plane owner just looking to have someone haul off junk? Or did the model plane owner think of the ebayer friend as an agent to sell the model planes on his behalf? A diligent owner should have specified what type of commercial relationship they were entering.

In terms of how much I, as the model plane owner, would feel is fair to receive (assuming the arrangement was ambiguous but I honestly wanted the ebayer to act on my behalf) - I'd inquire as to how much work the ebayer spent on selling the stuff. If the guy had to auction off 20-30 models and research each one in depth, photograph it, and write up a description, then accept payment and package/ship each one, then he may have earned a majority of the $1000. If he sold them as a lot w/o putting much work into it, I'd expect the ebayer to keep a small portion of the $1000 (maybe $200-300) for his efforts and ambition and give the remainder to the model plane owner.

An honest ebayer friend would have initially disclosed that he might be able to clear $1000 from selling them, but it would be a bit of work - hey, let's work out a deal mr. model plane owner - 50/50 after ebay fees? Deal!

Or if the ebayer didn't know the planes would fetch that much at first glance (maybe there was a rare expensive kit among many more common kits?), then upon discovering the planes were rather valuable, the ebayer should have told the plane owner that fact and allowed the plane owner to negotiate the commercial relationship or take the planes back and sell them himself.

I've hired a guy to sell stuff on ebay on commission and also sold collectibles as a lot (consisting of 40-50 items) to the same guy so he can resale for his own benefit. It ends up he was able to sell one of the books I sold him for $100, almost the full amount he paid me for the entire lot of 40-50 items. Hey, my loss for not knowing what my stuff was worth. But this guy was an arms-length negotiator, not a friend.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:34 PM   #19
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Hmmmm. Now if he'd bought it from you for $20 when he saw the kits, that would be one thing...
I wouldn't be OK with this either. This is like stealing candy from a baby. One party has definite market knowledge that his friend lacks. If he is a friend, he should say those might be worth a lot of money on EBay. I would leave it right there. The models kits belong to the owner-friend. Some might feel ok about also saying, I could sell them on Ebay, how about you give me 20% for my effort? If it were a friend, and I was used to EBay, personally I would sell them gratis as a friendship matter, and give all the money less fees to the owner.

If I were the model owner, I would feel fine about this 20% deal. On the other hand, if he gave me $20, taking advantage of my lack of knowledge and and my trust in a "friend" to be fair, I might be sticking pins into his effigy for a long time, and for sure he would know with utmost clarity that I considered him to be dirtier than dirt. I also would demand $500, and get it or not I would be done with the scumbag.

Ha
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:07 PM   #20
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Sorry, I don't believe it. Something was lost in the translation. Nobody is going to say "Hey, I sold them for $1,000, here's $20." Even if the friend said "Hey, you can have all this stuff, and I don't want any money -- it's all yours." The 1000/20 thing isn't going to happen.
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