MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Madge flog Harold’s stuff on eBay?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

Should Madge flog Harold’s stuff on eBay?

"Madge’s neighbour, Harold, is having a clear out and has left a heap of stuff outside for people to help themselves to if they want. After having a bit of a gander, Madge spies some items that would make a killing on eBay. Should Madge fess up to Harold or grab the stuff and make a small fortune? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should Madge flog Harold’s stuff on eBay?"


Click reply to enter the money moral maze (please remember, be polite to other MoneySavers, even if you disagree with them).

Past MMDs:


  • skylight
    skylight Posts: 10,716
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
    Harold is Dumping it. He does not want it. He obviously does not want advice either to see if it may be worth something as he would have asked someone before now.

    Unless he is a dodgery old man who is starting to lose his marbles, then take it, sell it and keep the profits. Why is taking Harolds dumped stuff any different from taking skipped dumped, or tipped dumped (Or dare I suggest ) freecycled dumped??
  • If you are happy if someone did that to you, you may think it OK. Perhaps you have lousy neighbours. But it isn't, in my opinion, good to act this way and morals are what define what is good and if it isn't good, in the general sense, it isn't moral. What makes you think that they don't want advice? If someone is ignorant of the value of something and thinks it is worthless then surely it is better to let them know. They may well say take it anyway and good luck, they may not. At least they will know you, their neighbour, can be trusted so you will have built yourself some goodwill for yourself.

    It may be, that like some of our politicians, you don't think anyone matters but you. Join the new morality.
  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    Yes she should! He dumped it so she owes him nothing...
    Why is it any different to finding something in a skip or buying something at a car boot for 50p because you know that it's possible to sell it for more money elsewhere???

    Editted to add: Apart from as a previous poster has suggested that the person dumping the stuff is unlikely to know the value and it is obviously something valuable like an antique. That is if the person is very old or has a learning disability or something similar...
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs :p :rotfl:
  • cheddar
    cheddar Posts: 563
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I don't see why she shouldn't unless it was something worth a LOT of money and you would either think that ther neighbour had lost it or that they had thrown it out by accident.

    I don't see how this is different to me one day finding an almost new designer dress in a charity shop for 50p and selling it for £40 on ebay. The person donated/gave it away. I happened to make a profit on it for next to nothing....
  • Be the good neighbour. Let's use our knowledge to help our friends and neighbours. Give our neighbour / local charity shop a hefty whack of the proceeds. Rather than taking advantage of our friends and neighbours, let's help them out - it's what living in a community / our society is all about.

    Not all benefits are monetary, we might make ourselves a few good friends - and next time they want to get rid of stuff - they'll ask for our help - and before we know it we've got a nice little business going.

    Just because there's no law against ripping your neighbour off - it doesnt make it right.
  • Completely agree with problemsolver and lastofthebarons.
    Harold may not know about the value of his stuff or about Ebay, or have a pc, and if you benefit from his generosity (he could after put all that stuff in his household refuse to be collected), you should let him know a/ what you think his stuff might fetch and b/ that you can sell it for him if he agrees: he might offer you to keep half or he might not, and you might gain a friendly neighbour who'll look out for you when you need it (those winter mornings when you need someone to help start the car?) or you might not. But if you were going to sell it anyway, it's not much trouble, is it? And yes you run the risk of being disappointed, but I'd rather be straight than not.
  • notken
    notken Posts: 82
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I would tell Harold that I sold them on eBay and share the profit with him. He would be over the moon for the extra money, and everyone wins.

    My business partner and I are sent various bits of crap from companies, and he can't usually be bothered to eBay it. I do, and I always give him half if I sell something that was sent to him but he doesn't want. But keep the lot if it was addressed to me! :beer:

  • No dout about it!! he didn't want it. If there really is a dought in Madges mind, then give a donation to her favourite charity out of the profit. Then she has not done it for her own profit but to help others as well.
    What problemsolver has said is right even though I would just sell it, I raise a lot of money for charity and sometimes charity begins at home.
  • id say keep it he dumped it he doesnt want it,sell it on ebay.
    :p dee mum of 3 "before you buy ...think,how many hours have i worked to pay for this?,do i need it? or can i get it r&r in tesco!! hee heee:A
  • joannie
    joannie Posts: 45 Forumite
    She should be a good neighnour and friend and tell him.
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