Real life MMD: My £1 charity shop vase is worth £750 — should I split the profit?

Former_MSE_Debs Former MSE Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 12 June 2012 at 4:47PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: My £1 charity shop vase is worth £750 — should I split the profit?
Our family are big fans of charity shops. On a recent visit, my daughter bought a pretty vase for £1.50. On getting it home and cleaning it up, she noticed it was a rare signed original, and took it to a local dealer for verification. It's now to be sold at auction, with a reserve of £750. If it sells, should she give all or part of her profit to the charity shop?

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  • Coveredinbees!!!!
    Coveredinbees!!!! Forumite Posts: 3,924
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I wouldn't
    Nothing to see here, move along.
  • Sambucus_Nigra
    Sambucus_Nigra Forumite Posts: 8,669 Forumite
    I'd go into the shop and ask what would happen if I'd accidentally given them an item that was potentially worth £750 - would they be able to help trace it for me. If they were nice, apologetic and run around trying to help then I'd give them half the cash. If they told me it was hard cheese, and any money was theirs or the new owners, I'd give it to a different charity but I'd tell them this before I left the shop.

    It's all about attitude. ;)
    If you haven't got it - please don't flaunt it. TIA.
  • nutty_girl_2001
    nutty_girl_2001 Forumite Posts: 20 Forumite
    As an item's only worth what it sells for, I'd take the estimate with a pinch of salt, donate £100 to the charity, and pack the vase away with the estimate so you don't forget it and donate it 10 years down the line!
  • JSS
    JSS Forumite Posts: 15 Forumite
    Strictly speaking she should tell the charity shop, who should then try and contact the person who donated it originally, as you can be sure they wouldn't have given it to a charity shop if they'd realised it was worth £750! However, realistically, it's unlikely the charity shop would know who had donated it - so, as they only acted as the middle man here, and have gained the £1.50 they thought it was worth, if I were your daughter, I would probably just give them £50 or so and keep the rest - after all, she's the one who went to the trouble of cleaning it up and finding out what it's worth. And good luck to her for being so sharp-eyed!
  • bossymoo
    bossymoo Forumite Posts: 6,924
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'd probably give them a bit, depending on how much it actually went for. Maybe not 50/50 though, as pp says, she took the trouble to look into it.

    Away with the fairies :beer:
    POPPYOSCAR Forumite Posts: 14,892
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I would give a donation to them, yes.
  • cotsvale
    cotsvale Forumite Posts: 397
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I would give them half minus the £1.50!
  • whitewing
    whitewing Forumite Posts: 11,852
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    While it would be good of you to split the cash, I actually don't think that you should feel obliged to, unless she specifically bought it knowing that it could be valuable and didn't mention it to the shop then.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • geri1965_2
    geri1965_2 Forumite Posts: 8,736 Forumite
    I probably would give them something. Half seems fair. I wouldn't tell them why though, just let them think I am a generous benefactor!
  • janiebquick
    janiebquick Forumite Posts: 432
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Charity shop staff are trained these days in antique identification, so it's really their fault they missed it. Of course, your conscience may suggest that you give that particular charity an extra large donation.
    'Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.' George Carlin
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