Money Moral Dilemma: Should I sell student discount laptops?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should I be selling laptops I buy with my student discount?

I'm a student who can get 15% off laptops, plus a free warranty that would normally cost £200. I've bought a few laptops and then sold them on eBay with the warranty. The buyer pays less and I make a little too – only the computer firm loses out. My friend thinks I'm abusing a student discount offered as goodwill. Is she right?
Click reply to have your say



  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Forumite Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    The computer company doesn't lose out they make the same profit margin. The high street retailers are being bypassed and they lose out.

    Your friend is correct you are abusing the privilege.

    I hope the taxman catches up with you and makes you pay tax on your profits and seizes your computer assets until you pay up.
  • newkitchenfund
    newkitchenfund Forumite Posts: 37
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    If you are buying goods specifically in order to sell on, you are classed as a business seller by ebay. (If you are simply selling on your own unwanted items then you are a private seller.) This gives the buyer all sorts of additional protection under ebay's terms and conditions, so beware. The warranty may also be invalidated when the laptops are sold on so your buyers may not be happy if they need to fall back in this.
    As a student you are unlikely to earn enough to have to pay tax (unless you are selling hundreds of laptops per year) but the previous post is correct - ebay 'business' sales are indeed liable for tax.
  • JeremyCH
    JeremyCH Forumite Posts: 35
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    In no way are you taking advantage of a discount being offered.

    The retailer is offering you a discount to attract your custom and, if you're making multiple purchases, they've clearly succeeded so are making more money than if they didn't.

    You are selling them on to a third party for a profit and that is absolutley fine - let's face it that is the whole basis of our economy

    Couple of cautionary points for you to consider though - what is the status of the warrently on the goods - does it transfer with ownership? Secondly, don't forget to declare all income/profit to the taxman - boring I know but better safe than sorry
  • anotheruser
    anotheruser Forumite Posts: 3,485
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Remember: The "computer companies" have a large mark-up on things like Laptops anyway so they aren't really losing out.

    If I was in your position, I would.

    I looked at discounts I can get with my work but by the time I have added selling fees, PayPal fees, it wouldn't be worth it for me. Local Facebook selling pages aren't that great for what I have to sell either.
  • Ron246235
    Ron246235 Forumite Posts: 10
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    The discount was not offered as goodwill! It was offered in order to get more students to buy the product. And I don't think there is a moral problem in buying things cheap and selling them for a bit more. That is how many people make their livings.

    However, you do have to follow the ebay rules, and you also have to declare the income to HMRC (not just because better safe than sorry, but because it's the law and it's the right thing to do). Phone them and tell them the situation. And you should probably check the small print in the warranty, to make sure that is still valid when you sell them on.
  • lukehanney29
    lukehanney29 Forumite Posts: 14 Forumite
    Well fair play to you, you've spotted an opportunity and taken it - an entrepneurial spirit. "Right" or "Wrong" can't deny its a handy bit of money making!
  • doctorblunkett
    doctorblunkett Forumite Posts: 30 Forumite
    Well fair play to you, you've spotted an opportunity and taken it - an entrepneurial spirit. "Right" or "Wrong" can't deny its a handy bit of money making!

    does the student discount T&C say specifically that you can't sell on to make a profit? if not, I echo luke above.

    if so, then you should be careful
  • iclayt
    iclayt Forumite Posts: 452
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 16 April 2014 at 8:40AM
    You're not abusing the student discount, you're making use of it. However, while I have no moral objection to anyone buying something and selling it for profit for themselves - we all know Alan Sugar started on a market stall - you are operating as an eBay business seller. See the definition here:, specifically you are a business seller if you "sell items that you have bought to resell" which you are quite clearly by your own admission doing. It doesn't matter if it's 5 or 50 laptops. I suggest if you don't want to comply with their policies and register as a business seller you find another way of selling your laptops on.
  • Kernow666
    Kernow666 Forumite Posts: 3,480
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    how much profit is this person makin

    say the laptop costs £300 less 15% student discount

    costs buyer £255

    ebay buyer pays say £290

    seller then gets £290 less 10% less 3.4% paypal & 20p so in theory isnt making anything if sold at slightly less than they would normally pay
    "If I know I'm going crazy, I must not be insane"
  • Ebenezer_Screwj
    Ebenezer_Screwj Forumite Posts: 437 Forumite
    Once you have bought a laptop, discounted or not, you possess the ownership of it, in other words it becomes your property to dispose of as you wish. Presumably the computer company is able to sell more laptops because of the discount, so where's the dilemma?
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