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Money Moral Dilemma: I've tried to return the printer sent to me in error - should I now sell it?

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Money Moral Dilemma: I've tried to return the printer sent to me in error - should I now sell it?

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MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
165 posts
Third Anniversary 10 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
MSE Staff
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I received a parcel containing a wireless printer - it was addressed to me, but I hadn't ordered it. It seemed to have come via an online marketplace, so I contacted it and was told to keep the printer or dispose of it if I didn't hear anything within a week. This didn't sound right to me, and the sender's address was on the parcel, so I wrote to them. I haven't heard anything and it's been about a month. I've looked the printer up and it's worth about £50 second-hand. Given I've done what I can to try to sort this mistake out, is it OK for me to sell it?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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  • RandomMusingsRandomMusings Forumite
    3 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    It could well be that this item was purposefully sent to you so that the seller could leave a positive review.
    This happened to me with a seller on Amazon.

    So if you've tried to return the item, but they don't want it, then I'd say you are well within your moral rights to sell it on at a healthy 100% profit 👌🏻
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    231 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    I suggest you contact your local Trading Standards office for advice.  They are used to this sort of thing and you will get proper advice, not what Forum members think you should do.  You have done the right thing in sending them a written request about sending it back (hopefully you have a copy of your letter to the company) so you have done the right thing so far.
    I would hold off from selling it in case the company asks you to return it or give them the money you get for it though.  Trading Standards phone number is usually in phone books under the District or County Council headings.  If you can't find it, Citizens Advice Bureau will get it for you.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
    25K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Trading standards don’t give that sort of advice anymore. OP would need to try one of the consumer helplines. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    231 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Regarding my post about contacting Trading Standards, they still give that advice in my County.
    However, for all the legal bits about this dilemma, I suggest the O.P. looks at the information available online on "" where free advice is available.
  • crisbaxtercrisbaxter Forumite
    1 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Seeing you didn’t order the printer, send the company a letter / email saying that they have 28 days to collect their goods otherwise you will dispose of them. 
  • alexhassanalexhassan Forumite
    9 posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    The law isn't rocket science. An unsolicited product is a gift. Morally it's up to you how long you give them the benefit of the doubt for. 
  • royalhampshireroyalhampshire Forumite
    1 posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Write to the Company giving them 28 days to collect the item before you dispose of it.   Send by signed for mail.   Give them a little leeway after which dispose of it.
  • veronicabolanveronicabolan Forumite
    10 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    This has happened to me twice, the first time was when I bought a laptop with a 5 years guarantee.  I could not obtain the guarantee for the 5 years so contacted the Ebay seller who did not respond.  EBay refunded me the full money I paid for the computer, and just kept ignoring my messages about what I should do with it.  Then last year I bought a TV again on Ebay from Tesco Direct.  I was unhappy with its performance, and returned it.  They offered me a very large screen TV which I felt was too big for my room.  My money wad refunded in full and, a few days later, I received the very large TV I had turned down.  Several attempts to get them to collect it were ignored, and I now love my big free TV.  I took advice and was informed that since my attempts to return the unsolicited items were ignored then I was entitle to keep them or dispose as I saw fit. 
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
    9.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
     to sell it on at a healthy 100% profit 👌🏻
    Pedants' corner:  You can't calculate a percentage as the cost of the item is zero.  I do agree that the profit would be healthy!

  • Simpson119Simpson119 Forumite
    1 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Absolutely sell it, you did not ask for it and have attempted to return to no avail. No point it going to waste or cluttering up your house. Give the proceeds to charity if it makes you feel better
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