Money Moral Dilemma: Should I ask my mother-in-law to share the money she's made selling my stuff?

edited 21 September at 2:42PM in Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales
39 replies 27.1K views
MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
196 Posts
Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
MSE Staff
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

She sells goods at car boot sales, including items I've given her - the majority of which are brand new. I presumed I would see a return, but when I asked her if she'd made anything on what I'd given her, she said with the cost of the pitch, petrol and her time, it was impossible to work out. Yet I recently discovered she has £500 saved from all this.

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  • ElefantEdElefantEd Forumite
    974 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    You gave your m-i-l the items - so they are now hers to do what she wishes with. It may be a bit rude of her to sell them on instead of using or enjoying them, but that's up to her.

    I wouldn't be giving her anything else in a hurry though!
  • bikagabikaga Forumite
    94 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
    Has she made £500 from 100 items of which you gave 5, or of 100 items of which you gave 90?
    It sounds like a toxic situation, either she's lying to you or you're spying on her questioning how much she makes and doubting what she says.
    Most of all you (like most of the folks posting here!) need a good long honest chat with her about what you were expecting, why you're disappointed, and if you can figure out something that works for you both. A group of random strangers won't know your exact situation.
  • LouispastramiLouispastrami Forumite
    5 Posts
    First Post First Anniversary
    Hello. Unless you had an agreement to split the money, why on earth should she give it to you? She relieved you of the pain of doing a car boot sale yourself! You could have sold them yourself but you chose not to. 

    In short - no! Of course not!!
  • annibell79annibell79 Forumite
    12 Posts
    10 Posts Second Anniversary
    If you gave these items to her as a gift, then it's up to her what she does with them. But if you gave them to her specifically to be sold at the boot fair was she aware that you were giving them to be sold on your behalf? You should have made it clear what you expected when you gave them to her. 
  • You said you gave them to her so i don't see why you should expect to share the profit from the sale. What if they failed to sell, would you be offering to share the cost of the pitch, the petrol and the time she spent on this? 
  • Bored_Bored_BoredBored_Bored_Bored Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    If you give stuff away, you lose all right to decide what happens to it or to profit from it.
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
    2.9K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic

    If you wanted to share her profits with her, then maybe you could have discussed with her what she intended to do with the items you gave her at the outset. Then you could have shared the costs and gone to a car boot sale together.

    You obviously didn't want the items you gave her - whether they were new or not - and they became hers to do with as she thought fit. She decided to sell them. 

    Now you want a share. But she did all the hard work - she went to the trouble of arranging a pitch, paying a fee and travelling to and from a boot sale with maybe a mix of items that she had already and wanted to get rid of and the stuff you gave her.  

    You don't know that the £500 is all profit from what you gave her and as she said, she has her costs to consider.

    Don't be mean. You gave her the stuff because you didn't want it. She made a profit from it. You could have sold it yourself on ebay or amazon or Facebook marketplace, or at a boot sale yourself, if you had wanted to make a profit from it. But you didn't want to and she did. Lesson learned.

    If there is a next time, ask if you can share all the costs and go along with her, then you can ask for a share. As it is, she's done all the hard work, she deserves the reward. Car boot sales are no picnic!
    My opinions are strictly my own. The forum advises everyone to double-check all information given by any forumite to ensure accuracy. Once commented, I rarely return to a thread, as per this "the moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on" (origin Omar Khayyam). I aspire to the (corny but true) saying - in a world where you can be anything, please be kind.
  • Davebingham1979Davebingham1979 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Suck it up and don't be so naive next time.  Put it down to experience.

    Or you want to create long term problems for a few quid?
  • SheepsterSheepster Forumite
    118 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Did you sort through the stuff? Did you label and value it? Did you get up at stupid o clock to secure a pitch at a popular car boot, have to run the gauntlet of traders making aggressive insulting offers, put up all morning (easily 6 hours the time these sales start or longer even)? Did you use your petrol and effort for all this? Did you get your lazy backside there? No…no…no! 

    So why should you or someone just step in and take the proceeds of all that work? 

    Then again, if you don’t like it, don’t give her stuff next time…. Sorted
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