Money Moral Dilemma: Is it OK to sell items from pound shops online for a profit?



  • elsien
    elsien Forumite Posts: 31,092
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If people are daft enough to pay it without checking the price elsewhere that’s their lookout. Ditto the pound shop selling things more cheaply than they need to. I’m failing to see any sort of moral money dilemma here at all.
    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.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Forumite Posts: 6,735
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    I don't see any moral problem either.  People are evidently willing to pay the price, and it's not price gouging because the items are freely available elsewhere for cheaper (and I doubt these are basic essentials either).  And besides, sometimes people know they're available for less but are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to go and buy it for themselves (or are not able to, but again evidently think it is worth paying the higher price).

    The only issue is if trading on this scale is not reported to HMRC - and they're not actually obligated to do that until the following tax year.
  • keithyno.1
    keithyno.1 Forumite Posts: 81
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Short answer: Yes. It's a free market economy.

    if people are stupid enough to pay up to £9.99 online for something they could have bought for £1 in a pound shop then all power to this poster for their entrepreneurship and business acumen!
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Forumite Posts: 5,783
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    You said "I've received messages accusing me of profiteering." - who sent those and how did they know what you were doing?

    You haven't stolen the goods from a pound shop, so they are yours to do with as you wish, surely?

    Shortly after I retired I went through a phase of buying old collector-type books from eBay and selling them on amazon. It was very short-lived though. I made hardly any profit and it was very time consuming. I'd signed up with HMRC as a business person and everything but shortly afterwards decided to shut up shop when amazon selling became very complex. I never did make any profit and wasn't called upon to pay tax. I wouldn't do it again.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • gothvixen
    gothvixen Forumite Posts: 30
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    I am an avid bargain hunter, and spot when items appear on ebay.that I know have been sourced very cheaply. Bulk buyers have been guilty of ordering large quantities of boots/coats/bags from and even using the site's own photos to sell them. I find this immoral. Plenty of people need bargain items because they can't afford them at full price. Bulk buyers who swoop in as soon as they're online will deprive some impoverished souls from having a warm coat, or young girls from getting a pretty prom dress. I imagine many different scenarios, because there are too many people in real poverty. On that basis, how do you condone such profiteering?
  • bikaga
    bikaga Forumite Posts: 131
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    I don't know why anyone would take issue with that, other than that they wish they'd had this idea. But do be a good citizen and pay your tax on this.
  • yfc54
    yfc54 Forumite Posts: 1
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    Any product is only worth as what someone is willing to pay so go for it.
  • Bonnypitlad
    Bonnypitlad Forumite Posts: 71
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    Good luck to you, I think it is called private enterprise 
    Perhaps for personal reasons you’re not able to have a “ normal” income, but are you sure you’re making a profit when postage, packaging and your labour are factored in?
     I once bought some funnels from EBay, when they arrived I realised they were identical to items in my local Poundshop 
    I was a little disappointed, but they were delivered quickly to my door and I had avoided the journey to the town centre 
    A cheap lesson, I’m now much more careful in researching items sold on eBay 
  • jenniewb
    jenniewb Forumite Posts: 12,832
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    MSE_Sarah said:
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Over the last few months, I have made over £2,000 selling things online thanks to MSE's eBay & second-hand selling tips. One thing I've been doing is selling £1 items from discount stores for as much as £9.99. While this has made me a decent sum, I've received messages accusing me of profiteering. Is that fair? After all, I'm not forcing people to buy things from me.

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't answer Money Moral Dilemma questions as contributions are emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value. Remember that behind each dilemma there is a real person so, as the forum rules say, please keep it kind and keep it clean.

    B If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
     Got a Money Moral Dilemma of your own? Suggest an MMD.
    Depends what it is you're selling and if it's in limited supply, eg (and I know this won't be anything you have but) recently we've been told there are no/limited supplies of tomatos. If you were to be buying up the supermarkerts around you to sell on when you're aware that tomatoes are gone from the shelves for many, than selling tomatoes is just wrong- on moral grounds IMO. You could come back at me saying "but it's not essential, and you can always eat something else", but what about those who for whatever reason have a limited repotoi? People like myself who struggle with a long term chronic eating disorder and can't get our heads around changing what we were used to relying on. Or those that have allergies and already limited by that may find a certain type of food is one of the few things they can manage. What I'm trying to explain by example here is that there are many reasons why someone may need that extremely limited item, so if it does sell out and sell out in a few places, I think it would be wrong to be trying to profit from this.

    But if it's just a case of selling on something like Branston pickle or the Wet and Wild nail polish or something, where the same version is not sold out, that's fine to sell on. It would be those that are abroad or those that can't get to a pound shop that would be buying. I'd not be as concerned at people in that camp because it would seem as if they have free choice. If someone is dependant on something, don't buy out the store and leave none for everyone else. Karma has a funny way of getting back from you what you took out sometimes! 
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