Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    Former MSE Penelope
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Pete bid for Carl's amp on eBay?
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 10, 2:41 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Pete bid for Carl's amp on eBay? 12th Apr 10 at 2:41 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should Pete bid for Carl's amp on eBay?

    Based on a true story. Cash-strapped Pete has been longing for a new guitar amp, when his mate Carl puts an old one on eBay with a 50 start price. New to eBay, Carl adds no photos & has a zero feedback rating, so buyers could be dubious. Similar second-hand amps have sold for c.400, but no one's bid yet with one hour to go. Pete's tempted to put in a last minute bid to bag it for 50, but worries this is tight on his mate.

    Click reply to have your say

    Previous MMDs: View All

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 21-04-2010 at 9:30 AM.
Page 1
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 20th Apr 10, 9:49 PM
    • 4,462 Posts
    • 6,958 Thanks
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 10, 9:49 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 10, 9:49 PM
    So Mick gets it for 50 and then gives his mate another 200 when he collects it. No Ebay or Paypal fees on the 200 so everyone's a winner.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 20th Apr 10, 10:03 PM
    • 5,850 Posts
    • 9,985 Thanks
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:03 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:03 PM
    I expected this question to be completely different.

    I'd most likely buy it and then let them relist it with some help, although I'd offer to give them 200 which sounds reasonable to me. Up to them if they chose to except it though.
    • mesb210776
    • By mesb210776 20th Apr 10, 10:07 PM
    • 175 Posts
    • 2,150 Thanks
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:07 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:07 PM
    to be fair, if he put it on ebay for 50, he must be willing to let it go for that. I would do it, it may also encourage someone else to bid too, but if not his mate's got 50 and he's got an amp.
    • poppy10
    • By poppy10 20th Apr 10, 10:15 PM
    • 6,150 Posts
    • 7,449 Thanks
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:15 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:15 PM
    Better 50 than nothing, surely? I don't see the 'dilemma' here.
  • hlcarroll
    • #6
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:18 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Apr 10, 10:18 PM
    and surely he would rather it go to his mate for 50, than a total stranger who might also bid 50 in the last minute? I know who I would rather get a total bargain!
    'Patience is a virtue till we die.
    Then a ripple in the water caught my eye'
    Mrs Jason Orange.
    Getting organized and thrifty for christmas 2010!
  • sorbet4a
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 10, 12:12 AM
    Yes, Pete SHOULD buy the amp!
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 10, 12:12 AM
    Absolutely - Pete should buy Carl's amp. This auction is open to all bidders - the amp could easily be sold to a stranger who chances on it. If Pete has worries about the transaction he can approach Carl and maybe offer him a bit more, if he really feels the sale is unfair.
    • Choppit
    • By Choppit 21st Apr 10, 12:23 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 10, 12:23 AM
    Let the auction run its course
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 10, 12:23 AM
    Technically the thing to do would be to let the auction run its course without placing a bid. If the item didn't sell then a transaction can be carried out outside eBay. If Pete were to bid, this could be interpreted as a shill bid and potentially lead to suspension of one or both accounts.
  • pretzelnut
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 10, 12:26 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 10, 12:26 AM
    Anyone nowadays can use a free snipe that only adds a bid in the last few seconds, so as theres no bids yet, it aint over till it over, so although its at 350 now it could well easily jump in the last seconds.

    But i agree, you should list it at a price your willing to accecpt, i list all things i dont want to sell cheaply on buy it nows, anything small that i just want rid of gets put on for 1p.
    Is thankful to those who have shared their
    fortune with those less fortunate
    than themselves - you know who you are!
  • wonkey_donkey
    the dilema is that Carl is preying on his mates innocence and inexperience of ebay. if he was a proper mate he'd offer him a decent price off ebay and get him to pull the auction early.

    Taking it for 50 off him is no way to treat a mate. i'm glad i don't have some of you lot for mates!
    • jamespir
    • By jamespir 21st Apr 10, 6:54 AM
    • 18,725 Posts
    • 19,767 Thanks
    i woudnt bid cause if you knew the apps worth more than thats mean id let it brun its course then help him re sell it better
    Replies to posts are always welcome, If I have made a mistake in the post, I am human, tell me nicely and it will be corrected. If your reply cannot be nice, has an underlying issue, or you believe that you are God, please post in another forum. Thank you
    • janbanan
    • By janbanan 21st Apr 10, 7:37 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    No, I would not buy anything from a friend on ebay...
  • BingoMum
    I'd probably recommend Carl puts a reserve on his amp, if it's still a decent price I'd bid on it, otherwise I would use BargainChecker to search for brand names of amps and grab a bargain anyway
  • Sublime
    So... who's Mick?
    Originally posted by 1ipstick
    Thats what I just thought. Is it worded incorrectly? Are Pete and Mick the same?
  • menorah56
    There is no MMD...we all look for bargains.
    Carl & Pete are friends, therefore Carl is most likely aware of Pete's need and financial situation.
    Carl's chosen to offer the 'amp' to all bidders in preferance to giving Pete first refusal.

    In the event Pete secures the 'amp' for 50 he'll owe nothing more to Carl because he's buying in an 'open market'. Furthermore, Pete has no obligation to reveal his 'bidding identity', many bidders remain anonymous for all sorts of reasons.

    Carl has the option to auction the item with a 'reserve'. If he chooses to sell without a reserve he must therefore be happy with whatever final bid he receives.
    • kevanf1
    • By kevanf1 21st Apr 10, 8:46 AM
    • 297 Posts
    • 210 Thanks
    I'm a member of an online fishing club angling not phishing We all often have bits of gear that we offer to each other at the start price we would put it up on eBay for. There's no problem and if nobody wants it then it goes on for that start price.

    I really don't see a problem here or a dilemna.
    • A.Jones
    • By A.Jones 21st Apr 10, 8:48 AM
    • 506 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    Technically the thing to do would be to let the auction run its course without placing a bid. If the item didn't sell then a transaction can be carried out outside eBay. If Pete were to bid, this could be interpreted as a shill bid and potentially lead to suspension of one or both accounts.
    Originally posted by Choppit
    It would not be interpreted as shill bidding. Their is no link between the two accounts, and so long as Pete didn't go to his mate's house to place the bid, there would be no suspicion. Someone from the same town as you bidding on one of your items would not be flagged as shill bidding.

    I'd bid 200 if I thought it was worth 200 and I was willing to pay 200. If it was left to run without a bid, chances are it would be sniped in the ast seconds by a stranger anyway. At least then, if someone else bids, he will get a decent price. If not, I get a bargain and he sells ata price he was willing to accept.

    Or, I might tell him to stop the auction, take decent pics and relist it.
    • kalaika
    • By kalaika 21st Apr 10, 8:48 AM
    • 702 Posts
    • 848 Thanks
    The question implies that Pete is more experienced at using eBay than Carl. I would have thought that the moral question should really ask why Pete has seen his mate's listing but then hasn't helped Carl put a proper listing up that would generate more interest. As a mate surely that would be the morally right thing to do? As part of that discussion, Pete could then say to Carl that he would be interested in buying it from him and then listing on eBay might become redundant anyway.

    However, in this situation, as there is only one hour to go, Pete should bid on the amp himself to hopefully avoid a stranger nabbing it for a song, and (assuming he wins) Pete can talk to Carl afterwards about agreeing a price that both are happy with so that both get a fair deal.
    No trees were killed to send this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced. - Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson)
    • tabbycat2k
    • By tabbycat2k 21st Apr 10, 8:55 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Well it depends on your definition of friend. He either says he is interested and they come up with a fair price, or he helps him by suggesting improvements to his listing eg photos and encouraging blubrb - or he rips him off.
  • diva28uk
    I feel the right thing to do would be (if Carl is more experienced using eBay which he sounds to be)

    Either offer to list it for him and do a proper listing with pictures and proper discription, also taking in to account that Carl probably has some feedback will help with the final amount or offer to help him do his own listing with photo's etc (as you will have explained this attracts more interest and therefore more bidders=higher sale fee)

    That would be the right thing for a friend to do. A friend wouldn't be looking to profit from his friend or to take them for a ride.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

51Posts Today

841Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a great Easter, or a chag sameach to those like me attending Passover seder tomorrow. I?m taking all of next?

  • RT @rowlyc1980: A whopping 18 days off work for only 9 days leave! I?ll have a bit of that please......thanks @MartinSLewis for your crafty?

  • RT @dinokyp: That feeling when you realise that you have 18 days of work and only used 9 days of your annual leave! Thanks @MartinSLewis h?

  • Follow Martin