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Musings about reselling items bought from charity auctions...

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
As the charity auctions are fast approaching (can't wait! ), I got to thinking about them, and there is a phenomenon I have never quite understood...

Occasionally, when reading through TP or eBay auctions, I'll see reference made to items that were originally bought in a charity auction and therefore usually the seller, understandably, paid a great deal of money for them. So far, so good, right?

Except then the seller uses this explanation to justify why THEY should now get roughly that same amount of $ BACK for the items they are re-selling. Am I the only one who finds this assumption a bit confusing? :

When you originally buy something in a charity auction, the higher price you pay is to benefit the charity in question. That's fabulous -- you get great fluff AND the charity benefits at the same time! But....when YOU resell it, you're the only one benefitting from the sale, so why should you expect buyers to want to pay what you originally paid (usually well above market price)? Maybe I'm missing something here, but it seems a strange expectation to have...how is it, for example, any different from re-selling something you originally bought and accidentally (say, in the heat of an eBay auction frenzy :LOL) paid far too much for? You wouldn't expect to get your "overbid" investment back, so why the extra $ you paid for charity?

Just random musings, feel free to tell me I'm weird...

Guin
post #2 of 100
ITA and have wondered the same myself.

The buyer paid so much to benefit the charity not simply for the item. In essence if you ask above retail for the item when selling, you are asking the second hand buyer to pay some of what you donated to the charity.
post #3 of 100
I simply refuse to pay more than what it would cost me to either order that item or buy from the store or website. If it's a hard to get item, I might pay a bit more than the regular price, but I'd definitely have to think about it.

And, about used items. Why on earth do we see auctions going for same as new or even more than new? The only thing I can understand this for is if they are pre-washed only.
post #4 of 100
I actually found an item on the tp that was more than the original cost. I asked if it was new, no. I told the mama what the price went for new, and she said she ended up paying more for it during a frenzy on ebay. I quite frankly told her that if she was willing to go down in price for what a used whatever SHOULD be (I suggested a $) then i would be willing to buy it. She said she would rather sell it on ebay, where she knew she would get her money back.

Good point. For that PARTICULAR item, I bet she would get her money back. Not that that is fair either.

To further your line of questioning...

What if you get an extremely good deal on a used item on an overlooked auction (let's say it had a bad pic or something). Is it unethical (when you are done with it) to resell it at half of its initial VALUE (even if that is more than you paid for it?) You were the one that took the chance on the item, right? AND, no one HAS to buy it from you for what you are asking...
post #5 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaL
And, about used items. Why on earth do we see auctions going for same as new or even more than new? The only thing I can understand this for is if they are pre-washed only.
There are certain dipes that are so hard to come by and are wonderfully fabulous dipes, that people will pay more simply because it's the only way to get them. There are a few things like that that I'd pay top dollar for, even used. Like maybe a pair of nb/sm MM longies in chai latte.

Bidding that high on a hard to get item or offering to pay that much is different to me than being expected to pay it though, just because the prior owner paid more for it.
post #6 of 100
I think for some it is a hard pill to swallow if you paid $300 for something and then you can only resell it for maybe a little over resale value. With that being said, I think that you need to accept this fact when you do place such a generous bid. You are doing it in the name of the charity and you should feel proud you were able to contribute in such a way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaL
And, about used items. Why on earth do we see auctions going for same as new or even more than new? The only thing I can understand this for is if they are pre-washed only.
It's all about supply and demand.
post #7 of 100
Thread Starter 
Good points and questions, all...

I suppose it all comes down to what the market will bear, doesn't it? For certain hyena items, you can pretty much ask whatever you want, $-wise, and there will be someone out there willing to pay it. But it always leaves me with a bit of funny feeling when I see that happen (with re-sold items) b/c the WAHM-mama isn't seeing that extra profit, nor is the charity (if it was a charity auction item). Just doesn't seem right somehow...

In the case of the hypothetical used item you got a great deal on, I see fewer issues with re-selling at market value; after all, people do that with every item under the sun on eBay all the time, don't they? If it isn't worth that, no one will bid on it. The market regulates it pretty effectively...

Ah, the interesting microcosm of fluff economics :LOL -- someone should teach a course on this ...

Guin
post #8 of 100
Maybe you read my post in the TP about some stuff I am about to sell?

I have a ton of stuff I bought in charity auctions. I have a Fussybutt set I paid $400 for! I would NEVER list it for $400 (and who would pay me that!). I usually email the WAHM for a normal total and go from there. I think charity auctions are usually special sets too which does make them a bit higher.

Look at it like this:

Say MM and Baby Bloomrs do a regular auction at WAHMChicks. The sets go for an average of $150. Then they do a set together for charity. The sets go for almost $300. They never ever do sets for purchase through their store so you have only the regular past auctions to base your asking price on. In the end you still donated a lot of money.

Now I also have a ton of stuff I got in personal or regular auctions. I have a pair of BBB pants I paid $150 for. It was sort of a charity because the mama used the cash to help fund her upcoming adoption. But, it was never officially a charity auction. I feel ok asking what I paid for those.
post #9 of 100
Welp, if it makes anyone feel any better, I do exactly what was asked by a pp-if I buy something below retail, like on a fluke, when I'm done, I resell based on the lowered price I paid to begin with. I remember being asked why and what had I done to nb and smalls oakers to be able to sell them for only $6-$10 bucks each. I stated that I got them for a deal so I was passing along my savings. Wish I saw more of that kinda deal than the other one. Some mamas are in it to see what they can get for it-profit. Others just want to recoup as much as they can. I won't own plenty of things b/c I won't pay over retail for stuff, esp used. Oh well. I have the choice to buy or pass, just as they have the choice to sell for whatever they think they can get. It used to really bug me, but after seeing holey, stained elbees go for over $60 on ebay, and 3+ owners used bbb's go for over $100, nothing phases me anymore. People will pay it if they want it badly enough. fluff economics, indeed.
post #10 of 100
I have seen people say they paid a lot for something on auction, and therefore are asking a lot for it when they resell it. But that doesn't mean it was a charity auction, and in that case, I don't see why they shouldn't ask for whatever they want for it. Heck, even if it was for a charity auction, it's their perogative to ask for however much they want for it. No one has to buy it, if they felt that the extra the original buyer paid should be considered a donation.
post #11 of 100
If people are willing to pay, I don't see a problem with it. If you are bothered by the price being asked, don't buy it. I have GLADLY paid wayyy more than retail for items (one was a charity set) that I truly really wanted.

Nada
post #12 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nada
If people are willing to pay, I don't see a problem with it. If you are bothered by the price being asked, don't buy it.
ITA.
post #13 of 100
Technically speaking, I think all that matters is that the buyer and seller agree on the price. However, my personal feeling is that if I paid above retail on eBay or for charity purposes, when I resell the item, I should sell it for retail and chalk the rest up to a charitable donation...or to my overzealous bidding. :LOL
post #14 of 100
It would be nice if all the cool charity auction fluff, after being used and loved by the original winner, was then offered into fluffland (via our TP ) at something a bit less than what that item would cost new, retail. (The Baby Bloomrs/MM sets that Kate referred to are a good example of how it's a bit trickier to put a retail price tag on, since they are only ever offered at auction---but figuring out what the individual prices would have been at retail and adding up the totals isn't that tough.) It's a good point that if the seller is asking for more than retail when they resell the item, they are in essence asking for (at least part) their donation to charity back, which isn't exactly very honorable or in the giving spirit of things.
Usually I feel the seller should go to ebay if they want more than retail for an item. (Although sometimes if I've paid X amount for hyena fluff on the TP and then it didn't work out, I'll find someone ISO the same thing on the TP and offer the item to them for just what I paid, and sometimes this figure is over retail for really low-supply, high-demand stuff....that's different, though, than wanting your excess $$charity donation back, that's just hobby-TP-behavior and trying not to lose out $ -for once- in exchange for sampling some fluff that didn't work out.)
post #15 of 100
Does anyone have experience with other charity events? What happens to those items? I don't have experience, but I know lots of charity dinners exist - can't really resell a charity dinner, now can you?:LOL I assume some dinners have items for auction, what do you think happens to these items when the winners are done with them? For instance if you won a (insert favorite sports star's name here) jersey (or whatever) at a charity auction, would you try to resell it? What price would you try to get? Is charity fluff any different from other charity items?
post #16 of 100
As far as I'm concerned, the ending bid of a charity auction is the value of the item. I think of it as the WAHM being the charity donor rather than the bidder. So it makes sense to me that when the bidder re-sells it, they would try to get close to that value back.

Even if you wanted to think of it as the bidder being the charity donor, there's no way to determine how much of their bid was "for the item" and how much of their bid was "for charity."

And, of course, when non-charity auctions go high, I would clearly also expect the winning bidder to try to get as much of their investment back as they could when they re-sold it.

If everyone could just go to the El Bee website (for example) and buy a diaper for $25 whenever they wanted, then naturally when people sold used ones they would always ask less than that. But since it's impossible to just go to the El Bee website and buy a diaper, the retail price becomes meaningless, and the fair market value of the diaper becomes whatever the highest bidder is willing to pay for it. So it is perfectly reasonable for a person to ask higher (even MUCH higher) than the retail price for a high-demand low-supply used diaper. It's perfectly reasonable for them to try to get as much as they can for it. If the price isn't worth it to you, then don't buy it! If the seller can't find anyone who will pay their asking price, they will either reduce their price or decide they'd rather keep it. If someone IS willing to pay that price, though, then there's no reason the seller should have to sell it for less than that.
post #17 of 100
[QUOTE=Sustainer]As far as I'm concerned, the ending bid of a charity auction is the value of the item. I think of it as the WAHM being the charity donor rather than the bidder. So it makes sense to me that when the bidder re-sells it, they would try to get close to that value back.

Even if you wanted to think of it as the bidder being the charity donor, there's no way to determine how much of their bid was "for the item" and how much of their bid was "for charity."


I don't agree at all!! For example, aren't the fluff factory auction proceeds donated 100% to charity? IMO it is totally unfair to the WAHM who made nothing off the item for the second hand seller to make such a profit off of her hard work that was for a good cause.

There is a way to determine how much was for charity and how much was for the item...ask the WAHM...pretty simple

The Mamas making these items aren't making them so that we as consumers can turn around and fill our pockets with $$ when they donated all of the proceeds to Charity. That just seems so wrong to me.
post #18 of 100
Thank you for bringing this up. I never know what to do with my charity stuff.

One thing that I've seen on the actual listings is "Please do not sell this item but trade it away" or something like that. Like the FAA auctions. I got the sun shorts/luxe/miniwonder set from the last round of auctions. The sun shorts just do not fit my babe so I wanted to trade them. How do I put a price tag on just the shorts? The set cost me over 300 dollars! According to the actual auction I was not allowed to sell the item afterwards but I could trade it so that is what I did.

It does sting to pay 300 dollars for something and find out it won't fit your child. That was stupidity on my part, but what's done is done. So I traded away my shorts for a custom pair of longies. Good trade? I think so, but it's not worth dollar for dollar what I paid for them. KWIM?

It's just a tricky subject to begin with. It's touchy too. I don't have the balls to put these items on ebay. I don't want to step on anyone's toes or piss off the WAHM. It's not fair to her. It's not fair to any of the crafters.

Just my 2 cents. Carry on.
post #19 of 100
most of what i think has already been said but to just add...i don't think it should matter - and isn't unethical - if someone tries to ask the same amount for what they paid for a charity item. if it was an auction item that means several people were in a bidding war for it, which drove up the price. that money has been donated and like sustainer said, was actually a donation by the WAHM, not the auction winner. but even so, let's say i was bidding against kate for a MM/BB set and lost. now, a few months later she is asking somewhere around what my last bid was for the item. if i wanted it then, i probably still want it now and will gladly pay what i would have anyway, had i been the winner of the auction. if the buyer is thinking of herself as the one making the donation, in my mind i'd be thinking, AH...now *I* won the auction and made the actual donation.

and how is any of this unethical if both parties come to an agreement???? i just don't see how an outside party can make any judgement on it. there is no money being lost by the WAHM because she originally did it as a donation (so from the start there was probably no profit anyway). if i agree to pay someone the same as what they paid for an auction item, unless she held a gun to my head, how could that be wrong??? what's wrong with someone ASKING a price for something and someone else AGREEING to pay it????
post #20 of 100
I agree with Alice, I think that when I pay tons of money for an item, whether it is charity or ebay or whatever, that is my perogative to determine the price I want to sell it for as it now belongs to me. I also consider the WAHM the one that is being generous and giving to charity. For example, when I purchased a pair of shorts from Wonderful Woolies for the FAA charity and I had to pay and put who the donation came from, I put Susan from WW's name as the donor, not mine. It was her generosity that provided the money for the charity. Now these shorts are mine as well as many other items I have bought for charity, and if I want to sell them for more than retail, that is my business. If someone doesn't want to pay it, then don't and if I don't get the price I want, then I will keep them if I choose.
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