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View Full Version : The ethics of scalping to raise money for schools




datapolitical
Mar 18, 2011, 10:01 PM
As a student who's a prospective teacher, I'm considering using my free time tonight to go pick up two iPads at my local apple store and then list them on eBay with an explanation that any profit will go directly to the charity of choice from donorschoose.org, (a way for teachers to raise money for their classroom projects, Stephen Colbert has used them a number of times), and thus also be tax deductible.

My question for MacRumors readers is whether this is an ethical thing to do or not. Right now iPads on eBay are going for a good $100-200 above market. That could pay for the entire cost of a classroom project. Isn't that a better use of the money than into someone's pocket? On the flipside, it means someone else who woke up an hour after me won't get an iPad that day, which is a sort of dickish thing to do. Thoughts?



Cole JM
Mar 18, 2011, 10:05 PM
As a student who's a prospective teacher, I'm considering using my free time tonight to go pick up two iPads at my local apple store and then list them on eBay with an explanation that any profit will go directly to the charity of choice from donorschoose.org, (a way for teachers to raise money for their classroom projects, Stephen Colbert has used them a number of times), and thus also be tax deductible.

My question for MacRumors readers is whether this is an ethical thing to do or not. Right now iPads on eBay are going for a good $100-200 above market. That could pay for the entire cost of a classroom project. Isn't that a better use of the money than into someone's pocket? On the flipside, it means someone else who woke up an hour after me won't get an iPad that day, which is a sort of dickish thing to do. Thoughts?
Nothing wrong with it, you are making a profit to give it to people who need it.

vincenz
Mar 18, 2011, 10:09 PM
Nothing wrong with it, you are making a profit to give it to people who need it.

Yep, as long as it's not for personal gain, why not?

mcdj
Mar 18, 2011, 10:10 PM
sorry, but asking a roomful of strangers about the "ethics" of making a donation of any kind is ludicrous. just make the donation; you don't need our approval or appreciation.

wordoflife
Mar 18, 2011, 10:17 PM
MacRumors is not the place to ask about ethics lol :rolleyes:

vincenz
Mar 18, 2011, 10:19 PM
Btw, the way you use "scalping" in the title makes it sound like you're thinking about putting an axe to someone's hairline.

datapolitical
Mar 18, 2011, 10:20 PM
sorry, but asking a roomful of strangers about the "ethics" of making a donation of any kind is ludicrous. just make the donation; you don't need our approval or appreciation.

I have a sociology professor who would disagree with that, especially since MacRumors readers are people who are looking for this particular good, and thus have a unique perspective on whether it constitutes ethical conduct (I doubt I'd get any arguments if we were talking about a new pair of Manolo Blahniks).

datapolitical
Mar 18, 2011, 10:22 PM
Btw, the way you use "scalping" in the title makes it sound like you're thinking about putting an axe to someone's hairline.

Given the frenzy in NY and the belief (warranted or otherwise) that certain individuals are buying up hundreds of iPads using gangs of workers, I'm surprised there hasn't been an incident already...

thenobody
Mar 18, 2011, 10:23 PM
No. Thats scumbaggery

And screw a stupid school project. Send the money to Japan.
Or Darfor. or Palistine etc

AppleScruff1
Mar 18, 2011, 10:27 PM
If you're worried about ethics, why not have a raffle for an iPad and the profits go to support the school project? The school sports teams here have raffles all the time to raise money.

thenobody
Mar 18, 2011, 10:29 PM
Given the frenzy in NY and the belief (warranted or otherwise) that certain individuals are buying up hundreds of iPads using gangs of workers, I'm surprised there hasn't been an incident already...

Well that's America. Too polite.
Where I come from if there was loads of people standing in a line with huge amounts of cash and some guy going around flauting bundles of it give it out and they were there increasingly filling sacks with iPads each one of them would get the livin crap beaten out of them for every dollar and everything taken on them.
And that'd just be from anyone - not someone who wants an iPad.

Actually it would be more like "hey, I'll have all that cash and all those iPads. Thank you". And it's just handed over.
Some make get beaten just for a point or fun.

Too polite here - rightly or wrongly

datapolitical
Mar 18, 2011, 10:40 PM
If you're worried about ethics, why not have a raffle for an iPad and the profits go to support the school project? The school sports teams here have raffles all the time to raise money.

Because I don't know the people who need the money. I'm actually involved with a local school club that I used to be in when I was in high school, but our expenses are minimal and insignificant compared to what some teachers need in other areas (we're talking about electric pencil sharpeners and whiteboards here). I have a hard time arguing against helping out a teacher whose school district won't pay for an electric pencil sharpener.

mhof
Mar 18, 2011, 10:42 PM
These seem to be a bit similar to the ethics of Robin Hood, but probably not as good. People use iPads for different purposes. By putting a further strain on supply, you may end up making life more difficult for people who could use an iPad in another "good" way.

I think there are more creative ways to fundraise (as others mentioned, you can still use the iPad, but include it as a possible raffle prize. You could probably end up raising more money through this than you could just by scalping anyway).

Definitely good to think outside of the box, though.

datapolitical
Mar 18, 2011, 10:44 PM
These seem to be a bit similar to the ethics of Robin Hood, but probably not as good. People use iPads for different purposes. By putting a further strain on supply, you may end up making life more difficult for people who could use an iPad in another "good" way.

I think there are more creative ways to fundraise (as others mentioned, you can still use the iPad, but include it as a possible raffle prize. You could probably end up raising more money through this than you could just by scalping anyway).

You generally need a big event to raise that kind of cash for a raffle. (Having done fundraising for education and politics, it's surprisingly hard to get people to part with their $$$, even for a good cause)

goMac
Mar 19, 2011, 01:03 AM
As a student who's a prospective teacher, I'm considering using my free time tonight to go pick up two iPads at my local apple store...

Good luck with that...

ucfgrad93
Mar 19, 2011, 01:26 AM
As a student who's a prospective teacher, I'm considering using my free time tonight to go pick up two iPads at my local apple store and then list them on eBay with an explanation that any profit will go directly to the charity of choice from donorschoose.org, (a way for teachers to raise money for their classroom projects, Stephen Colbert has used them a number of times), and thus also be tax deductible.

My question for MacRumors readers is whether this is an ethical thing to do or not. Right now iPads on eBay are going for a good $100-200 above market. That could pay for the entire cost of a classroom project. Isn't that a better use of the money than into someone's pocket? On the flipside, it means someone else who woke up an hour after me won't get an iPad that day, which is a sort of dickish thing to do. Thoughts?

Nothing wrong with what you want to do. Although, good luck in getting them at your local Apple store.