Is what I did wrong/immoral?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by chaos86, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    I bought an item described as an iSite of ebay for $72 shipped, knowing it was actually an iSight. Now I'm selling it and it's up to $120.50.

    Am I a bad person?
  2. fayans macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    MacRumors: Forums
    You mean the seller didn't know it was an iSight?
  3. chaos86 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    No I mean I prayed on the poor helpless new ebayer who didn't spell it correctly.
  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    Hell yeah. Your genitalia is going to fall off.

    Seriously, it just sounds like capitalism to me. Is a car dealer immoral for buying a car at x dollars and selling it for x+y dollars? I don't think so.
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    You bought something at a lower price from a seller who couldn't capitalise on its value and then sold it at a higher price elsewhere taking a profit to compensate you on your time and effort?

    Welcome to Economics 101.
  6. fayans macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    MacRumors: Forums
    How do you guess then that it is an iSight? But anyhow, you are just taking advantage of his being naive. For that I think you are not too bad (as it takes 2 hands to clap) but still it is unethical. :rolleyes:
  7. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    It sounds like the buy low sell high principle. Just wonder how the person could have sold it at that price. Surprised that you aren't wanting to keep it for yourself. One has to decide on their own morals.
  8. fayans macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    MacRumors: Forums
    That's the right one!
  9. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    As long as you didn't lie to him and say that he was selling a different item in order to get a cheaper price, or knowingly decieve the seller in any way, I'd say that you are in the clear.

  10. chaos86 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    well i knew it was an isight because the seller referenced apple, ichat, firewire, and a powerbook in the description.

    as for the economics thing- i think its only right if all parties are well informed, as in all the people who should have seen the auction other than me.

    as for keeping it, I dont know anyone else with a webcam so i dont need it.

    and as for my genitalia, all is fully intact so i think i got away with this one.
  11. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Are you going to email the guy you bought it from to tell him how much you sold it on for?
  12. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    San Francisco, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    Nope! Bully for you.
  13. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    search for


    always something

    guy walked away with a sealed SNES Earthbound cuz he spelled it Erthbound. Game easily goes for $80+, someone got it for $20
  14. chaos86 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    sure... after he gives me his feedback
  15. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    I suppose that the rule for eBay sellers is Caveat Mercator and for buyers it's Caveat Emptor.

    That's not a sin. I wish I had eBay skills. BlueVelvet has it right. There is no ethical delema here. Besides, as long as payment is agreed and delivered, there is no way to deceeve the seller.

    Go to the Cyber Confessional and confess your sinns.
  16. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    yeah, when I was looking for a Newton 2100, I found one on ebay that was being sold as-is, doesn't work. He had mentioned that he had been using a third party power adaptor.

    With the intent of buying, I emailed him, and let him know that many don't take kindly to the third party adaptor, and that if he tried it with an apple adaptor, it might work. Well, he did, and it did. And instead of writing me a quick thank you note, he went to ebay (no-one had bid yet), raised the starting bid from 20 to 60 dollars, and set a reserve price.

    A little frustrating for sure, but I always check out ebay for misspelled items - if they don't take the time to notice (or care), I don't feel too bad about buying it from them on the cheap.
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I didn't say anything about ethics or pass judgement at all — was just pointing out the similarity between this poster's actions and the billions of transactions that take place around the globe every day.
  18. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    Happens all the time on eBay. I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with it... I bought an Alice In Wonderland book (fairly old copy) off eBay for what I thought was cheap but it was cheap because the seller didn't spell the authors name correctly. While I didn't resell it I easily could have for much more.

    I also bought a DVD ("The Magician") at Blockbuster for something like $3.00 and a few months later I put it on eBay for $0.99. The price shot up into $30+ which confused me until I looked around and found out it was "out of print".

    To be honest I think some people probably even "play eBay" to finance their life. It's my opinion that on eBay, if the seller had no intention of letting the item go for that price they should have started the initial price higher or put a reserve price on it... what you do with the item afterwards is none of their concern.
  19. Lau Guest

    To be honest, I was tempted to say that if people can't spell, that's their problem. Then I thought, well, people have dyslexia and stuff, and it's not their fault.

    Then I thought, hang on, it's not even as if this guy can't spell - he can't copy off the box. He can't cut and paste the name off a website? If he's that lazy, I say take advantage.

    Then again, I'm a bitch when it comes to stuff like that. :D
  20. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    IMO that's... questionable, and maybe a bit uneathical.

    But that's just by my own compass. I'd never do it, but I don't think you're a bad person for doing it (you'd have to do a hellofalot more than that).

    As mentioned, it's certainly a perfectly valid tactic.
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    eBay is all about exploiting the knowledge gap... The people who don't know the product and the market, pay profit to those that do.

    As far as the misspelling -- that's just bad marketing on the seller's part. They made the committment to sell in the auction format and they got exactly what they set out to get -- an auction price commensurate with the nature of the product, the market demand, AND the amount of skill they put into marketing.
  22. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
  23. ohcrap macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2005
    I know what we can do to make things better for you...

    Sell the iSight to me for $72 shipped, then I'll live with the guilt so you no longer have to. That makes sense... right..? :confused:
  24. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I'm with (pretty much) everyone else – I wouldn't go losing any sleep over it.
  25. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    your morals are just fine

    i see it a bit this way...

    the (mis)spelling is incidental/irrelevant.

    the issue is that: the seller knew what he was selling and he appears to be happy with the price he got, if not, he just made a mistake by not putting a (higher) reserve price on it.

    in other words, if he was concerned that the price would ultimately be an issue, then a reserve would have been a smart move. he did not and hence the assumption is that he should be open to accept and be pleased with whatever is paid irregardless.

    you were just lucky that there was a misspelling in the sense that, fewer buyers (perhaps) showed interest. who knows, maybe even with the correct spelling, you might not have paid more for it?

    as far as your morals go... i think yours are stunning. and its HIGHLY COMMENDABLE of you.

    you are obviously open to considering other peoples' situations, almost putting yourself in their shoes in an attempt to understand them. not many people do that. but don't get too carried away with the guilt aspect. a sign of respect is to also treat others as grownups by showing them that you respect their decisions and not try too look after them by second-guessing them unduly.

    you are doing just fine according to me and you're doing some business as well. terrific!


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