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Situational Ethics
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Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Kennywood
posted
You go to a show/garage sale/comic convention and find someone selling an "Acme Corporation" card #1. This card is extremely rare with a current value of $1000.00. The seller, though, has the card for sale for $5.00.

For the sake of discussion, assume that the seller didn't misprice the card but, rather, doesn't know what he has.

Results (12 votes counted so far):
What would you do?
(75%)
  Buy the card for $5.00, not say a thing, and count myself lucky!
(25%)
  Inform the seller of the actual value of the card and then negotiate a fair price.
See Poll Form

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Lucy Van Pelt: How can you say someone is great who's never had his picture on bubblegum cards?
 
Posts: 7361 | Location: the wonderful state of Denial | Registered: January 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Contest Czar
Picture of barobehere
posted Hide Post
I would have to tell if it was that far off. Now, if it was a 50 dollar card if he had it had 40 maybe even 30, I would just buy it because I would have likely tried to haggle a few bucks off anyway if that makes sense.
 
Posts: 5741 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
The honest answer is that it depends.

If the seller is rude or a jerk then all bets are off.

If the seller is nice then I'll probably say something.

If the seller is nice and it isn't something that I want for my collection I'll definitely say something.

If it is a 'white whale' for my PC I may not say anything.
 
Posts: 5136 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
Not strictly an up or down question of ethics either way to me.

Choice number one suggests an active deceit, even though it is clearly indicated that the card is not mispriced and the seller is getting what he/she asked for. You aren't obligated to do the seller's work for him or her.

Choice number two suggests that the seller will be so grateful for your honesty, he/she will negotiate a favorable price with you. You could just as well get a "Thanks" and the card goes up on eBay. The seller owes you nothing for your information.

If its a friend, or even a casual acquaintance in a friendly place, you will probably handle it differently than if its a stranger, in a strange place. If its something you really want, as opposed to something that's just a bargain, you will probably handle it differently also. I think its the "Situational" part more than the "Ethics" part that determines the outcome when you did nothing wrong besides recognize a good item.

And BTW, I have never seen a $1,000 card in a $5 box. I always find $2 cards in the $5 box. Big Grin
 
Posts: 9380 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
posted Hide Post
It's 2021.

All cards are extremely rare with a current value of $1,000.

Pay the 5 bucks and move along.

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Posts: 3092 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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Oh, a moral dilemma for the board. I like it. I agree with Jon that the choices are almost never as clearly two-sided in reality. Barobere and Raven see shades of gray too especially since the situation of the $5 card actually being worth $1000 has probably never happened. However, anyone who watches "Antiques Roadshow" can attest that similar deals have taken place with various other art pieces (rugs, ceramics, paintings, etc.).

I think you buy it and you tell the seller you think it might be valuable and offer to cut that person in if you can find a buyer. The seller might just want it back but then I would remind him/her that the current sticker price probably indicates that I should be the one trying to sell it. I would offer to take my money back but then he needs to do the research and gain at least the understanding that his garage sale isn't the place it's going to sell for hundreds.

What does the Acme Corporation #1 look like anyway? I hope I didn't let one go for $5 when I was selling on Ebay. Why didn't somebody tell me?

Jess

P.S. In any case Kennywood is still waiting for a straight ans...oh, but wait, Chesspiece rings in with one while I was carefully choosing my words.
 
Posts: 3332 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Raven:

And BTW, I have never seen a $1,000 card in a $5 box. I always find $2 cards in the $5 box.
Big Grin


Big Grin

I would love to say that i would i tell the seller what they had and hope they did very well out of it but i know i would pay the $5 and run like hell out of the building. Big Grin

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Posts: 28764 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
posted Hide Post
If the person is asking $5 I'd pay the $5.
 
Posts: 12061 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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Maybe I'm just a lousy cynic and but I wouldn't say a word about the value. My attitude is - I've been burned and taken advantage of so many times in all my collecting hobbies that I deserve a break every now and then to try to even things out. And it would be guilt-free too. The buyer wouldn't be doing a thing wrong - it's the seller's fault for not doing the research to know what they have.

This topic reminds me of an episode of "Pawn Stars" here in the states. A woman brought in something to sell, quoted a price which was well below what it was worth, Rick Harrison was honest and told her the true value and what he would be willing to pay (which was obviously more than she originally wanted), and then the woman responded to that kindness with wanting more than what he offered. Talk about a slap in the face. That's what you get for trying to be fair and honest. Roll Eyes

So yeah, I would pay the $5 and be giddy at the great deal I just got.
 
Posts: 2133 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I'd buy a $1,000 card for $5 from my own mother! Big Grin
 
Posts: 1438 | Location: NJ | Registered: August 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Ted Dastick Jr.:
I'd buy a $1,000 card for $5 from my own mother! Big Grin


Like Steve Miller says, take the money and run. Smokin'

I recently picked up a Fleer Howard the Duck sketch card and it was bugging me where I had seen the artists name before. Happy to have some of your work in my collection Ted!
 
Posts: 4104 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
Picture of Hedgehog Witch
posted Hide Post
I've bought and sold all kinds of collectables over the years. You see a bargain, you pay the price and run, don't talk yourself into paying more! Smile

However, that's if you see the card or item with a price on it along with other stuff. You see the price, pay and go. If instead you're asked by someone if you'd buy their cards but they aren't sure what they're worth and ask you to suggest a price and you knowingly offer $5 when it's worth $1000, then that's a bit more questionable. If a valuer or auctioneer did that it's completely unethical...right up there with con artists. But a legitimate price tag and sale, no problem....providing you didn't also try and beat them down to $4. Big Grin
 
Posts: 362 | Location: UK | Registered: March 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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This has happened on "American Pickers" as well. The seller of an underpriced item is told, "You're a little light" and is offered a higher price. Then, the seller pushes for more. That's not right. There's an Aesop's Fable that goes something like, "No gratitude can be expected from the wicked." Yeah, at that point maybe you're less helpful the rest of the way.

My brother used to watch a show about a guy who traveled around looking for classic cars to restore. In one episode he made someone a fair offer and she laughed loudly at him. I wondered if she ever realized how that made her look to anyone watching. Classless. Graceless. Less than decent.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by Logan:

This topic reminds me of an episode of "Pawn Stars" here in the states. A woman brought in something to sell, quoted a price which was well below what it was worth, Rick Harrison was honest and told her the true value and what he would be willing to pay (which was obviously more than she originally wanted), and then the woman responded to that kindness with wanting more than what he offered. Talk about a slap in the face. That's what you get for trying to be fair and honest. Roll Eyes

So yeah, I would pay the $5 and be giddy at the great deal I just got.
 
Posts: 3332 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Logan:
Maybe I'm just a lousy cynic and but I wouldn't say a word about the value.

This topic reminds me of an episode of "Pawn Stars" here in the states. A woman brought in something to sell, quoted a price which was well below what it was worth, Rick Harrison was honest and told her the true value and what he would be willing to pay (which was obviously more than she originally wanted), and then the woman responded to that kindness with wanting more than what he offered. Talk about a slap in the face. That's what you get for trying to be fair and honest. Roll Eyes


It falls under the old saying "no good deed goes unpunished" and its why many of us become cynical after awhile about all sorts of things. When it happens to you, the experience sours you for the next time.

But recognizing a bargain when the other party does not, isn't unethical in and of itself. It is intelligent. Taking that $5 opportunity is the smart thing to do, and only very specific considerations would make passing it up the exception to my mind.

Now if you see an unaccompanied 7 year old boy waving a very rare $1000 Pokemon card and you OFFER him $5 for it, that's unethical. Big Grin

Here's a good, true story that happened to me this year. Some people here may recognize the seller. I was talking to my regular Star Trek card source about a new set and she still had an older autograph card that I missed. We settled on a mid-range price, which I liked, but I was going to make a larger order when the new cards came out in a few weeks and asked her if she could just hold the card to make one package. She agreed. Now I could have sent the money and got it there and then, but I choose to wait and sent nothing.

So the set gets delayed and its more like 4 months later. The market has gone a little nuts. I look on eBay and people are asking almost twice what I "paid" for the card. Now I don't want to be unfair to save some money from someone who has always been fair to me. So when I finally place my order, I tell her I know the price has increased on that card and I understand if she wants to adjust it. She says its OK, she will stick with what we agreed on. That's having ethics and also returning customers. Smile
 
Posts: 9380 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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