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Did I cheat the seller?


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I recently purchased a collection of patches from a widow at a garage sale. They were a mix of branches, colored and subdued, new and used. Some were plain backed, some were glue backed and some velcro backed I had talked to her about these a year ago and she held them for me when she had her sale this year. I was amazed when I saw how many she had. She said she had them in a bucket - actually they half filled a storage tub. After looking through some of them I did my best to explain pricing but due to the volume I could not give her a firm value. It would take a week or longer to catalog and price them all. I finally asked her what she though she would want for all of them. She said "Well, I think they are worth at least $100. I told her she was too low and asked her if she would take $150. She accepted. After getting them home I felt great. Then I counted just the subdued - 270 patches, of which at least 200 were not duplicated. I did not count the colored patches but am "gestimating" at least 500. I am thinking I cheated her. I had no intention but just did not realize the quantity. After going through some of them quickly I found several patches which I feel would bring at least $10 to $30 each, possibly more. The others I cannot judge. Some I have not been able to ID. I realize price decreases when you buy in quantity but have I over stepped a boundry? I am a collector not a dealer, but by the same token some day my collection will need to be disposed of - at a profit I hope. What do other forum members think? Have they ever been in this situation. I don't mind underpaying at an auction or flea market but this one has me in a quandry. Far too many to post a pic.

I posted this same question on the ASMIC General forum but it does not appear many people visit that forum.

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Most people wouldnt even have offered the extra $50, if she was happy with the price I dont think you cheated anyone like you said you are a collector. Its not like you bought them intending to make $3-4 hundred dollars off them.

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Let your conscience be your guide

I'd humbly second that sentiment. Nothing wrong with going back and paying her more if you believe that's the right thing to do. I've done it.

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Let your conscience be your guide

I agree. Tough situation for others to say. If you know her, and she saved them for you, AND you offered more than her initial offer, I would say you are good. I know where you're coming from though. It's ultimately up to you. If you went back & told her how you feel, and offered another $50, she would probably be quite pleased. She may even refuse it, just because of the honesty. Or, you could simply offer to give her a hand sometime when she needs it.

In the end, you're the one who decides what makes you feel good about the deal. Sounds like you're on the right track. I'm sure you'll do what's best for both...

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I’ll add a vote to the response of listen to your heart. Merely by posing the question, I suspect you feel like you got too good of a deal. I have to say that I respect you for doing that.

 

I don’t subscribe to the “as long as you’re both happy” routine, especially when you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t know what they have. That seems to me to be the rally cry of someone justifying paying a fraction of what something’s worth.

 

As others have said, going back and handing her a little more money is goodness all around.

 

Kudos

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I see nothing wrong with what you did, as other have said you gave her $50 more then she wanted! It is pretty clear she had no emotional attachment or large personal sum invested. It is also hard to say without looking at the patches even if there are 500 there if the majority are common $2-$3 dollar patches they are near impossible to sell and not even worth the time of day and many times just to move them I will take under a dollar in lot, so like a lot of 30 for anywhere from $20-$30 bucks! If you want to give her more thats fine but not really necessary. Its not like you went there with the intention to rip her off. To look at it from a different direction if I were to go on ebay and buy a patch for $15 dollars and then sell it here on the forum for $70 should I go and give that seller $55 dollars of course not. We live in a world where if some is being "ripped off" they are either too lazy to do any research, the internet can get you solid answers is seconds or just dont care about what they are selling. In either event it is their own fault if things go cheap. With the exception of like a 90 year old ww2 veterans widow, I think most people under 75 are active on the Internet almost daily.

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I'd humbly second that sentiment. Nothing wrong with going back and paying her more if you believe that's the right thing to do. I've done it.

 

I agree. If you price them out and find out you really came away with a huge amount of value, go back, tell her you had a chance to look at everything and that you realized it was worth much more than you originally thought.

 

It all depends what lets you sleep at night.

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Did not know her other from garage sale last year and this year. Felt she was asking for my help to put a value on the collection. Paid her another $100. I can sleep at night and she is happy. I really feel as collectors we have an obligation to treat people, who have no idea what they may have, fairly.

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Crypto, you did a good thing going back and giving her another $100. Like others said, you have to do what your heart and conscience tells you. Plus, we can always use some good karma if you believe in it.

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Thank you. And thanks to everyone for their input. Looking through this evening I found several that I feel make up for the additional $. Quite a few colored patches pre 90s - dating by the date units were deactivated. I'm satisfied. One bonus - non-military - vintage OA back patch, the multi colored one!

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2 separate issues....

 

1) Did you do anything wrong? ---- No, definitely not.

 

2) After going through everything, you realize there's more there than you thought....do you owe her anything else? ---- Again, no...not really. But if you want to offer more out of fairness, then that's simply a +1 for your karma and character. It's entirely up to you and what you want to do.

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