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Old 04-07-2018, 07:39 AM
Location: Florida
3,538 posts, read 2,820,975 times
Reputation: 7276


He can keep the $100 guilt-free. What if the friend had broken the new skateboard but then your son decided that he wanted to upgrade to an even better one by adding his own $40 to the $170 the friend gave him? Would the friend be obligated to cover that $40? Of course not. It works the same way when the replacement cost is less.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:50 AM
Location: San Gabriel Valley
511 posts, read 228,426 times
Reputation: 2032
Originally Posted by atina333 View Post
My son's friend broke his skateboard and the kid's parents graciously paid the full cost of the board which was only a few months old. Total of $170.

Took my son shopping for a replacement board today and he only bought part of it (cost of $70) claiming that he's going to get the wheels, etc from a friend for free. Therefore he's pocketing the remaining $100.

I say that's wrong but he says it's up to him how he replaces the board. I see what he's saying but I'm still torn.

My thought is that this is a perfect opportunity to teach him something about ethics, and we really could use more ethical people in the world.

Regardless of whether or not he profited from the transaction, the $100 was not intended as a bonus; it was supposed to go for a board. I'd point out that often the way such transactions occur in the real world is that he would spend the money first, and then go to the kid's parents with the receipt. In this case, the parents were generous and trusted the money was only for the board.

I think that if he were encouraged to return the balance in the spirit in which it was offered, the parents would be very impressed with his character. I'm willing to bet that they even tell him it's okay, he can keep it. If they do, then he can keep it. However, they are not obligated to do so, so he should go there with the intent of returning it and not expecting to get it back.

If he did this with a positive attitude, I'd reward him afterwards with some spending money (not the full $100 because I wouldn't want him to feel entitled to that sum) Since I am a softy, I'd probably make up the difference by taking him to his favorite restaurant or something.

I might tell him that he handled his finances shrewdly. However, I'd point out that ethically, he shouldn't take advantage of other people's generosity.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:54 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
36,900 posts, read 35,640,727 times
Reputation: 69299
Originally Posted by Maliblue View Post

If he did this with a positive attitude, I'd reward him afterwards with some spending money (not the full $100 because I wouldn't want him to feel entitled to that sum)...
LOL so YOU get to keep the rest???

How is that ethical?
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:39 AM
10,027 posts, read 6,148,393 times
Reputation: 23445
I'm with the "give it back" crowd. It just doesn't seem ethical to me. Sure he can get away with it, and people can rationalize it. But it takes away from his character.

A little while back my child accidently dented a neighbors car. We apologized and asked them to get estimates so we could give them the money. They only got one estimate, but I didn't want to put them out more so I decided to pay it and not ask for 2 more estimates. It was a lot of money for a tiny dent.

6 months later, tiny dent is still there, money is in the neighbors pocket. They have every right to do it, and that tiny dent does bring down the value of the car (not as much as the cost to fix it). But it has made me think less of those neighbors as people.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:05 AM
626 posts, read 185,877 times
Reputation: 1915
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
The ticket example IS cheating and taking advantage. It's not the same thing.

So .... if you bought a Waterford crystal vase at a store for $100, and when you went to return it they said, "This vase is currently selling at $50, and that is all we will give you..." you would be fine with that?

If a friend broke a $100 crystal plate at your home and offered you $50 because that's the price she saw for one on eBay, that would be OK?

It's about the price you paid, not your friend's perceived value of your item. They pay for the replacement value because their actions kept you from using the item. How you use that money is totally up to you.
Actually, yes it would.
You are only responsible for the replacement value, NOT the price that was paid, whatever that is at the time.

P.S. try using your reasoning with Geico and see how far it gets you when you total your 3 yo car!

(PPS: Returning items to a store is subject to store policy.. they are not required to give you a cent, if they don't want to, and especially if 'All sales final' is posted.)
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:31 AM
Location: Bloomington, IL
12,101 posts, read 6,361,226 times
Reputation: 28024
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post

They owed a debt, and they settled it. How he uses the money is his choice. If he figured out how to get a replacement skateboard for less, then he is smart. It's not stealing. It's capitalism.
It's true that this is how it would work if you were paying an insurance policy premium. Lots of people collect and then pocket the money, preferring to drive around with a bent fender.

And that IS capitalism. Now, speaking to the OP, this seems like more of an ethical issue though because you're dealing with good people who didn't HAVE to give your son anything - you weren't paying a "premium" to them. They could have been dicks and said "it's an accident, oh well". So if part of the intention was that they wanted to replace the skateboard then it would have been better if you (your son) had done that with something relatively the same value or given them back the difference.

No, he doesn't HAVE to do anything, just like the parents didn't HAVE to give you any money. But was this purely a business transaction like you'd have with your insurance company? Or was this something between friends wanting to do the right thing?

You DON'T have to do the same thing in these two situations.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:51 AM
Location: Raleigh
7,971 posts, read 4,960,067 times
Reputation: 9511
The technology of toys advances so quickly. The wheels his other friend is donating may have been worth the money at the time, but this kid now has the latest and greatest so his old, formerly the best, wheels have been replaced and are worth nothing to the donor, but are an upgrade appreciated by your son. I've been through this many times with snow skis and drones.
Your son should save the excess for future upgrades of his toys.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:17 AM
3,078 posts, read 2,663,123 times
Reputation: 8841
I'm of the opinion that just because he can doesn't mean he should. He legitimately was given the money and could keep it. I think it is a greater show of good faith and friendship to give it back. The family will notice that he didn't get a new skateboard. It keeps things friendlier if he admits he found a way to fix it and is splitting the difference.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:26 AM
4,885 posts, read 1,916,387 times
Reputation: 14454
I don't understand the original post.

If the skateboard was broken by the friend, didn't he still have the original wheels and trucks and other hardware?

Was more than just the original board broken?
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:52 AM
Location: Texas
4,741 posts, read 1,666,711 times
Reputation: 9991
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Stealing from them? No way.

They damaged or destroyed an item. They paid you the value for the item they damaged or destroyed. That is the end of the transaction. It is all about the value of the item that was destroyed. No one is under any obligation to use that money for any specific purpose..
I agree with this.
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