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balthazar

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Hypothetical~

You take your best friend to look at your girlfriend's uncle's car- it's for sale. You don't know the uncle very well, but your buddy likes this brand and this particular car. After some talk & tirekicking, the Uncle tells him the price is $500. Friend accepts and pays him by counting out ten $50s. As the uncle shakes his & your hand, he discreetly palms you one of the $50 bills.

Do you pocket the $50 or give it to your friend?

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It depends. You could view the event as two separate transactions. In this situation, you need to find out if the quoted price would have been the same regardless of whether or not you were involved. If the uncle wants to give you $50, that's his prerogative, and he can give you whatever he wants to give you, whenever he chooses. If accepting the money yourself is too uncomfortable, then a nice compromise would be to use the money to treat both you and your friend to dinner or some other event.

That said, if the friend is in a financial "situation," however, then the nice friendly thing would be to give it back to him.

Any decision made wouldn't be unethical, but I would need more information to say for sure what I would do, though the option of spending it to treat both you and the friend seems most attractive at this point.

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What Croc said. If you felt that guilty about taking the $50, then treat your friend to dinner, a trip, or a 'happy new car' present, like a gas card or accessories.

In my mind, if you refuse the money, your g/f's uncle may be insulted - likely not to an unwarranted degree, but perhaps slightly offended you didn't accept his gift of commission.

If you give it to your friend directly, explaining the situation, he may question the uncle's honesty about the price or worse, your motives involved in showing him this car - did you do it just to make some $$ for yourself at his expense?

Again, those are possible outcomes, but again, I'd take the money and do something nice for all involved. Everyone wins.

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I'd try to graciously decline the uncle's money first off, but if he insisted I keep it, then I think I'd have to take my buddy out for lunch or something of the like, to spread the good fortune a bit. :)

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I'd discreetly give it back to my friend. He could use it toward the car with maintenance, etc. Or he could blow it on beer or something.

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wow, thats deep, Im trying to think if anything similar to this has happened, myself and my nearest (location) friend were once partners so we have always split everything but this is still different.

How about this view : you should keep it because soon enough you will be helping your friend bleed the brakes or change the timing chain, all while listening to him call the car a POS he wished he never laid eyes on, then that 50 will seem like not nearly enough. :lol:

It a bit of a finders fee of sorts, as well as a senior family member passing down some good grace.

Im about to give an aquaintence that found me my latest job a load of fuel wood as a "finders fee" or actually "kind gesture". It was just a phone call to a friend he knew whom had a wood lot he wanted worked on, so this is how I say "thanks", a months worth of free heat.

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I'd take the money.

The man gave me the money as a thank you; he didn't give it back because your friend gave him a coupon.

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It's interesting you ask the question. Money comes and goes. Conscience stays with you. Since there was something about the situation that prompted you to want to post this, unless you are looking for a rationalization, you already know the answer.

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I think a lot of it depends on how honest the uncle was being here in the transaction. Personally, if he were like several of my own uncles, I wouldn't even refer someone to him, for any reason. Being grateful for helping sell a car is a little different than paying someone to help him dump off a lemon on some unsuspecting fool. Of course, a 500 dollar car could probably be evidence towards the latter.

Morality: Ain't it grand?

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Since there was something about the situation that prompted you to want to post this, unless you are looking for a rationalization, you already know the answer.

I was rummaging thru my Memroy Box and came upon this one from my past. I had no hesitation as to what to do at the time and would do the same thing today given the same circumstances. BTW- I left nothing pertinent out: no shifty uncle, no POS car, no alternate price. Not meant to trip anyone up (or to flush out the conspiracists among you).

I merely thought this an interesting exercise to see how different people might react to an unexpected situation involving their best/very good friend. A sliver of amateur psychology to satisfy my own curiousity. Thanks to all who have replied so far.

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I merely thought this an interesting exercise to see how different people might react to an unexpected situation involving their best/very good friend. A sliver of amateur psychology to satisfy my own curiousity. Thanks to all who have replied so far.

I love it! When you get right down to it, people are the only thing that truly makes life interesting.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Take the $50. Consider it "commission". I mean, after all, you did help your girlfriend's uncle sell the car.

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Depends.

Either I'd normally pocket the $50 if it was just an acquaintance.

But a friend I'd probably give him $25 and be honest wiht him about the whole deal.

--- OR ---

SAy to friend: Let's hit that nice Italian/German/Whatever restaurant and I'll buy. :)

I'm a cheap MoFo but if it's a good friend then you deserve to give back some of it. But hell... as far as societal rules go you provided a service for the uncle by finding a buyer so the $50 is not undeserved.

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WOw... that's funnny. I only read all the responses before me AFTER I posted. Interesting how many of us had the same idea. :)

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Well...if it was my best buddy...i would give it to him somehow just because i know he is havin some pretty ugly financial trouble between college and some insurance problems and a totalled car...and paying for a new one...but anyone else...i'd just keep it...

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It's not a kickback unless the decision to purchase the vehicle was yours. Unless it was arranged beforehand it should be viewed as a gift. This goes beyond ethics, to the appearance of propriety. I like the suggestion of telling your friend he "gave" you the $50, and offering to take him to dinner, since it's the best option to satisfy both parties, especially if you take your g/f too. You should also call your g/fs uncle later and thank him, making it clear that you think of it as an unexpected gift.

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