Poll: Is it Ethical to Sell Gifted Items?

Over the years I've seen press samples being sold online, at flea markets, in consignment shops or even in places like Loehman's. As it's become quite common for brands seed products to bloggers, will we see bloggers selling gifted items as well?

Last week I was cleaning out my closet, and the thought occurred to me to sell some of the more valuable items instead of giving them to charity. As I was going through the clothes, I noticed that some of them were gifted from brands. Now, I generally just give my clothes to charity, which is only partially alturistic and mostly out of laziness as it's easier to drop off everything at one place. Anyway, I wondered if it was an an ethical to sell some of the things I had been given.

While it would be great to say one way or another, if you sell a gifted item, is the editorial content you created truly editorial? Are you then being compensated?  A previous IFB post about selling gifted items, had a wide range of opinions varying from, being bad for relationships with brands, to selling in lieu of being compensated, to it's ok to sell mass produced items, but not ok to sell handmade. There isn't any cut and dry solution but should there be?

Fashion Bloggers - Is is Ethical to sell gifted items?

What do you think?

[poll id=”6″]


Image via Rodeo Magazine

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8 Responses

  1. madeleine gallay

    Would you keep any gifted item you actually didn’t need, want or love after a certain hesitation period?

    The idea of keeping all gifts, especially those with a commercial intent, seems silly.

    To me anyway.

  2. WendyB

    God knows if anyone sold something I gifted them, they’d never get anything from me again! But then, my stuff isn’t mass produced and it would be a much more personal situation, since I rarely gift.

  3. Georgina

    It depends on each individual item and situation. I don’t think it’d be right to immediately sell something you’ve been gifted, but if you’ve worn/used the item and it’s going in a standard wardrobe clear-out, then I don’t think selling it on would be a problem. I often Ebay good quality items when I clear-out for a little extra pocket money,and I don’t think I’d feel too worried about doing the same with gifted items if a reasonable amount of time had passed.

    Although, thinking about it, it’s probably a different kettle of fish with independent sellers than it is for brands. Hmmm…complicated!

  4. Daniel Dunt

    I feel that it is a little unethical to sell gifted items. I mean, it’s like throwing out or selling a gift which your friend got you for your Birthday, or a gift that your parents got you for Christmas. I personally wouldn’t do it.

    If you’re selling the item at a massively discounted price, and a long period of time has passed, then I suppose that it’s not as bad. If you’re going to sell a gifted item, then I would that a 75% minimum discount on the normal retail price would be necessary!

  5. Moe

    I have mixed feelings about this. My first thought is no. I am from the old school when review books used to be stamped with “not for resale”.

    But the more I read about the gifting process (which is totally different from getting a gift from a friend BTW) the more I do not see a problem with it.

    If we look at this technically the items we were gifted are actually payment. We might not like to look at it that way but it is true. We were given the item with the intent that we would write about it not because they like us.

    We are supposed to claim the value of these types of gifts on income tax. If we have to claim it on income tax then technically we should be able to sell it guilt free. No?

    I do not think it is something we should turn around and do the following week but if you are doing a closet purge once a year then have at it.

  6. Emma

    A gift given by a brand is very different to a gift given by a friend or family member. You can’t keep everything and if you don’t live a piece better it goes to someone who does. That is the style sequel way 😉

    Emma x

  7. Liz

    I don’t think it’s unethical- gifts are given knowing that you don’t owe the gift-giver anything, unless there’s a contract in place that you’ll review the item, really, you haven’t agreed to anything; to review or even keep the item in question.

    Ethics aside- if a brand finds out you’re selling their items, they can decide to stop doing business with you, and you’ve just severed a relationship.

    It would be interesting to hear from various brands though