I found $1000 ... what to do?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wjoerob, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. wjoerob

    wjoerob Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Here's a poser for you: bought a bunch of barrels (beans, grain, empty) from an auction at the home of a "survivalist" who moved into town. In one of the barrels was $1,000 in cash, along with seeds, etc. Now, here's the thing: this guy is known to have plenty of money. Also, we know he has ripped off several of our friends, hiring them to do jobs or work in his company, and then not paying them what they were owed. Well, should we have kept the money, or tried to find a way to give it back, or do something else with it?
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Don't ask us, ask God; our descisions do not matter, yours and God does.

  3. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

    Aug 30, 2004
    Give it back! Call it karma, call it reaping what you sow, call it whatever. But the money isn't yours, so you should give it back. These are the sorts of things that can ultimately bring more rewards (and/or heartache) than the $1000 you started with.

  4. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2004
    SW VA
    First two respondents have it right. Two wrongs still don't a make a right even in the new millenium! The fact you need to ask tells me you'd never be comfy with "the wrong" decision and know what you need to do.You'll be rewarded in due time !

  5. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    Give 200$ keep the rest for delivery charges. Whatever happened to finders keepers. I found a bunch of money in a repo home once. Figured it was drug money an uncle who is a cop told me they would never give it back to me if I turned it in because they would call it drug money and that would be that.

  6. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    I would say the money is yours. You bid at an auction and won. The barrels weren't emptied prior to the sale. The seeds are yours too rather you want them or not.
  7. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Used to work auctions, and I can tell you from the perspective of an auction house that when you're buying an odd lot (which is what you bought here, a barrell of unexamined goods) you bought what is in the barrell. If the barrell had not been to your expectations you would not have been able to demand a refund. If the barrell exceeds your expectations, you don't return part of the contents.

    This is a very good lesson for anyone planning an auction of granny's household items: elderly people (even people like us!) can secret valuable items in the most unlikely places. I once auctioned off a couch which later proved to be stuffed with bills large and small (about $500). I've heard of people burning chairs and then realizing that was MONEY showing through the fabric as the thing went up in smoke. In a pile of towells... bottom of the knitting box... hidden in the base of lamps... actually sewn into quilts (!)

    And this is just cash. Let's not even go into places we've found jewlery. Or the fact that what granny got as a wedding gift and sat on the back shelf for years is now a valuable collectible from a recognized potter.

    In fact, you bought that $1000. This isn't a "finder's keepers" this is a poor auctioneer or a poor preparation on the part of the seller, who should have gone through every odd lot to make sure what he thought was in that lot was, in fact, what was there.

    Have I ever returned something I found in an odd lot? Oh sure. I've found ivory knitting needles in the bottom of an old box of wool that should have been a family heirloom, which I duly returned, only to see them a year later at a yard sale for a few dollars (yes, I repurchased them).

    The issue here is "cash." Had you popped that barrell and found it full of $1000 worth of seeds, tools, etc you'd have been perfectly comfortable with your purchase... but since it is cash, you feel like you got "too good" a deal, or that obviously there was some mistake.

    Well... there was. But it is on the part of the auctioneer, not you. The man should have been paying attention.

    Still and all.. I'd probably give at least half back! :p
  8. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2003
    Donate it to local charity giving stuff to needy families in your area in his name so he gets an unexpected "thank you". Kill 'em with unexpected kindness!
  9. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 25, 2004
    MC's post makes sense to me. However, If I was sure he didn't need the money, I'ld give half to a good local charity.
  10. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    MorrisonCorner called it exactly right. You bought an odd lot at auction and were paying for the contents of the barrels for better or worse. The circumstances and likability of the previous owner are irrelevent. If you were moved to pity because the previous owner was poor and/or a very nice person, what you would be doing by returning the money would be charity. It would not be because of an obligation arising from the transaction itself. Your transaction was with the autcion house.

    If the grain at the bottom of a barrel was spoiled would you get your money back? You took a risk and made out well. You could just as easily have made out poorly.

    Would you be asking the question if it turned out that the seeds were rare heirlooms worth a lot more than you anticipated?

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

  11. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    you're getting a lot of advice regarding the legality of the situation - and, it's probably correct............but -
    the fact you posed the question in the first place indicates to me that you do have some personal concern over how it will affect you if you do keep it - all legality issues notwithstanding -
    if you want this to be a rewarding and positive experience resulting in a healthy conscience, pick out a truly deserving charity and enjoy the Christmas season -
  12. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2004
    Tulsa, OK
    Give the money back to him - this would hopefully give him a jolt/thinking he needs to be more kind/trustworthy to others. I think if you have this attitude the Lord will bless you in other ways! JackieA
    P.S. Don't worry about what he thinks or if he berates you for not keeping it, it will be on his head if he does.
  13. vonettrich

    vonettrich Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2003
    From a legal standpoint, you "own" the container and all of it's contents - period. You don't have to return the money. You mentioned that the person who sold you the container failed to pay some of your friends for work they performed. Maybe you could give them what they were owed out of the $1000?
  14. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .................If , the situation was that the person was an older , poor , individual with failing mental acuity , then , by all means return the funds . BUT , given the circumstances , IT is NOT your responsibility to monitor this person(s) method of keeping track of his cash . Keep the funds , be frugal and make it last like it was your last 1,000 bucks , fordy.. :eek: :)
  15. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Well, I am a licensed auctioneer (strictly part time). I agree that the auctioneer and the property owner were careless. I say finders keepers. I've even had a couple of similar experiences when I was an antique dealer. It's like the holy grail when it happens. You savor it, you enjoy it, you talk about it. It's the thrill of the hunt. Unless there are unusual circumstances that would prevent a needy person from getting what was originally theirs, you keep it. With no guilt.
  16. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I would not give it back...
    The owner placed an item up for auction...
    You bid and won the item that the owner legally sold
    and therefor you are the legal owner of it and the contents.
    End of story!

  17. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    I agree with those that have said you bought the items at an auction and they belong to you, including the money.

    But I have not seen a repy that addressed the question of your friends who have been ripped off by this guy. Yet several folks have made the well meaning suggestion that you return the money to the previous owner. It is "real" money and not counterfiet, right?

    So I propose another option if the money is good. Should you decide to give the money back to him have everyone you know who he has a debt to present when you do. Maybe just give it to them in front of him.
  18. Oregon Too

    Oregon Too Active Member

    Jul 1, 2003
    I agree with others that you bought an odd lot, and that includes whatever is in there, for good or bad. If you bought a barrel of "stuff" for $50, and one item in there was later found to be worth $1000, its yours to cash in, whether the seller thought it was worth only $2 or worth zero. I don't think you give this back just because it was cash, anymore than you would if someone didn't know the value of some material item they tossed into that barrel.

    You did not steal this. You bought a barrel of contents. If you feel at all bad, then do as some suggested, and give a bit to charity (pass on your good fortune) and spend the rest on something you need.
  19. twstanley

    twstanley Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    You bought the barrels and contents in a fair open auction, so you own the barrels and what is in them.

    If you want to give some of it to your friends that were ripped off by the seller, that is up to you. It would be a kind of poetic justice though.
  20. mountain granny

    mountain granny Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2003
    It's your money to use as you wish. You didnt' find the money you bought it.