Is reselling products a sin or Mortal Sin?

I’ve been buying chinese products and reselling them to get about 5-8 dollars out of it. Example of what I sell: I sell digital mini speakers from china for $7.00 dollars and re sell them for $15 dollars at a swapmeet and ppl are buying it.
I religious lady came up to me telling me that what I’m doing is totally wrong and very grave sin, that reselling is stealing ppls money and scaming.
Is that true??

What does she think stores do? They buy products at one price and sell them at a higher price.

No, it is not a sin to do so if you have legally obtained the products you are selling and you do not engage in any false advertising or fraud (such as selling knock offs of legitimate products like fake Nike tennis shoes, etc).

On the other hand, grey market sales aren’t terribly moral although they’re (strictly speaking) legal. If that’s what she’s suggesting, then she may have a point. I don’t know that it would rise to the level of mortal sin, though, unless you were doing it in order to defraud someone…

Sounds like she just wants something for nothing!!!

What does she expect, you spend all this time obtaining a product and placing it up for sale for free?!?!?

It sounds like a great little business; no it’s not a mortal sin if you’re doing everything legitimately.

Since most people at a swap meet are selling at higher prices than they bought the stuff at (which is called making a profit - I try to do that too) why was the lady so critical of you? Or is she going around to all the sellers?

If you see her again, ask her if she thinks “buy low - sell high” and making a profit are sins. If she does, ask her how she manages to go into those “dens of sin” we call stores?

… or the church piety stall? :stuck_out_tongue:

(is that just an Aussie expression? what do Americans call the little shop at the back of the church where they sell rosaries, holy cards, etc…?)

I think we call it the little shop at the back of the church where they sell rosaries, holy cards, etc…?

Very original!


Thanks! Yes, it’s a lovely phrase.

I have some friends that live in Melborne. When they last visited I got a kick out of all the phrases and different words they have for things.


Shopping Cart = Trolley
Stroller= Pram
Cookie= buisuit
Car Trunk=boot

And much more !

I can add Piety Stall to the list!


These words are not Australian, they are British! I’m Irish and they are all used in Ireland, too, Actually, “Stroller” does not = “Pram”. Stroller = Pushchair - usually used for babies that can sit up on their own and small toddlers. Pram is short for Perambulator, which is a baby carriage, and is large enough for the baby to lie down comfortably in. They are not as common these days, and many people use strollers even for small babies. I think the small babies look very uncomfortable in a stroller!

But do you have piety stalls? :stuck_out_tongue:

And is it a mortal sin for a piety stall to buy cheap and sell dear?


Yeah, American English is the real oddball out. We have a much less refined Vocabulary then the rest of the English Speaking world! :wink:

I agree, this is okay. It’s exactly what stores do. You go to the grocery store and buy a bag of apples, you know that the store bought them from the farmer for one price and sold them to you for a higher price. No one thinks this is a sin.

Business is all about buying low and selling high. When it can become sinful is when there is an issue of economic exploitation. If you are buying from a supplier that uses slave labor, then there might be some culpability there. When Jesus drove out the moneychangers in the Temple, I don’t think it was because being a banker was inherently a sin but because the bankers were taking advantage of people’s spiritual needs. I’ve heard that many of them were in cahoots with the priest and that the priest would conveniently reject the sacrifice you had brought and kindly refer you to the moneychangers so that you could convert your money to local money and buy a suitable sacrifice in the local market.

could depend on the source of the resold goods. its possible to unintentionally violate a trademark, or unintentionally resell stolen goods, for example.

More to the point, it could depend on the intended market for the goods. If the same product is being marketed by the company to the U.S. and Chinese markets separately, then there’s a moral issue of buying them in one market cheaply and selling them in the other market at a markup. You (used to?) see this all the time in the camera market – devices that weren’t being marketed in the U.S. would be sold here, undercutting the selling price in the U.S. market. When it comes to big-ticket items, there’s a distinct issue, not the least of which is the fact that the items aren’t warrantee’d here (therefore, if they should break, they are unable to be returned under warrantee).

The OP specifically said that he’s buying the items from China and selling them here. This is not the same case as “buying apples at a supermarket”, as some have suggested. :wink:

there’s definitely more to the question. one usually doesn’t know of problems like these until there’s a cease and desist letter from someone whose patent/mark/exclusive market rights are interfered with.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit