Sin to sell things for more than you payed for them?

Is it a sin to sell things for more than you payed for them? For instance, If I buy a designer bag that is old, worn out and dirty, and I spruce it up, condition it, Polish it, and give it some TLC, and then re-sell it for a higher price, is that a sin? Doesn’t everyone do this, stores especially, to make a profit?

Matthew 25:15 incourages people to make a Profit, Good reading Material

If you bought an old designer bag and cleaned it up and sold it for more than you paid for it then its because you inceased the value of it because you put work into cleaning it up …that isn’t a sin,


Antique stores and dealers basically do this exact thing. So do folks who “flip” houses.

For some rare items, they go up in value simply because they become scarcer over time.

I will say it’s frowned upon in some secondhand sales/trade groups I belong to, where the understanding is that items are taken to be used, not resold. But that is explicitly stated.

Why would it be? Sounds like honest enterprise to me. The one exception of course would be if the thing you have done to improve an item is to have it blessed. :wink:

It’s business. Nothing wrong with making a profit.

Pretty much, every store does this.

They buy at wholesale prices and sell at retail. (Hint: They aren’t the same price.)

Generally not, because those things are based on the principle of want of consent. As long as you don’t misrepresent what you are selling, it’s fine.

The only possible exceptions I can think would be along the lines if you knew someone was going to throw away their life savings because they were mentally ill and sold to them anyways at that price.

I can’t see it as sin because if a trader didn’t sell an object for a higher price than he paid for it he would go broke pretty quickly.

Nope. It’s called profit.

Without it, life would be pretty poor.


I would think it’s ok, as long as you sell it as a used item and not new.

A related question is whether it is morally acceptable to resell something at a higher price after doing nothing to improve its condition. Example: I once bought a HP-11C scientific calculator for $1 at a garage sale, and sold it online for $95. I don’t think there is any moral issue there. In the garage-sale market, the calculator is worth $1 because it’s unlikely that a customer will come along who is willing to pay more for it. The garage sale vendor could have placed the calculator in a more efficient market (like eBay) and sold it for more, but that would have involved more effort (and more risk).

That’s just it, you made a profit by taking a risk. The risk to you was small, but the principle is the same.


The ongoing problem is: people will line up at old houses hoping to buy vintage items that the seller - they hope - has no clue about. That stack of comic books for 10 cents each that are worth $300.00? How about old watches? I’m currently researching an old stopwatch that is probably worth more than those that are obviously different (in this case, acquired from a relative, not a garage sale). The same with costume and real jewelry and other antiques that appear to be worthless or worth very little. Even parts for something can increase the value of the item you have that is missing those parts.

A lot of people don’t know how to use eBay. They don’t know how to begin their search, and some subjects require very detailed knowledge usually not possessed by the average person. I’ve run into “variants” of things all the time. Some are knockoffs or even modern reproductions, but to the untrained eye, they just don’t know.


No it isn’t a sin. But let’s say that it is. If so what are the implications? It would mean that you had to sell the item for what you bought it for. And if the previous owner had purchased it then the would have to sell it for what he purchased it for. This would continue on to the first owner.

When we arrive at the first owner how did he set the price? Did he just declare the price and wait until someone came along and bought it for that price? Was he allowed to change the offered price or once he set a price was he obligated to keep that price? If he had multiple exact replicas of the item was he obligated to sell all items after the first sold at the price the first one sold for? If so then the first buyer would have tremendous economic power.

There are a few details to consider but such a system would give tremendous power to the first actors in an economy. It would also be a rigid system. Prices for items could never change. If the first TV sold for $3000 then all subsequent TVs would have to be sold for that price.

How would a system where everyone is obligated to use the first price that an item sold for be fair? Such a system ignores the rights of individuals to come to mutually beneficial agreements and obligates them to terms imposed on them by another man. If you think through any economic issue you should find that the complete economic freedom is the most fair system. What happens is some don’t like the outcome of that system and look to skew it. But these attempts to dictate an outcome just create another problem somewhere else.

I work in retail, the one thing I see that makes me wonder, nearly all products on the shelves are generally around 250-300% markup versus what the product costs to the store or to have made, this seems to be across the board, a pair of Levis jeans are going to be about the same price no matter what store you go to.

Its strange that no one has come along and realized that they could offer the items for much less markup, its less profit per sale, but once the public finds this store is much cheaper, they would make it up in overall sales, and possibly even put all the stores out of business.

A lot of the markup covers overhead (labor, facilities, insurance, compliance, taxes, management, waste, (i.e. unsold product) etc.) Businesses make a lot of tradeoffs trying to optimize those. Some manufacturers sell on the condition that a product will only be sold at a specific price- why you see many electronics identically priced but with different incentives from the different sellers (free case or game or instore coupon etc.) A lot of shifting to online sellers because they have an advantage in some areas over brick and mortar storefronts.


It’s a mutual exchange, you want to sell and they want to buy. You’re not forcing them, it’s not any kind of theft. Unless-- as said above, you’re committing fraud through mis-representation OR you know the person you’re dealing with is not competent to make purchasing decisions.

Why would you think its a sin to buy something and sell it for a higher price? That makes no sense.

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