Dispute with Siblings over How to Split Price of Gift

I am having a small dispute over the price of a gift, OzBargainers please weigh in.

My 2 sisters and I always give our parents a gift and split the cost 3 ways.

This year I was responsible for purchasing the gift and bought an item from JB Hifi.

I had recently taken advantage of the 15% off gift card offer - I had bought 2 $100 gift cards for $85 dollars each.I had intended to use these on personal items for myself, but as I was purchasing the gift from JB Hifi, I thought I may as well use it on the gift.

Either way I will save $30 by using them and there was no point in saving the gift cards for another time.

I requested that each of my 2 sisters transfer my 1/3 of the full price of the gift before the gift card discount was taken into account as the gift cards were my own business.

What happened next is one sister read the receipt and saw that I had used the cards. After explaining to her my discount she is refusing to pay 1/3 of the full price and wants only to pay 1/3 of the price after the gift card discount. I feel this is unfair as I bought the gift cards to advantage myself.

What does Ozbargain think is the right thing to do? Stick to my guns or relent?

Poll Options expired

  • 49
    Insist on splitting the full price
  • 1118
    Share the bargain and collect only the reduced price

closed Comments

  • +416 votes

    I can't imagine arguing with my siblings over something so trivial. You guys need to reevaluate your priorities I think.

    • Seems OP is the one causing the rift, here.

      • +16 votes

        Seems OP is right but being a bit childish. In his shoes though if they were my colleagues or even friends, I would definitely force them pay their full share as he is missing his bargain here but your sisters? Get off your high horse, be a nice brother and share the joy, not because you were wrong but because you are nice. You definitely will receive it back soon even with a smile. Isn't it beautiful? Or even if not, who cares, you made them happy.
        There will soon be more discounts available here.
        Wish you the best and a very merry Christmas OP.

        • No one forced him to use the discounted gift cards, his own fault for mentioning the discount, all OP had to say was he used gift cards as that was all he had available at the time.

          You can't buy discount cards, use them charge others full price, in the expectation (i assume) you would repurchase more discounted cards in future, of at very least trying to profit the $20

          The split shouldn't be on what JB received but on how much was actually spent, in this case (advertised price - 15%) / 3.

        • -4 votes

          @TrendyTim: That has nothing to do with nothing. The facts still stand the same.
          How he did it and why he did it, is his personal business.
          As for the other parties, they had to pay the higher amount, should they decide to do it themselves.
          It looks like, you as a customer of my business come into my office after using the service and tell me that you won't pay the price I gave you because I received a huge discount from my uncle! That is none of your business. Pay the price for the product or pay the damage and go somewhere else. Simple.

      • +13 votes

        Yeah, I agree. Why is OP trying to get an extra $10 for himself… and instead of just letting it off, he posted it here. My goodness…. its a frigging $10 from your siblings. Why so butt hurt over it…..

      • +20 votes

        Ripping off family. Nice
        How would you think sisters pay full price while you suck in there discounts aswell as yours for the split. Gees

      • I agree with your comment, completely.

        Except for the grammar ;-)

    • +4 votes

      Unfortunately, that's just what siblings do!

    • What do you argue with your siblings about then?

    • This is what happens when your 15 like OP.

    • Poor people problems

    • By "you guys" you actually mean "you".


  • +154 votes

    omg. they are your siblings. share the bargains of course.

  • Just split the actual cost 1/3. You let them find out - your loss. You shoulda just said you had some gift cards that were expiring and needdd to use them.

    • +3 votes

      Also she chose to use the cards, OP's choice.

  • Raise a GoFundMe for $30. Seriously. Do it.

  • Seriously…..bad blood in the family over $30 (split 3 ways no less), so your sister is refusing due to a $10 differential.

    Firstly, I would NOT have kept the discount for myself. "gift cards were my own business" is a shit-house rationale for not sharing the discount.

    Secondly, if you are going to pull a shifty, don't show the damn proof of payment, that is asking for trouble.

    Thirdly, if I were the sister, I would just let it slide or perhaps pull the same shifty next year on you but keep the facade of happiness.

  • Think and find whats more worthy - siblings or $30..then decide

  • honestly, this is embarrassing that you would ask this question for $30. how can some people be so cheap.

    you want to do over your own siblings? seriously? and its a gift for gods sake

    • I don't see it as doing them over, I was going to use the gift cards for nintendo eshop cards.

      I still have to buy those cards, now I will be paying full price.

      • its not the point. its your family and its a gift. AND its $30. seriously some people. bye!

        • I don't know about you, but sometimes family means nothing to others. Sometimes they're incredibly toxic and you have no other choice but to stay and live with them due to how expensive it is to move out.

          Sometimes it's worth putting up with the mental abuse from parents and siblings.

          Looks like she's just as stingy if the sister is making a huge fuss over $30. It's a once a year Christmas gift for the parents, who they apparently care enough about to gift a present to, and I really couldn't give a shit if it were even $50.

        • I think it's the principle. If it happened to me, I would probably just pay whatever they asked just to keep the peace during Christmas but I'll certainly be taking a mental note of it.

        • @Blitzfx:

          IMHO OP is being a true (profanity). The sister is probably making a fuss because she likely can't believe OP is being such an utter miserly shitcunt.

        • @Blitzfx:
          Even if current relationships with family hold little meaning, this attitude isn't going to mend any fences or make the world a better place.
          OP would have been better served buying their Nintendo stuff with the discount and paying full price if they were unwilling to share the bonus discount.

        • @mskeggs:

          Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and OP should have just lied about the gift cards in the first place to avoid this confrontation.

          The root cause is the sisters being greedy and making entitled claims over the $30 in gift card savings. The alternate state is that OP could have been generous and altruistic and shared the savings but clearly that is never a possibility given how the family situation has degraded.

          It's the exact same thing if OP decided to disclose to the sisters that he/she had JB Vouchers but aren't going to use it for this gift, and then tell them to their face that he/she wants to spend it on Nintendo gift cards the day after; followed by the sisters arguing to OP that the gift cards should be used RIGHT NOW so that they can get a cut of the savings.

          I've posted here multiple times with the numbers of cash flow spending and savings made in either scenario, and nobody is disproving how either case is different.

        • @gearhead:

          The sister is as much a scrooge as OP is given how much she wants to fight and argue over splitting $30.
          Rocking the boat days before Christmas is not worth $30 and I'm certain everyone here can come up with a better way to handle OP not sharing the savings.

          I like Hunter14's take on it. Sister takes note that the OP is not willing to share the savings for probably many reasons that I'm not willing to make judgements on, because maybe the sister herself is just as stingy.

        • @gearhead: couldn't have said it more eloquently myself.

      • Have to or want to? Why not just wait until another discount comes up at JB, EB or anywhere else that sells them.

        If you do absolutely need them right now, why didn’t you use your original gift cards for their original purpose? Way less complicated.

      • You sought to profit from your sisters and if I was them I'd make you pay for that. Bad behaviour needs to be punished. :-)

      • buy the effing gift cards at discount again…you should not charge or split cost where you havent paid

      • So you should have kept the cards and used them for your purchases and not on a three-way (hehe) gift. And then you wouldn't be having this problem.

      • So return it, get your gift cards back. Use them for your other purchase as intended.
        Give them your share and ask them to buy it.

        My biggest concern here is that JB gift cards are on sale all the time from the supermarkets with points back, and it sounds like you have plenty of time to wait for another offer to buy your other purchase.

      • +1 vote

        Then you should have bought new gift cards at full price and made those the gift. Then you'd still get your discount on your previous cards and you wouldn't be in this 'mess'.

        It 'looks' to your siblings more like you changed your mind and didn't want to use them, and so it looks like you're getting out of wasting gift cards and making a profit to boot.

      • You were intending to buy $200 of Nintendo eshop cards?

        Sounds like you were being opportunistic by purchasing the gift from JB-HiFi in the first place with the plan to profit from the transaction at the expense of your sisters.

      • You were going to, but you didn't.

  • this shud have been a no brainer.. you should not be making money out of your siblings.. it it costed you $170 then split it 3 ways..
    if you wanted it for your own use then you should have bought the item with fresh money instead of gift cards..
    and not to forget its just $30 bucks.. well actually $20 as $10 is your share

    by the after reading the title, i thought you guys got an expensive gift from parents and now have issues over its price

    • If they were intending to spend the gift cards on some other personal item, it shouldn't mean she should pass on the saving to the sisters.

      That's like not using the gift card now, and buying a $200 TV later with it, and then going back to the sisters and giving them hard cash for the $ saved. It doesn't matter at what point in time they decided to use the card.

      It'd be the exact same thing as OP going to the sister, if they happen to find a good deal on a personal item, and demand money from the cut of the savings.

      • Thanks for explaining it better than I can.

      • +10 votes

        Intending huh? Well I was intending to lose weight this year. Also, while you were out I drank your best whisky because I was intending to replace it.

        Ask yourself this - if Senor was really intending to use the cards for a personal purchase why didn't he do just that? Then there would have been no drama.

        It sounds to me like Senor got some worthy criticism handed to him from siblings, who know him better than you or I do, and now his feelings are hurt. Instead of some mature self reflection, he's resorted to OzBargain for validation. Barely 6% of respondents support his view, but that's probably enough to cocoon his fragile ego.

        • Well, what is the real reason that you believe then?

          It's financially responsible to follow the actions Senor has taken whether they know it or not.

          1)Due to risk, large or small, you don't ever want money tied up in gift cards. JB can go out of business for any reason at any time and render your card useless

          2)Cash is king, and you're not making interest % on the money you have tied up in the gift card. You don't have that money available to use for investments.

          Using the gift card asap and cashing in on the $30 saving now is better than saving it for the Nintendo credit in the future.

          This is how the banks and merchants make $ off the 94% of people who voted otherwise. I can forgive the subset who voted against on the grounds of, strictly, sharing with the family on Christmas. Any other, as far as I can see thus far, is illogical.

          It's perfectly fair to argue that Senor is being selfish and not sharing with the greedy sisters who are also arguing over $10, anything else outside is off topic.

        • +21 votes


          You have totally missed the point. This issue is about trust not money.

          Since we and his sisters can't read his mind, no-one but SenorUmberto can ever truly know what his intentions were. He can only ever be judged by his actions. His actions have the appearance of profiteering. There's an implied contract in the shared purchase of a present and that is to share the costs equally. Nearly everyone but you and SenorUmberto seems to understand this.

          There's nothing wrong in trying to personally profit by using the gift cards for personal transactions. If he'd used the gift cards for the Nintendo purchase as he claims he originally intended, no-one could criticise him. However, he chose to combine a personal profit making transaction with a shared financial transaction and that is a breach of trust. We expect that our politicians keep their their personal expenses separate from and official government expenses for the same reason. It's impossible to look clean if they are all mixed up.

          Calling his sister's greedy is a red herring. They only expected an equal share in the cost of the purchase, not to profit from it. That doesn't sound greedy to me. They didn't make the dodgy transaction - SenorUmberto did. He also concealed it from them until they questioned it.

          The bottom line is that people should keep personal finances separate from shared finances if they want to avoid the appearance of profiteering.

        • @trongy: Amen…

    • +6 votes

      This is a BS argument, and here is why. Let say that an item has RRP of $150 and has an original price tag with that amount on it, but being OzBargainer you do little bit of shopping and find it on special or haggle down to $99. So you saved ~$50 - should you claim that due to your skills and effort you are entitled to those $50 and that $150 should be the amount used for splitting cost between the parties?

      The fact is, he is bloody re-selling Christmas gift for their parents to his sisters at $20 markup, do you get that now?

  • Don't be selfish.

  • +55 votes

    Trying to profit from family. Nice. Truly the Christmas spirit. :)

    • The gift cards were intended for me to buy other items, which I will now be paying full price for. So I wasn't going to profit from my siblings, just from the gift cards themselves.

      • +39 votes

        Why didn’t you keep the cards for yourself and buy new cards at full price to split with siblings?

        If my family members pulled this shit on me, it would be the absolute last time I would chip in for “shared” presents. The idea about family is that we share and take care of each other. Not use each other for insignificant profits. It’s not the amount involved, but the fact that you even did it that what has upset them the most.

        • This makes zero sense. If SenorUmberto was going to spend, for example, $300 at JB, it wouldn't have mattered what they bought at any point in time.

          If they were going to spend $100 in Dec, $100 in Jan and $100 in Feb, it shouldn't matter at all when they apply the gift card. They're still spending $300.
          Just because they decided to apply the gift card in Dec doesn't mean they should have to split the saving. What if they decided to spend it in Jan or Feb? Does that mean they have to go back and give cash back to the two sisters during those months?

        • @Blitzfx:


          The deal was that the OP and his/her siblings were going to split the price of the purchase. In his cupidity, OP decided to use his gift cards to make the item 15% cheaper while his siblings would be paying their share of the gift; i.e. net gain for OP.

          OP claims he was going to use the gift cards to purchase some nintendo shit, but that is in the future. It absolutely boggles the mind that if that was his intention, why would OP even bother with using the gift cards to buy the present unless he wanted to stiff his siblings.

        • @gearhead:

          Where did you come up with that maths? There is no net gain in anything made by OP. Please don't deliberately leave out the fact that OP is going to spend it all (has already spent it now) on Nintendo credit.

          Saying this again (that I commented elsewhere):

          Both scenarios where OP savings weren't stolen:

          Scenario 1 - used gift card for christmas present:
          Cost of christmas present to OP: $36.67 (200/3 - 30)
          Saved: $30

          Cost of Nintendo cards for OP: $200
          Saved: $0

          Total Spent: $236.67
          Total Saved: $30

          Scenario 2 - used gift card for Nintendo:
          Cost of christmas present to OP: $66.67
          Saved: $0

          Cost of Nintendo cards for OP: $170
          Saved: $30

          Total Spent: $236.67
          Total Saved: $30

          Except now what has happened is that the sisters have felt entitled to the $30 and each taken 1/3 of it due to their selfish greed.
          Ultimately, you end up deciding where you like to draw the line with this bs.

          Also repeating what I've said elsewhere again, spending the gift card right now is a financially responsible thing to do. This is not stiffing the siblings.
          It's better to have liquid cash now in the bank than cash tied up in gift cards that can't be used for anything other than expenditures at JB.
          Also, there is inherent risk, small as that may be, in that the company the gift cards are for may go bankrupt some time in the future.

  • Its not like you sacrificed a one time only opportunity. You can buy discounted gift cards again.

    Share the savings and they’ll be more likely to help you look for savings on the shared gifts in the future.Or don’t, and piss off two siblings who are now both motivated to do the same thing back to you.

  • Merry Christmas everyone….

  • I can understand where you are coming from.
    But I wouldn't have done it.