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Suppose I buy a Steam game as a gift for someone, as a favor, under the condition I will be reimbursed as soon as possible, and that the sum I'm going to receive only covers my expense.

Under UK law, does exchanging the gift and the reimbursement constitute a sale involving me and the recipient of the gift?

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No

Legally you are acting as an agent for the person buying the game and the sale is between that person and Valve. Practically, you may have a hard time explaining this to Valve.

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    As far as Valve is concerned, if the game is being bought as a gift, it is implicit that I intend to give it to another person, though. Regardless that Valve has no way to tell whether the game is being gifted or I am simply acting as an agent, what would change if Valve could? – plco Feb 14 '16 at 3:40

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