It has always been my view that ARC's are given (for free) for the purpose of review. The books often come signed from the author himself and I am very proud to have my meager four-book collection of them.
My issue is when people go on to sell these copies to used bookstores or on Ebay. They were given to you for free and should not be sold for profit. While I do understand the collectibility of such books, I do not believe it is ethical to sell them. On some occasions, I have received the book from the author themselves, at their own expense (my latest ARC had a postage stamp of ten dollars). If not at the authors expense, then at the publishers expense.
If you were given this book to review - you should review it. You are then free to add it to your own collection or pass it on to another reader - not to sell.
Today I found this ARC book for sale at a local bookstore:
It was listed for sale first at $30.00, and then crossed out at $50.00
I didn't check to see if it was signed - I may go back to see if it is, though. I understand Terry Brooks is a highly acclaimed bestselling fantasy author - an author whom many people, including my husband, collect the works of.
The person who sold this to the bookstore was clearly out to make a quick buck - and thus the bookstore after him. My husband just informed me that there is an ARC copy for sale on Ebay of the same book for $130.00, so perhaps the person who buys this book from the bookstore will also make a quick buck off of this book that was given away for free in hopes of garnering a review for the author.
I make the pledge, thusly, that I will never sell an ARC that is given to me. I appreciate the effort the author or publisher has put into finding reviewers and sending them out, at their own cost. I can only hope most reviewers agree with me and will do the same.