Rey was scrapping by, gathering spare parts and junk to get "portion bread". We are shown that it seems very difficult to get portions by the declining amount she gets when bringing in the same items for exchange.

So when she is offered 60 portions for BB8, compared to the the one quarter portion she was getting for other items and even comparing to a half portion, it is over 100 times what she was getting for anything else. So why did she not take it when all she did was find the droid just like she did for all of her other items she sold for food?

I can't seem to find anything that would make her refuse this.

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    In the novels the exchange works out slightly differently. Basically she thinks already thibks she's being fleeced. Plutt then ruins the deal by creeping her out and saying "that's my girl". – Valorum Oct 8 '16 at 11:10
  • @Valorum, that would make a good answer – KyloRen Oct 8 '16 at 11:11
  • Just for future reference (I've edited this question and a couple of others already), please use the star-wars tag on questions about Star Wars. – Rand al'Thor Oct 8 '16 at 13:55
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    Sounds related to scifi.stackexchange.com/q/114227/38910 – kasperd Oct 8 '16 at 18:41
  • The Force. She is a Force Sensitive, even if untrained. It guided her actions, including not selling the droid. – Xavon_Wrentaile Oct 9 '16 at 5:18

There are a whole bunch of reasons why she decides not to sell him, at least according to the film's various novelisations.

She clearly feels an affinity for him

Rey had been teasing the little droid, but his response caught her completely off guard.
“You’re waiting for someone….” Rey glanced over at the spaceport. Every day, whether she admitted it to herself or not, she watched the ships come and go. She waited for someone—her parents, a friend, anyone—to arrive and tell her it was over. That she didn’t have to wait anymore. That someone had finally returned for her.

The Force Awakens: Rey's Story

She doesn't like the idea of selling BB-8 to people who're going to do unpleasant things to him

Rey made the mistake of looking down at BB-8’s still form. She could just imagine his indignant beeping, asking how she could even consider selling him to that disgusting trader. And the parties Unkar was hoping to trade BB-8 to were surely no good; they were friends with Unkar, after all.
Rey made the decision that would change her life forever. “Actually…the droid’s not for sale.”

The Force Awakens: Rey's Story

She's lonely and enjoyed his company

While his constant beeping irritated her, it did make the hours seem to go by quicker. And though she’d never wanted a friend, the fact that she could vent her frustrations to someone who listened—even if that someone was a droid—took some of the edge off of living on Jakku.
But it was temporary. Soon everything would return to normal. She’d be alone again.

The Force Awakens: Junior Novelisation

She thinks she's being swindled (somehow)

But the junk dealer eyed the droid and did not revise his offer. This made Rey suspicious. If there was one thing Rey knew about Unkar Plutt, it was that he was as honest as a Teedo marauder was polite. Plutt’s appraisals were always well below market value. It was how he stayed rich and kept all the scavengers poor.


The quickness of his acceptance alarmed her. She suddenly felt that she’d bargained too low and that Plutt had fleeced her once again.

The Force Awakens: Junior Novelisation

Rey really doesn't like being Plutt's "girl".

The drawer popped open on her side of the booth. At the sight of so much food, she reached down for a handful of packets.
“That’s my girl,” Plutt said.
Those words made the rations look less than appetizing. Rey would lose something if she went through with the exchange, no matter how many portions Unkar gave her.

The Force Awakens: Junior Novelisation

Rey doesn't like the idea of Plutt "winning" in a negotiation, especially after he robbed her the day before.

“That’s my girl.” His tone oozed something more than false possessiveness. There was an eagerness in his voice that was something new even for Unkar Plutt. An eagerness that all but translated into triumph.


All pretense of deference gone, Rey took a step toward the chair and shot the merchant behind it so steely a glance that he visibly flinched. BB-8 reacted with a beep of admiration. Resisting the urge to give the sphere a reassuring pat, Rey concluded the day’s dealings with Unkar Plutt. “The droid is not for sale.”

The Force Awakens: Official Novelisation

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    Nice answer again!!! – KyloRen Oct 8 '16 at 12:51

My take on it at the time was that she didn't regard BB-8 as being her property in the first place -- so she had no right to sell him to anybody else, in the second place.

Remember, they first met when Teedo had captured the droid in a net, and Rey vigorously objected, apparently because she felt there was something morally wrong with the situation. If she later turned around and treated BB-8 as "slave labor" for sale to the highest bidder, she'd look like a prize hypocrite for objecting to Teedo having the same basic attitude, wouldn't she?

And after she'd rescued BB-8, she didn't even want him to follow her home! When it became clear that he didn't have anywhere else to go, she finally said: "In the morning, you go."

All of which is consistent with the idea that she regarded BB-8 as a sentient being, a free agent who was briefly intruding in her life just because she felt sorry for him -- rather than his being on the same level as the miscellaneous spare parts which she scavenged from derelict ships with every intention of selling.

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    Absolutely. I think this is meant to be obvious from the narrative of the film. – recognizer Oct 8 '16 at 13:13

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