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Local sale still waiting for buyer to return!

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by Jim D., Nov 30, 2022.

  1. Jim D.

    Jim D. Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I sold an item via the Nextdoor online platform to a person who came over and bought it. He did not have the full amount of money to pay so he left a partial deposit. He said he would return and then pay the rest and pick it up. He has not returned in weeks. How long must I wait until the sale is closed, especially if he never returns (yes, I did email him and let him know I am still waiting and have the item for him, but so far no reply from him) ???

    Thank You,
    - Ken
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    That is up to you, mate.

    You made a classic mistake.

    No dope dealer or purveyor of stolen goods will hand over the product until he/she has been PAID IN FULL.

    The same goes for those who sell their bodies for money, you don't play until you've paid for the TRICK in full!!!

    Lesson number one from the street college of hard knocks, never hand the buyer the product or perform the service until you've been paid in full!!!
     
  3. Jim D.

    Jim D. Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What makes you think I handed anything over? I still have the item AND his deposit. So I am out nothing. My question is how long until the sale is official so I keep his deposit and still have the item?
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I had that happen with a car a long time ago. Took me months to get the guy to come back with the balance.

    I learned never again to take deposits on anything I sell.

    My answer to "Can I give you a deposit?" is "No, the first person to bring the full price in cash gets the item."
     
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  5. Jim D.

    Jim D. Law Topic Starter New Member

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    All great advice, but what is the LAW regarding this. Especially in NC where this is from ???
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    What you have created is called a "mutual benefit bailment." See the basics at:

    Bailment - Wikipedia

    To end a bailment under your circumstances may require you to invoke NC's abandoned property statutes.

    General Statute Sections - North Carolina General Assembly (ncleg.gov)

    Which, as you can see, will be complex and frustrating.

    You could, if you want, just resell the item, and return the deposit when the buyer eventually shows up.

    There is some risk there as you may be in breach of an oral contract. The risk of getting sued, for completion of the contract, is commensurate with the value of the item. The lower the value, the less the risk. The higher the value the greater the risk that you will have to go find an identical item, at whatever the cost, to give to the buyer.

    Options are to wait or resell it.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Did he say when he'd return?
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    1. What sort of item are we talking about?
    2. What was the agreed sale price?
    3. How much money did the buyer give you?
    4. When did the buyer say he'd return with the rest of the agreed price?
    5. When did you last email the buyer?
     
    adjusterjack likes this.
  9. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    When you take a deposit to hold an item for sale, the best practice is to put it in writing and include a date by which full payment must be made or the sale gets canceled and the deposit not refunded. Your problem now is that there was no agreed deadline for guy to come back and pick it up. So the answer now will turn on things like whether the buyer expressed a specific time he'd come back to pick it up or whether you indicated how long you'd hold the car and deposit for, or any other evidence that suggests what time limit was contemplated by the parties. If this sale is for a significant amount of money then I suggest you ask a local contract attorney about how long you have to hold the item for the buyer. The answer is going to depend on the total facts and circumstances and how judges of your state have dealt with these kinds of situations.
     
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  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'd laugh if it turned out to be a toaster.
     

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