Deposit taken for private sale - should I return it?

45 replies
Found 16th May
I sold a car accessory back in October to a guy based in Germany, for £600. He had to rely on friends visiting from the UK to be able to collect it on his behalf and take it to him in Germany, which was likely to take him a month or two to arrange. We agreed to a deposit of £200 (via PayPal Gift) to secure the sale.

It got to the end of the year and he still hadn't managed to collect it. Then in January he told me it was unlikely he'd be able to arrange collection for the foreseeable future, and that I should sell it in the short-term if that was an option. I sold it to a guy who had asked me about it back in October, he collected it after a couple of days and paid cash (£600).

Today, some six months after the initial contact, the guy in Germany sends me a message asking me if I still have it, and if not, could he have his deposit back.

I don't feel obligated to refund any of it, I needed both the cash (before Christmas) and the garage space. I have offer a part-refund (£100, half of the money) as a goodwill gesture. He is yet to respond.

What are people's thoughts/experiences with this? Do you think he'e entitled to a deposit refund or is he just trying his luck? Do I have any obligation (legal or otherwise) to return it?

EDIT:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

He took it on the chin to be fair and chalked it down to "learning the hard way" ("Lehrgeld"). Had be been an **** I'd have kept half of it but have instead decided to send him back the full deposit.

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45 Comments

yes it's his money

Morally yes, how would you feel if the roles were reversed?

Unless you told him at the time that it was a non-refundable deposit then you should return his money.

Keeping it would make you a bit of an **** imo.

Did you state to him it was a non refundable deposit? But I think you are in your right to keep some of it for your own expenses to hold the vehicle for him to which he never did collect. How did he pay the deposit, was it a paypal gift or standard paypal payment, as he could go through paypal to retrieve.

i think half deposit is fair, wasted everyones time, and likely the sale before this moment...

see how he responds i guess.

As you ended up with the full asking price eventually. You haven't lost out. Although it has been an inconvenience.
In this situation, I think I would wait for a response, if he rejects it, offer £150. Or, ask him what he thinks is reasonable.

keep it.

It was his fault he failed to collect it, not yours!

That is what a deposit is for

It's pretty standard to return it. He'd feel thankful. You'd have done the right thing. You already know keeping it is the wrong thing or you wouldn't have made the thread. Return it.

stoneblade

Did you state to him it was a non refundable deposit? But I think you … Did you state to him it was a non refundable deposit? But I think you are in your right to keep some of it for your own expenses to hold the vehicle for him to which he never did collect. How did he pay the deposit, was it a paypal gift or standard paypal payment, as he could go through paypal to retrieve.



It says in the original post how it was paid.. "I sold a car accessory back in October to a guy based in Germany, for £600. He had to rely on friends visiting from the UK to be able to collect it on his behalf and take it to him in Germany, which was likely to take him a month or two to arrange. We agreed to a deposit of £200 (via PayPal Gift) "

If you'd not been able to sell it, then you could argue that it was due to holding it for him, and so the deposit fulfils its purpose as a retainer, an insurance policy to you. That's the point of it.
Since you've sold it on anyway, there's no reason for you to keep hold of the money.

I appreciate it's a pain to suddenly have to find £200 that's long since been spent, you probably should have offered the refund immediately you sold the item on, to clear the matter.

I don't see how it matters if you stated it was a non-refundable deposit or not- what's the point of taking a deposit in the first place unless it's a commitment to buy from the other party? He bailed on the sale, and so he should be prepared to lose his deposit.
That said, I'd give it back. It makes you less of an ar*e.

cullies

keep it.It was his fault he failed to collect it, not yours!That is what … keep it.It was his fault he failed to collect it, not yours!That is what a deposit is for



Not always, if you buy a new car yes but it'll be a non refundable deposit. If you rent a flat you get the deposit back minus any damages.. All depends morally how the OP feels and what he said about the deposit really.. He could probably get away with keeping abit as a sort of storage fee but if he didn't state any of this then it may be difficult legally.

Keeping it would be theft. It was a deposit for an item you then sold to someone else. Unless you both specifically agreed it was a non-refundable deposit then you have to pay it back.

****.

You are not obligated to return it but it's the right thing to do as you didn't sell it for a loss.

You had some of the money when you needed it and I don't see how much of garage space it would have occupied to be a hassle.

The fact that you didn't bother to sell it for a full year means that it may not have been a hassle.

Agree that finding a spare £200 can be daunting. Maybe just ask him to wait until your payday and then you can pay in full or alternatively just pay in multiple instalments instead of one.

Just a suggestion and a few thoughts.

I would say, take the costs you incurred through him not completing the deal and give him the rest back

Yes I would pay it back as you have sold it at the asking price and hence not made a loss. Go on you know it's the right thing to do.

it costs nothing to be kind.

It's sad that people need help to decide what is morally right...

Personally I'd give him it back, without hesitation.

Entirely your decision though.

I wouldn't be able to sleep if I'd said no I'm keeping it oO I think that's pretty icy thing to do. Give him it back, be a nice person, you've lost nothing

He paid the deposit in good faith. You should refund it. He has waited until you have sold it. It's the fair thing to do.

From a legal standpoint you are holding a deposit on an item you no longer have. If you don't refund the money and he then decides he wants the item what will you do? What if he is forced to buy the item elsewhere and recover the loss from you?

If you only have half now tell him that and pay the other half when you can. He's waited this long I'm sure he will be reasonable and wait a month for the other half.

Pay it back, Don't mention the war ;).

I think you should offer to return him 100 pounds and think that is very fair ,you have gone out your way with time and waiting and need some form of payment for your time ,your not a company so think you have every right .

Don't pay it back.

He broke the inferred contract of sale

Shame the classifieds section has gone. threads like this give good warning of who not to deal with.

Original Poster

FWIW, if the situation was reversed and I'd paid a deposit to secure something only to later come back and say I wasn't able to uphold my end of the deal, I'd definitely not expect my deposit to be paid back. I'd definitely ask for it (even more so since so many have responded with "give it back", lol) - but I would not *expect* it. What's the point in paying a deposit in the first place if you're just going to give it back if all fails? Might as well just not bother.

Return the £200.

You've just rec'd £600 from another buyer, minus the £200 you will refund to the German, gives you the same amount had the german collected, as he would have had £400 to pay.

Refund the £200, its the right thing to do.

Bear in mind, he's trusted you to hold onto the deposit/item for him, and he's been up front in that he's unable to complete the transaction.

ScroopEgerton

If you'd not been able to sell it, then you could argue that it was due … If you'd not been able to sell it, then you could argue that it was due to holding it for him, and so the deposit fulfils its purpose as a retainer, an insurance policy to you. That's the point of it.Since you've sold it on anyway, there's no reason for you to keep hold of the money.I appreciate it's a pain to suddenly have to find £200 that's long since been spent, you probably should have offered the refund immediately you sold the item on, to clear the matter.I don't see how it matters if you stated it was a non-refundable deposit or not- what's the point of taking a deposit in the first place unless it's a commitment to buy from the other party? He bailed on the sale, and so he should be prepared to lose his deposit.That said, I'd give it back. It makes you less of an ar*e.



But the OP doesn't have to suddenly find £200, the OP has rec'd £600 from another buyer, had the German collected he would have only had £400 to pay anyway..?

Ultimately the OP has still rec'd £600 for the item, the amount he wanted originally so is not out of pocket.

Edited by: "andynicol" 16th May

Yes return it, but I doubt you will.
Edited by: "snoopy18" 16th May

Original Poster

andynicol

But the OP doesn't have to suddenly find £200, the OP has rec'd £600 from … But the OP doesn't have to suddenly find £200, the OP has rec'd £600 from another buyer, had the German collected he would have paid £400 anyway..?



Money for the "second sale" was received back in February, so almost 3 months ago. So yeah, I technically do need to find £200.

winifer

It says in the original post how it was paid.. "I sold a car accessory … It says in the original post how it was paid.. "I sold a car accessory back in October to a guy based in Germany, for £600. He had to rely on friends visiting from the UK to be able to collect it on his behalf and take it to him in Germany, which was likely to take him a month or two to arrange. We agreed to a deposit of £200 (via PayPal Gift) "



​Thanks for that, I better put my reading specs back on. Glad you were there to point me in the right direction.

coco2007

Money for the "second sale" was received back in February, so almost 3 … Money for the "second sale" was received back in February, so almost 3 months ago. So yeah, I technically do need to find £200.



Why didn't you refund the German 3 months ago when you were paid the £600..as, had the German collected in Feb he would have only paid £400.


Edited to add ;

I think I know the answer to that, the German has contacted you re item/deposit.

You hoped he'd disappear/forget didn't you..?




Edited by: "andynicol" 16th May

mas99

Shame the classifieds section has gone. threads like this give good … Shame the classifieds section has gone. threads like this give good warning of who not to deal with.


yes, I deal a lot on avforums, all done on trust but well moderated .

andynicol

Why didn't you refund the German 3 months ago when you were paid the … Why didn't you refund the German 3 months ago when you were paid the £600..as, had the German collected in Feb he would have only paid £400.Edited to add ;I think I know the answer to that, the German has contacted you re item/deposit.You hoped he'd disappear/forget didn't you..?


I would have refunded straight away, same as you and a lot of others on here.

Original Poster

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

He took it on the chin to be fair and chalked it down to "learning the hard way" ("Lehrgeld"). Had be been an **** I'd have kept half of it but have instead decided to send him back the full deposit.

no. That's the whole point of a holding deposit which you and him was aware of.

Return it, stop being a skank, you still got your money from selling it to someone else, be different if it was a deposit for something made to measure or a personalised birthday cake.

coco2007

\x09\x09\x09\x09\x09\x09I sold a car accessory back in October to a guy … \x09\x09\x09\x09\x09\x09I sold a car accessory back in October to a guy based in Germany, for £600. He had to rely on friends visiting from the UK to be able to collect it on his behalf and take it to him in Germany, which was likely to take him a month or two to arrange. We agreed to a deposit of £200 (via PayPal Gift) to secure the sale.It got to the end of the year and he still hadn't managed to collect it. Then in January he told me it was unlikely he'd be able to arrange collection for the foreseeable future, and that I should sell it in the short-term if that was an option. I sold it to a guy who had asked me about it back in October, he collected it after a couple of days and paid cash (£600).Today, some six months after the initial contact, the guy in Germany sends me a message asking me if I still have it, and if not, could he have his deposit back.I don't feel obligated to refund any of it, I needed both the cash (before Christmas) and the garage space. I have offer a part-refund (£100, half of the money) as a goodwill gesture. He is yet to respond.What are people's thoughts/experiences with this? Do you think he'e entitled to a deposit refund or is he just trying his luck? Do I have any obligation (legal or otherwise) to return it?EDIT:Thanks for the feedback everyone.He took it on the chin to be fair and chalked it down to "learning the hard way" ("Lehrgeld"). Had be been an **** I'd have kept half of it but have instead decided to send him back the full deposit.\x09\x09\x09\x09\x09


Well done OP.

coco2007

Thanks for the feedback everyone.He took it on the chin to be fair and … Thanks for the feedback everyone.He took it on the chin to be fair and chalked it down to "learning the hard way" ("Lehrgeld"). Had be been an **** I'd have kept half of it but have instead decided to send him back the full deposit.



That's the right thing to do. Cheers

coco2007

Thanks for the feedback everyone. He took it on the chin to be fair and … Thanks for the feedback everyone. He took it on the chin to be fair and chalked it down to "learning the hard way" ("Lehrgeld"). Had be been an **** I'd have kept half of it but have instead decided to send him back the full deposit.


Respect.
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