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DiehardSteeler

Please Help Settle a Dispute

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I'd appreciate your opinions to help settle a dispute. To be fair, I am going to set the table without telling you which side if this transaction I am on. Details:

 

1. Through Craigslist Buyer and Seller negotiated the sale of used hot water heater 12/5/2015 for $100. The hot water heater was described on Craigslist as "like new".

2. Buyer took possession of the hot water heater 12/5/2015.

3. At pick-up, Seller guaranteed that the hot water heater worked and agreed that if it did not, it could be returned for a full refund.

4. Due to circumstances beyond his/her control the hot water heater could not be installed until 1/9/2016, 35 days later and discovered that the hot water heater did not work.

5. Buyer contacts Seller on 1/15/2016, 41 days after the date of the sale, informing Seller that the hot water heater does not work.

 

Options

A. Seller is in the wrong, the hot water heater did not work, a full refund of $100 should be given to Buyer.

B. Buyer is in the wrong, Buyer waited too long to return the hot water heater, no refund should be given to Buyer.

C. Both Buyer and Seller are in the wrong, Seller should refund $50 to Buyer.

D. None of the above. ________________

 

Please choose A, B, C, or D. If you choose D, please give your alternative solution.

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I go with Option A, only because the seller agreed at pick up to return the money if it did not work.

 

In reality the seller is under no true obligation to return the money but since he agreed to return the money if it didn't work it is the right thing to do.

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D

 

S.O.L

 

Don't buy crap off Craigslist without making sure it works yet and don't sell stuff with out expecting someone to try and scam you. If you're the seller just take it back since it works. If you the buyer, you're stuck and got scammed

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A - without question but only if the contract agreed upon was in writing.

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D.

 

I do my fair share of online business and in this situation hindsight is 20/20, but I would have given a 14 day window for the buyer. This turns into a he said she said. We're assuming the buyer is telling the truth. If they are telling the truth about not being able to install it until 35 days later, then they should get a refund if it doesn't work. IMO, if I were on either side, I would just move on. I know $100 is a lot of money to some people, but it wouldn't be worth the stress on either side to fight over it. If I was the seller, I would give the $100 back because I don't want the hassle of picking it up, reselling, and/or disposal (and someone bugging me would piss me off). If I were the buyer, I would express my view and try to compromise with a partial refund because it didn't work and I took a long time to install it.

Edited by Shaft

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Personally, if I was the seller, the answer would be A, simply because I think it's the right thing to do. However, I just can't imagine selling anything privately that's used and offer a warranty with it.

 

Legally, with nothing in writing, it's "Let the buyer beware," unless you can prove the seller made that verbal comment about a money-back guarantee (not likely). Not really much gray area... Sorry.

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Everything was verbal.

Screwed, unfortunately.

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This is why I don't sell inexpensive stuff (worth $100 or less). It's just not worth the headache. If I get a new hot water heater and the old one still works I put the word out that whomever needs a used hot water heater can have it. "Before I replaced it, it was working, but who knows if it will still be working after you transport it somewhere. See ya."

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I say this is a buyer beware situation, or rather a buyer be responsible situation.

 

If I am the seller, no way am I giving a refund after that long. Equipment like that can (and usually does) go bad while sitting dormant. The inside of a water heater isn't meant to be exposed to air for weeks on end, it probably corroded the heating elements and possibly the tank. If it was going to be stored for an extended time, it should have been evacuated under vacuum, filled with nitrogen, and sealed air tight.

 

Assuming the seller isn't straight up scamming, and thing did actually work at the time of sale, this equipment failure is on the buyer.

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Why did it take you 6 days to contact the seller after you knew it wasn't working right?

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Should be A if he said bring it back if its broken but given its craiglist and no way to prove a verbal conversation then its a case of learn to protect yourself better in the future as a buyer.

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Sadly, too much time went by to install.

 

Just as sellers can scam, so can buyers can scam. 41 days to make a claim of the item not working is a bit long. The problem with this is that there will be suspicion that the item was installed and it worked. Then after installation stopped working - which was not covered in what you presented.

 

It would completely be up to the seller to decide to return money or not.

 

Tough call.

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Maybe I'm stupid, but if I buy a used water heater off Craigslist for $100 and then I find out it doesn't work, I chalk it up as "ok, that was dumb I got hosed" and throw it out. Lesson learned

 

Eta: I skipped #3 in the op, that changes things

Edited by HowboutthemCowboys

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I'd have to go with A on basic principle. Did the ammended deal (refund if it doesn't work) get done in writing? Was there any discussion of when it will be installed so that the deal can be final and no "take backs after that".

 

This is one reason I don't buy much online like this. Amazon yes, and only one problem item in many. eBay I've only done Buy-It-Now items that are more commodity like stuff I'd buy on Amazon. No used vehicles, appliances or anything like that.

 

Reading the responses now...

 

One more thing, $100 is nowhere near the cost of a new hot water heater, so it being "like new" was a stretch and the first sign that this was "too good to be true".

Edited by stevegrab

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Please enlighten us as to how all of this unfolded and which party you were in the deal.

 

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Buyer knows where the seller lives.

Unless he paid by check, the seller knows jack manure about the buyer.

 

Buyer returns the broken water heater for no refund through the front window of the seller in the middle of the night. Problem solved.

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