Bad deal, did I do the right thing?


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CentralTexas
November 27, 2005, 08:10 PM
Over a year ago I decided to sell a semiauto I bought and didn't care for.
I asked for $225 (what I had in it)and a fellow from my hometown several hours away said he drives through here on business often and would take it on a trip through in several weeks. I asked for a $25 deposit, he said fine but I received notice from PayPal he had paid the full amount. I emailed and he said no problem, he intended to pay in full.
Trip one didn't happen, he said in about another 3 weeks he would come by. I even had a firm 9PM once and at almost midnight he was still in Houston and decided to try again later etc.,I had two cell numbers and at this point just decided to let him persue the pickup as I was getting tired of it.
Over the next few months I would call and get a message he wasn't accepting calls at present. I went to see family twice in his town of residence and called many times so I could deliver. Finally a year passes with no contact and I figure the fellow is institutionalized, dead or whatever....
I'm tired of holding the money and the gun, so I trade the gun to someone I know who was looking for one like it. Out of the blue he calls this morning before 8AM on Sunday morning. I had no idea who was calling from my hometown area code so early and was worried something happened to my dad etc. CONTINUED

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CentralTexas
November 27, 2005, 08:19 PM
So this fellow says it's XXX and do you still have my pistol?
I said no I hadn't heard from you in over a year and it's gone. He says well "what about my money?" I explained that I felt at this time unless he had a great explanation it was forfeit, he replied he had changed jobs and worked a lot of hours....I told him I was sorry but didn't feel I could help him out.
He said well if you change your mind call me.:fire:
I felt from a pure business type of reason I was right. I had the money and gun tied up over a year and went through a lot of trouble trying to get it to this guy.
Anyway I picked up the phone and called him back and said what's your mailing address & I would put a check in the mail. He told me to keep $25 (original deposit request)for my trouble....:cuss:
So, did I do the right thing or just get used and shafted? I should feel better for refunding his money but I feel screwed over.
Thoughts?
CT

mec
November 27, 2005, 08:31 PM
I would give the useless varmint's money back as soon as I could

Gunpacker
November 27, 2005, 08:35 PM
You know you did the right thing. Well, actually, maybe the right thing would have been to keep the gun. He should have been in contact, but you knew that the gun belonged to him, regardless of whether he had picked it up or not. Since he actally had paid, bought the gun, seems like you might have been OB for selling it. This way, he's happy, and no more problem. You have an extra bit for your trouble.

Declaration Day
November 27, 2005, 08:43 PM
Considering all of your time on the phone, and the time waiting around for the guy to show up, I'd say you earned the money.

Nonetheless, you gave it back to him, and now there is no reason for him to come around and cause trouble. I'd have likely done the same.

Just be glad it is over.

hotpig
November 27, 2005, 08:50 PM
I would have had Paypal return his money a long time ago. He could have screwed you over and had your account locked for doing a firearm transaction.

Bigjake
November 27, 2005, 08:54 PM
The only thing i see wrong was not just giving him the cash back right off the bat, he wouldn't be pissed and you's be right where you are now. telling him its forefit and then calling him back is pointless, it aggrivates him and puts you in a potentially tough spot.

bofe954
November 27, 2005, 09:01 PM
I wouldn't feel screwed over if I were you. You got to sit on his money and the pistol for a long time. When another deal came along you still got rid of the pistol, and you kept a few bucks for the hassle.

In a way he probably feels screwed over. He gave you the full payment, technically the pistol was his, you just had it. Then you traded off his pistol and charged him 25 bones to boot. (Not that I think you did anything wrong, a year is an obscene amount of time.)

That being said I would have probably done about the same thing. I usually don't remove paypal money from my account until the deal is complete. You can refund full or partial without charge for a while (I think 30 days) If a deal isn't resolved by then I just refund and cancel the deal.

Lupinus
November 27, 2005, 09:04 PM
I think you did the right thing except for one. You took the entire price up front which technicly made it his I think. If I were you I would have immediatly turned around and sent the extra money back to him and jsut held onto a deposit till he picked it up.

But all in all a year? I'd like to see a store that would hold onto something for a year full price paid or not if you didn't pick something up.

R.H. Lee
November 27, 2005, 09:05 PM
You're not going to like this answer, CT. Sorry.

When you took the money the gun was no longer yours and you had no business trading or selling it to someone else. You should have just held on to it until you heard from him. How hard is that?

biere
November 27, 2005, 09:06 PM
Returning the money is the right thing to do, however after reading your posts a few times I don't know why the guy expects anything back.

I am not sure what I would do with that early sunday call, let me just say it would not be something acceptable for this board.

After no contact for a year, I would also consider things dead and done.

My biggy is wondering what if you had moved? What happens if this nut wants to say you stole his gun since he never got it? I don't know legality of this, but in today's world I figure anything is possable.

As far as the comment about keeping the gun, who is responsable for theft or fire? What about simple upkeep for a year + of storage?

You went above and beyond by trying to call him to complete the deal.

I would return most of the money and make note on all the gun boards with posts about how a sale went and make sure others could search and make sure of what they might be getting in to with a deal. A simple comment that the deal was slow to be completed would be enough to make most people ask before deciding on a deal.

I guess I should now add a time limit to deals where pickup is going to take a while since I would hate to get into such a situation.

itgoesboom
November 27, 2005, 09:12 PM
If he really wanted it he wouldn't have waited a year.

I am betting he was arrested, thrown in jail and couldn't get it for that year and wanted it when he got out.

I.G.B.

Average Joe
November 27, 2005, 09:12 PM
Once you got his payment, the pistol was his. I would have just put it aside,and when and if he came for it I would give it to him. If he never came for it, after a few years, I would assume he wasn't coming, and made a last effort to contact him, If that failed, I would do as you did. But, you gave him his money back, that was the right thing to do. You will sleep better at nights for being honest.

allmons
November 27, 2005, 09:12 PM
This yokel was clearly in the wrong, but you said it best when you said it felt right to give his money back. Only you can answer for you, but I think you did the right thing.
If he wasn't such a putz, he would've given you 20% for your time and trouble.

;)

rustymaggot
November 27, 2005, 09:36 PM
i hate people who jerk me around forever not doing their part of a deal. i would have made the guy come get it way before a year, or id have told him he was gonna forfeit his money if he didnt come get it by a certain date. you were right to refund his money. he was wrong to be a deadbeat. selling the item before giving him his money back was kinda wrong but what the heck, we live in a world of grey areas. personally, id have kept a bit more than just 25 bucks but i would have given back well over half his money. thats just me. i hate people who cant follow thru with things and keep me waiting.

Hawkmoon
November 27, 2005, 09:55 PM
He got screwed, not you. Once you accepted his money, it was HIS gun. Yes, he should have been more assiduous about picking it up, but given that it was paid in full, there was really no crying need for you to keep chasing him ... you could have just left it in a back corner of the safe until he got around to you.

Look at it from his perspective: He sent you $225 in good faith, he had some problems that delayed picking up HIS purchase, and a year later (after you have had both the money and HIS gun for a year) he calls and you tell him to take a long walk off a short pier. If you did that to me, I'd have you in court before you hung up the phone.

You should have refunded his money before you resold HIS gun. At the very least, you should have refunded his money after you sold HIS gun.

GT
November 27, 2005, 10:10 PM
Having watched a lot of Judge Judy I can assure you that you only have to keep the gun for a reasonable amount of time provided you refund his money. This is assuming the sale was still pending and that you made many attempts to contact him in good faith to consummate.
If, on the other hand, we assume the sale was final you would have been within your rights to dispose of the gun after a few months provided you were able to inform him (you are not obliged to store someone else's property indefinitely).

Keeping $25 is OK but why not refund the whole amount to avoid bad feeling?

G

CentralTexas
November 27, 2005, 11:33 PM
It had been well over way a year with no contact before I got rid of the gun.
As of the phone call this morning it's almost a year and a half....
CT

longtooth
November 27, 2005, 11:41 PM
I agree w/ the majority. You did the right thing. He has no gripe what so ever. Never do business w/ him again but don't let it sour you w/ the rest of folks.

hso
November 28, 2005, 01:09 AM
Here's how this reads, "I asked for $225 (what I had in it)and a fellow from my hometown several hours away said he would take it. I asked for a $25 deposit, he said fine but I received notice from PayPal he had paid the full amount."

At that point he had paid for the pistol.

After a year of trying to get the pistol to him you got tired of trying and sold the pistol to someone else.

Instead of waiting until you heard from him again and without refunding the money to his account you sold the pistol he had paid for. It hardly matters how long you had it sitting around, he paid, you sold the gun he paid for to someone else, you didn't refund the money and when he asked, "well "what about my money?" Yousic explained that Yousic felt at this time unless he had a great explanation it was forfeit"

Sounds like your conscience is bothering you and you're mad at yourself for not having done the right thing by you having almost given in to your lesser tendencies and screwing this guy out of his $225. Giving his money back is the only right thing.

Kim
November 28, 2005, 01:25 AM
You did the right thing---------eventually. It would not have been right to keep the money. You will sleep better. You did good.

Missashot
November 28, 2005, 10:05 AM
I just can't figure out what the purchaser was thinking. He had a new gun. That automatically means a trip to the range in the next two days.:neener:
Seriously, I know it might bug you, but giving him his money back even though it had been an incredibly long time, was the right thing to do. I think he should have had you keep more out for storage of the Gun for a year and a half though.:scrutiny:
Better luck with your next dealings.

kfranz
November 28, 2005, 11:48 AM
You had the money and the pistol. Why'd you feel the need to sell it again?

rbernie
November 28, 2005, 12:02 PM
I wouldn't be able to sleep until I refunded his money.

My values tell me that the time and aggrevation he caused is simply the cost of doing business, and I don't want any stain on my hands - period. The money just ain't worth it, in the end. It never is.

calaverasslim
November 28, 2005, 12:10 PM
I'm 62 years young, bought and sold guns for most of those 62 years and am Texan, born and bred. 1 thing I have always found is that Texans, by and large, do the right thing. Tradition, I guess. I know there are those who don't abide by agreements, but they don't last long.

This feller held the gun for over a year and then sold it. When that feller in Houston called, no questions asked, refund the money and wash your hands. He had his chance. Seller is not a gun shop with lay away, not a safety deposit box nor a storage shed, He waited long enuf.

adicho!

Hawkmoon
November 28, 2005, 12:20 PM
This feller held the gun for over a year and then sold it. When that feller in Houston called, no questions asked, refund the money and wash your hands. He had his chance. Seller is not a gun shop with lay away, not a safety deposit box nor a storage shed, He waited long enuf.
One minor problem with this analysis: Layaway is where you make a down payment, then keep making small additional payments until the item has been paid off, at which time you get to take your merchandise home. In this case, the buyer paid in full without ever seeing the merchandise. This was not a layaway situation.

I agree CT waited long enough. When he got tired of waiting the only right (and legal) thing to do was to refund the purchase price. As it went down, CT sold someone else's firearm without the owner's knowledge or consent.

mec
November 28, 2005, 12:26 PM
The flip side of the Cartesian "Cogito". The belief system that holds that one is the central focus of the universe and everything else is merely an illusion set to serve him. eg:
"Good creatures do you love your lives
and have your ears for sense?
Here's a knife, like any knife
It cost me fifteen pense.

I need but plunge it in my heart
and down will come the sky
and Earth's foundations will depart
and all you folks will die."

That would describe the guy who left you hanging for over a year. It's a pretty popular world view. The gunsmith who sets a date for completion of your work and a year later is saying "I'm working on it as we speak and...."
Or the guy who took a bunch of advance payments for a group holster order and kept the money without delivering. Or, how about the concealed handgun school applicant who lets you scheduel him for a class and then does a no-show because he didn't want to miss an IMPORTANT FOOTBALL! GAME!...."but sign me up for your next class!"

They also satisfy the definition of "Matter"- Has shape and occupies space- but not much more. I'd be happy that I didn't supply such a varmint with a firearm, give him back his money and shake the dust off my feet.

johnmcl
November 28, 2005, 12:49 PM
CT,

You did fine. Don't worry about re-selling the gun as he essentially abandoned it. An analogy is a guy that has service done on his car and then leaves it on the lot for a year. The auto shop can do what they want with it by law and tradition

You could have told him to bug off as you didn't hear from him in over a year. You did the honorable thing in refunding. You're my kinda guy...

John

rust collector
November 28, 2005, 04:57 PM
You don't need us to tell you that you did the right thing in refunding the guy's money. It was wrong of him to abandon his gun, but disposing of it then puts you behind the eightball.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, make sure you leave a paper trail by notifying him by mail, with receipt of mailing and copy of the letter, that he must pick up the goods by a specified (reasonable) date, and if he fails to do so there will be a stated monthly storage charge or you may dispose of the property without further notice. If he fails to take care of business, you then have a legal argument known as estoppel that may be useful. The law frowns on forfeiture, so unless you've got a solid, provable agreement providing for that or a statute that specifically applies, that claim isn't likely to help you.

Don't know what causes people to do this--probably a form of depression--but it's not uncommon. That's why most states have case law and statutes which deal with unclaimed property (it may escheat to the state in some instances :eek: )

Cacique500
November 28, 2005, 09:04 PM
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, make sure you leave a paper trail by notifying him by mail, with receipt of mailing and copy of the letter, that he must pick up the goods by a specified (reasonable) date, and if he fails to do so there will be a stated monthly storage charge or you may dispose of the property without further notice.

Yep - certified mail saying he's got X number of days to complete the transaction...blah blah blah.

I wonder if there's more to his story - that's just very weird that he waited that long...even with a new job & long hours.

akodo
November 28, 2005, 09:48 PM
Once you had your money and made reasonable efforts to deliver it to him, you had three choices, both of which required oyu to contact him and give him an in stone deadline. Followed by

A- Refund 200. This would leave you with the asked for $25 to 'hold' the gun, which is always kept if the sale falls through.

B- Refund 175, leaving yow witht he original $25, and keeping an additional $25 to hold the gun a 2nd time, for another month. If he shows up at the end of the next month with $175, the gun is his.

c-Drive to police station. State "This gun is not mine. It belongs to X." and leave it with them to deal with as they see fit, same as if you found a gun lying on the floor.

What you should NOT have done is resold it.

secamp32
November 28, 2005, 10:18 PM
Returning the money is the right thing to do. I would probably keep the difference between what you got for the gun and the $225 (assuming you sold it for less than $225) if not then keep the $25 down and send the rest back.

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