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Thread: Selling second hand goods - Predicament

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Angry Selling second hand goods - Predicament

    So two weeks ago, a lady from JHB bought my old laptop, as I had upgraded.

    The intention was that her brother was going to take it to her from his fiance in Durban in 2 weeks time (now) while he was down here.

    After I received payment, I did a software reset of the laptop and delivered it to the fiance. I booted the 100% working laptop up in front of her, asked her if there was anything she wanted to check, which there wasn't, and assumed it to be a done deal.

    Yesterday, I get a phone call from the brother, telling me the laptop isn't switching on. This is apparently the first time it's been switched on since I delivered it. They apparently took it to Incredible Connection and were told it was a motherboard failure.

    The lady I sold it to phones today to say she wants either her money back or me to replace the motherboard.

    To me, that seems like a bunch of bull****. Why should the liability be mine, when what I delivered was working 100% and accepted by an "agent" of the buyer? How do I know the laptop wasn't dropped, subjected to adverse conditions, etc in the 2 weeks after delivery?

    Now my question is: Do I have any liability in terms of this transaction, legally speaking?

    As far as I'm concerned, that's the risk you take when buying second hand goods. I'm ready to tell her to get lost, because I don't feel like I should accept any responsibility whatsoever for events after the transaction.

    Then again, dependent on her actions going forward, I may offer a R500 contribution towards a new motherboard as a token of goodwill. Right now, I'm in no way inclined to do that, though.

    I look forward to your opinions on this. Great way to ruin my weekend.
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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Voetstoots....
    It also depends on the attitide of the buyer if one feel inclined to be helpful...

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    Mark Atkinson (04-Nov-12)

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    Was anything signed? I have the same problem with my clients when fixing PC's. Works 100%, you show them, and a few days later, "Oh hi, it's not working".

    Solution: When delivering the PC, get them to sign a form saying everything is working 100%.

    If nothing was signed then I don't know. You can turn around & say, "That laptop isn't even mine" & she can turn around & say, "Oh look, I deposited x-amount of Rands by accident into your account, I want my money back".

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    Mark Atkinson (04-Nov-12)

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Tell her to suck eggs. What happened in that 2 weeks, was it dropped?
    Then say you will take it back in the same condition as you gave it to her and give the money back, IE it must boot up when you switch it on.
    I have dropped a laptop you can't see any damage but the screen stopped working, you can still plug in a screen.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Mark Atkinson (04-Nov-12)

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I'm with Ian, they had 2 weeks to play with it.

    If she wanted a guarantee then she should have bought it from Game.
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    Mark Atkinson (04-Nov-12)

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    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    So two weeks ago, a lady from JHB bought my old laptop, as I had upgraded.

    The intention was that her brother was going to take it to her from his fiance in Durban in 2 weeks time (now) while he was down here.

    After I received payment, I did a software reset of the laptop and delivered it to the fiance. I booted the 100% working laptop up in front of her, asked her if there was anything she wanted to check, which there wasn't, and assumed it to be a done deal.

    Yesterday, I get a phone call from the brother, telling me the laptop isn't switching on. This is apparently the first time it's been switched on since I delivered it. They apparently took it to Incredible Connection and were told it was a motherboard failure.

    The lady I sold it to phones today to say she wants either her money back or me to replace the motherboard.

    To me, that seems like a bunch of bull****. Why should the liability be mine, when what I delivered was working 100% and accepted by an "agent" of the buyer? How do I know the laptop wasn't dropped, subjected to adverse conditions, etc in the 2 weeks after delivery?

    Now my question is: Do I have any liability in terms of this transaction, legally speaking?

    As far as I'm concerned, that's the risk you take when buying second hand goods. I'm ready to tell her to get lost, because I don't feel like I should accept any responsibility whatsoever for events after the transaction.

    Then again, dependent on her actions going forward, I may offer a R500 contribution towards a new motherboard as a token of goodwill. Right now, I'm in no way inclined to do that, though.

    I look forward to your opinions on this. Great way to ruin my weekend.
    She has no valid legal grounds against you! You sold it voetstoets and tested it. I doubt they will sue out summons as costs of litigation will exceed that of the laptop. She may approach the Small Claims court, if so, you simply defend the action and simply argue that the basis of your verbal contract was the sale of a secondhand laptop and that it was sold voetstoets. Nothing to feel guilty about..
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    Mark Atkinson (04-Nov-12)

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Mark, the Consumer Protection Act 68, 2008 (‘the CPA’) only applies to transactions that are concluded in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business. The CPA would apply had you been a dealer in computers and laptops, but not to a once-off transaction between yourself and a buyer. (section 55) The buyer would normally have a 5 day cooling off period, but that applies to direct marketing only.

    As a show of goodwill, you may offer to repair the laptop if they send it back to you (at the buyer's expense) as the sale took place in Durban, but I do not believe that you have any liability.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Dave A (05-Nov-12), Mark Atkinson (04-Nov-12)

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Hi Mark - I am one of those people who, when they sell something to others, feel a sense of responsibility even after the sale has taken place. I know I shouldn't, but I do. I know that it was working when it was sold ... and what are the chances that it would give in withing a few weeks of selling. The person bought it in good faith that it would work and now it doesn't.

    Legally, they bought it voetstoets and I have no obligation ... but if it had happened the other way round I know that I would be terribly disappointed.

    But hey! That's just me!

    I agree with Bluerock that if you are going to show goodwill - have the laptop sent back so that you can evaluate it and effect repairs with someone you trust.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Mark Atkinson (05-Nov-12)

  16. #9
    Email problem Rafael's Avatar
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    http://www.legalcity.net/Index.cfm?f...icleID=5192428

    Did you sign something?
    Selling items as voetstoets had changed, but regarding your side of the events, you should be protected

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