+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 45
  1. #1
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18

    Sue Ebay non selling seller in small claims court

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA

    I won an auction for an expensive piece of equipment ($4,500). The seller had listed this numerous times before at a higher price, which attracted no bidders. The seller started the auction I won at 4k. I won the listing for $4,500. I contacted the seller about scheduling pickup and was initially told that he would not sell me the item to be because the price was too low then some bull**** about the item being sold earlier that day (the auction ended at 8am in the morning, the seller is full of it). I can buy a near identical item buy it now on ebay for $4,500 over the final price of the auction I won ($9000).

    Can I sue the seller in his home state or in my home state for the difference in what it would cost to purchase a nearly identical item, $4,500. Please let me know if you think I have a case I can win. I am located a few hundred miles from this seller, so I have no problem driving to their home state, but if possible, can I file in my state? The seller could have set the min price higher or used a reserve price to set his "min bid". After the seller told me over the phone he would not sell me the equipment he filed a cancellation request through the ebay system, which I rejected. He claimed to have sold the item at a higher price to another buyer hours before the auction closed (8am). I highly doubt he sold the item to someone else.

    In regards to how much I actually lost. I would argue that by not selling me the item for my winning bid amount I will have to purchase a similar item (nearly the same machine, model, condition) from another seller at an additional cost of $4,500.

    One last question, please let me know if there is a way I can avoid traveling to his state to file the summons, complaint and case? Thanks
    Last edited by rdr78; 09-28-2009 at 09:37 AM.
  2. #2
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    In the good old US of A
    Posts
    19,295
    I can't tell you about filing small claims .

    If you were the winning bidder , you would have received a congratulations on/by Ebay that you won the bid .

    Additionally what were the results of your dispute with Ebay about this sale ?
  3. #3
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    yes, I did receive an ebay notification that I won the item, unfortunately, this means nothing to the seller. Ebay does not get involved with situations like this, all I can do on the ebay side is file a non selling seller complaint. This is a civil case now, my only recourse is small claims or court.
  4. #4
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    In the good old US of A
    Posts
    19,295
    What cost have YOU been damaged ?

    Ebay buyers do not pay Ebay fees , so what amount of money have you been damaged ?
  5. #5
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    35,499
    If you didn't give the seller any money, then I don't think you have anything to sue over. You got no item but you paid no money.
  6. #6
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    I dunno. What time is it?
    Posts
    6,260
    Quote Originally Posted by rdr78 View Post
    yes, I did receive an ebay notification that I won the item, unfortunately, this means nothing to the seller. Ebay does not get involved with situations like this, all I can do on the ebay side is file a non selling seller complaint. This is a civil case now, my only recourse is small claims or court.
    Ideally, you want to sue in the seller's jurisdiction. That way, the seller cannot move to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction.

    Since you don't mention the seller's state, I can't tell if a small claims court in the seller's state will allow you to sue for specific performance. Specific performance is a court order requiring the seller to go through with the contract. It's often used with real estate transactions, as another piece of land is not a substitute for another.

    The final piece is proving your damages. A 'nearly identical' item is not an identical item. You would have to prove the value of the actual item. If the "Market would not support a $6K price", you'll be hard pressed to claim the value is $9K. In fact, if the high bid on that item was $4.5K, that's pretty good evidence that the value is only $4.5K, in which case you've suffered no loss.

    Your could file in your state's small claims court, if it allows you to sue an out of state defendant, and hope to use that as leverage to get the seller to follow through with the contract.
  7. #7
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    An ebay auction is a binding contract per the terms and conditions of the user agreement. I would argue damages in the amount of $4,500, the cost to purchase a nearly identical item from a different seller. I feel I have sustained damages due to breach of contract and non performance. I've requested via the ebay system an invoice from the seller along with the address to pick up the item, but the seller wont reply to the request or release their address. I cant send payment if the seller wont send me an invoice along with the pickup information. The seller sent a request for cancellation via the ebay system, indicating they wanted to cancel the transaction based on selling the item to someone else at a higher price after the auction closed. Please let me know if you think this argument wont hold up.
  8. #8
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The Heart o' Dixie
    Posts
    9,813
    OP has no case. Buyer still has his money, seller still has the item.
  9. #9
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevef View Post
    Ideally, you want to sue in the seller's jurisdiction. That way, the seller cannot move to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction.

    Since you don't mention the seller's state, I can't tell if a small claims court in the seller's state will allow you to sue for specific performance. Specific performance is a court order requiring the seller to go through with the contract. It's often used with real estate transactions, as another piece of land is not a substitute for another.

    The final piece is proving your damages. A 'nearly identical' item is not an identical item. You would have to prove the value of the actual item. If the "Market would not support a $6K price", you'll be hard pressed to claim the value is $9K. In fact, if the high bid on that item was $4.5K, that's pretty good evidence that the value is only $4.5K, in which case you've suffered no loss.

    Your could file in your state's small claims court, if it allows you to sue an out of state defendant, and hope to use that as leverage to get the seller to follow through with the contract.
    Thanks for replying, that is a great answer. In regards to the market price, I would argue this seller did not market his item properly and has limited feedback, therefore the item sold for a below market price. Its also a large piece of equipment that could be damaged easily in shipping, so only bidders with close geographic proximity might bid. The machine also sells for $19k brand new, a price point I can establish using manufacture's sales literature. This piece of equipment also generates cash flow, I could establish value using a reasonable discounted cash flow argument. Please let me know if you think a judge would agree with my arguments.
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,942
    Quote Originally Posted by rdr78 View Post
    ... indicating they wanted to cancel the transaction based on selling the item to someone else at a higher price after the auction closed. Please let me know if you think this argument wont hold up.
    How much did he end up selling it for? THAT would be your damages.

    (ETA: The difference between $4,500 and what he actually sold it for are your damages based on your argument)
  11. #11
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeekess View Post
    OP has no case. Buyer still has his money, seller still has the item.
    I could send payment today for the item, but the seller already said via email and over the phone, they would not sell me the item. If you think sending payment is the lynchpin, then should I send the $4,500 today hoping the seller refunds my money?
  12. #12
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    How much did he end up selling it for? THAT would be your damages.

    (ETA: The difference between $4,500 and what he actually sold it for are your damages based on your argument)
    He never said the price, he just said "I sold it to someone else for a higher price" and hung up the phone.
  13. #13
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,942
    Quote Originally Posted by rdr78 View Post
    He never said the price, he just said "I sold it to someone else for a higher price" and hung up the phone.
    That doesn't change my answer.
  14. #14
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    I could ask the judge to ask him how much he sold the item for they day of the hearing, requesting bank records and a receipt.
  15. #15
    rdr78 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by rdr78 View Post
    Thanks for replying, that is a great answer. In regards to the market price, I would argue this seller did not market his item properly and has limited feedback, therefore the item sold for a below market price. Its also a large piece of equipment that could be damaged easily in shipping, so only bidders with close geographic proximity might bid. The machine also sells for $19k brand new, a price point I can establish using manufacture's sales literature. This piece of equipment also generates cash flow, I could establish value using a reasonable discounted cash flow argument. Please let me know if you think a judge would agree with my arguments.
    I need to be more careful with my language, fair value, sales price and market price are different things.

Similar Threads

  1. How to sue Ebay seller - Small Claims or Federal? (NY and TN law question)
    By toddmanqa in forum Online Purchases and Sales
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-15-2012, 01:06 PM
  2. Can we sue seller in small claims court for delay in repair work?
    By vikasintl in forum Buying & Selling a Home
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-07-2009, 04:00 PM
  3. ebay seller non selling
    By beandis in forum Online Purchases and Sales
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-03-2008, 04:04 PM
  4. seller sueing under small claims court
    By ic3nin3 in forum Buying & Selling a Home
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-25-2005, 06:36 PM
  5. eBay & Small Claims Court
    By bburns in forum Small Claims Courts
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-30-2002, 02:59 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.