Can an independent sales rep withhold and refuse return of a company’s samples even if the agreed fees are paid and there is no contract?

Asked on November 19, 2014 under Business Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, a company's samples are the company's property. If there is no contract, then the representative would have to return them on demand (just as the representation could be terminated entirely on demand, in the absence of a contract to the contrary), though the company would have to pay any shipping, insurance, etc. costs. Often, it's not economically worthile to do this and the samples are left with the sales representative, but that is a cost-benefit issue, not a legal one. (And similarly, if the rep will not return the samples voluntarily, it may not be economically worthwhile to bring a legal action to recover them or their value.)

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