Do I have to give a refund to a retail company?

I do custom leatherwork and began selling to a retail store. The one owner had

three hours on Saturday to tell me if she didn’t want/like/approve of certain leather

clutches before I left and before she wrote me a check for them. She looked at

every clutch and bracelet before she wrote me that check. I also have texts from

her saying how happy she was and how she was obsessing over them. Now come

Thursday and she doesn’t want them and is now wanting a refund. I do not want

to give them a return for it, it’s a handmade product and it will not be perfect and

they knew that going into it. Do I have to give them a return? If not, can they come

back and take me to court to get their money back? If it were to go to court, would

I have the upper hand? How do I go about telling them that I am not giving them a

return if I don’t have to?

Asked on March 24, 2016 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) A vendor does not need to refund money unless--
a) there was a refund policy, which their customer complied with; or
b) the goods were nonconforming or damaged.
However, you write that she reviewed and accepted the goods, so you are not legally obligated to refund her.
2) She can try suing you, however: the law does not "pre-screen" cases to see if they are vaid, so she has the right to file a suit and try to convince a court that there as something wrong with your goods (e.g. they didn't meet her specs or where defective).
3) As stated, legally, you should prevail; practically, if she is willing to lie (e.g. claim she did not inspect them until a week later, and then found some big problem) and is credible, she *could* win. The facts you describe suggest that you have the upper hand, but you can't assume that guarantees a win; a win is never guaranteed in court (courts and judges sometimes believe a person they should not). Obviously, if you have a written acceptance from her, that strengthens your case, since it would be very hard for her to go back on what she wrote.


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