What are my rights regarding the sale of a tablet that I sold to someone who stopped payment on their check?

I sold a tablet on Craigslist and delivered it to the buyers house (I was accompanied by my cousin). I was at the buyers house for 2.5 hours while he inspected the tablet and all accessories. He even loaded software on to it to check a couple things out. After several failed attempts to pay me through PayPal, he wrote me a check. I deposited it right away and forgot about it. Several days later I noticed the check had bounced so I contacted the buyer. He said he was not happy with the device so he moved all of his funds to another account so my check would bounce. He wanted to return the product because he claimed it wouldn’t charge to 100% (which it did/does). What do I do?

Asked on November 5, 2015 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You don't have to accept the return, unless the terms of your sale specifically included a right of return/refund. Otherwise, he is obligated to pay you, and you may sue him for the money (such as in small claims court, acting as your own attorney to save on legal fees) as well as for any other costs you incured (such as the court filing fee; or if you incurred any fees when the check bounced). To win, you'd need to prove, such as with testimony (e.g. yours and your cousin's) that you delivered him a working tablet. If you did, the fact that he later decided he was unhappy with it is irrelevant. Of course, depending on how much money is at stake, it may be better to simply accept the tablet back and not sue, rather than spend hours on a lawsuit.


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