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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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