How long am I legally obligated to hold goods that have already been paid for if the person fails to pick them up?

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How long am I legally obligated to hold goods that have already been paid for if the person fails to pick them up?

We hosted a yard sale 3 days ago. A woman came in and bought almost all of our big items and asked us to hold them for her. She has yet to pick up these items. We have called her once to ask her to do so. We have been suspecting that there may be some sort of scam involved as she refused to even take the smallest items she bought. How long do we need to keep her things.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If the person who purchased all the goods that you had at your yard sale several days ago and paid cash, did you give her a receipt? If so, did you make a copy of it for your records and future reference?

Since you called the person on her telephone, I would use the reverse directory on the internet to send her a letter requesting that the items be picked up by a certain date or there would be a per diem storage charge for her property. Keep a copy of the letter for future need and reference.

If she fails to pick up her belongings by the demanded date, send her a second letter requesting the same. If she refuses to comply, take the items to the local offsite storage center and place the "rental" in the owner's name. When done, send the new owner a letter with a copy of the lease for the location where the items are now stored advising her of the need to pay the monthly rent for them.

In short, I suggest that you simply not discard the items bought or give them away.


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