What to do if I sold my boat and now the buyer wants a full refund?

UPDATED: Jun 21, 2011

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What to do if I sold my boat and now the buyer wants a full refund?

We sold our boat last week. The guy came down to look at it and I told him it was not going to be in the water because we noticed the bilge was not working. He said he just wanted to hear the engine run. We told him everything we knew that was wrong with it, we even told him that we had just had the carbs rebuilt because we were having trouble with it getting up out of the water. After the rebuild my husband had the boat out and it ran at 4500 rpm and 30mph. He looked it over and decided to purchase without riding in it. Now 5 days later he say it only goes 10 mph and wants a refund.

Asked on June 21, 2011 under General Practice, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no general right to a refund. In most situations, including private sales like the one you describe, if you did not provide a warranty or guaranty or have a refund policy, you would only need to refund if you had committed fraud in some way; that is, if you had misrepresented the boat to the buyer, then you the sale could be rescinded by the buyer and he could get his money back. In this situation, if you disclosed everything you knew to the buyer and answered all his questions truthfully, then he would not seem to have grounds for a refund. That said, if he chooses to, he could almost certainly at least initiate a lawsuit and force you to defend (even if you'd later win), so depending on how much money is at stake, you may wish to consider what action would be in your best interest.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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