Is it legal for a vendor to first require a 50 deposit for a product that is being built/refurbished then, require the 50 balance PRIOR to delivery of the item?

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Is it legal for a vendor to first require a 50 deposit for a product that is being built/refurbished then, require the 50 balance PRIOR to delivery of the item?

My small business paid a 50 deposit to a vendor to refurbish a machine that we
want to purchase but, the vendor is demanding full payment before the machine is
delivered for us to inspect and to make sure that it is fully operational. The
vendor did not have anything in writing where we agreed to making the final
payment prior to receiving the machine.

Asked on April 10, 2019 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

They cannot change the terms of the agreement (whether a written or unwritten/oral agreement), so if there was no requirement for payment in full prior to delivery, they cannot require it now. That said, if they refuse to provide the product without payment, the only way to force them to do so would be to sue them and get a court order for its release/delivery. You need to decide whether it is better to sue now, or else pay and then sue (e.g. for breach of contract: not providing what they agreed to provide, which is a refurbished and working machine) later if need be.


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