What to do if I purchased a fake painting on-line?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I purchased a fake painting on-line?

On 12/22/0909, I purchased a Peter Max mixed media painting. A week ago I found out that the painting is a fake. I talked to the seller a couple of times but he refuses to take painting back and refund my payment of $1290. I purchased this painting through eBay and I paid seller via PayPal; I have the 2 transactions papers. I am in CA and the seller is in NV. I have his email address and phone number but I don’t have his address. However eBay does but they would only give it to law enforcement agents. Also, eBay is not responsible of transactions over 45 days old. Do I have the law in my side? What is the best way to proceed? Should I take him to court (small claims)? If I take him to court, how do I serve him if I don’t have his address?

Asked on August 26, 2010 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an attorney. There may be ways to get the gentleman's address, such as through a reverse lookup via phone #; there are also some services that specialize in locating addresses of parties to a legal action, which an attorney who regularly does this sort of action may know.

If you think the seller may have knowingly sold you a fake, then he committed criminal fraud, which is, obviously, a crime; you could in that case try to get law enforcement involved.

Also, an attorney may be able to get  eBay to be willing to release the other person's address, such as by threatening to sue eBay for effectively participating in your loss.

The short answer is, there are likely to be ways to find this person. However, they will take the expenditure of time and, more importantly, money on your behalf (e.g. lawyer fees; fees to a service or agency to find him). Given that even after  you find him, you will have to spend more to sue, and after that will not be certain of (1) winning (no lawsuit is *ever* 100% certain) or collecting (suppose he has no assets you can find or reach), you do need to consider whether it is worthwhile pursuing this.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption