Should I be weary of selling used equipment to an individual in another country?

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Should I be weary of selling used equipment to an individual in another country?

I am selling an embroidery machine, since my wife and I our downsizing the embroidery side of our business. I posted an ad on a website for selling this type of equipment, and an individual from Canada has expressed interest in purchasing it. He has asked several questions, such as was the unit made in the USA, to determine the duty tax he will have to pay. He has requested that the total cost of the system, $5,500, be split into machine and accessories. And, that he be given 2 invoices, one for the machine $4,000 and one for the accessories $1,500 so that he will pay less tax in Canada. These individual costs accurately depict what each is worth. Also, this individual is unwilling to pay a deposit for this machine. He plans to drive down and pick it up himself. Could providing the 2 invoices as they request possibly negatively effect us? I am not sure that there is anything awry with this situation but I do have some reservations, all things considered. Could completing this transaction be a bad idea? Are there any other concerns we should have about

selling to a person in Canada?

Asked on August 11, 2016 under Business Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You should be very wary. Once he is across the boarder with your machine, if he does not pay, it will be very expensive and difficult to collect from him: without getting into the particulars, there is no good mechanism for a U.S. citizen to sue and collect money from someone in a different country. That he won't provide  deposit is suspicious: it suggests that he may be intending to abscond with your machine, leaving you with no good pay to pursue him for the money. Of course, if no one else wants the machine and you'd otherwise be throwing it out, there may be no harm in taking a chance like this--but be aware that it is definitely taking a chance.


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