legally bound?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by eric phillips, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. A 1d mark 2 was on ebay for the'buy now' price of $3499 with a rebate
    coupon of $500 . The seller had made a mistake of quoting the lower
    price instead of $3999. He has since changed to the correct price.
    My question is. If someone had taken up the offer to 'buy now' at the
    lower price would the seller be bound to selling at this price?
    eric phillips
     
    eric phillips, Apr 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. eric phillips

    Ivor Floppy Guest

    I assume eBay follows the same laws as all other retailers, in which case
    there's nothing legally binding the seller to actually sell an item - the
    can just return any monies paid and wave bye-bye.
     
    Ivor Floppy, Apr 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. eric phillips

    Tom Scales Guest

    I don't agree. Can you cite a specific law?
     
    Tom Scales, Apr 18, 2005
    #3
  4. In general if there is an agreement and some action taken to further
    that agreement then there is a contract and the parties are bound by
    the contract. EBay has some particular rules, but that is actually a
    separate issue. As a practical issue if the seller is in a separate
    state all you can do is hurt their EBay reputation.


    --
    Matt Silberstein

    All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
    a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
    there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
    end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
    or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
     
    Matt Silberstein, Apr 18, 2005
    #4
  5. eric phillips

    chrlz Guest

    I can't cite the law either, but I can assure you that the same is true
    here in Australia, where our consumer laws are generally pretty good.
    In general terms a seller cannot be forced to sell an item at an
    advertised price. However, and here's the catch - if the seller was
    found to be using that practice in order to mislead, ie if s/he did it
    several times, or with an intention to defraud, then they could be
    prosecuted. There are some other provisos too..

    As to how individual countries laws might be applicable, if at all, to
    Ebay, I have no idea.
     
    chrlz, Apr 18, 2005
    #5
  6. ------

    In the general concepts of contract law, NO he wouldn't be bound by the
    offer if it could, and indeed was in this case, be characterised as a
    "mistake" in setting the terms, e.g. an error in computing the correct
    selling price.
     
    Journalist-North, Apr 18, 2005
    #6
  7. eric phillips

    Sheldon Guest

    I'm pretty sure eBay has provisions for this. AFAIK eBay allows for
    "errors" either on the side of the seller or the buyer.

    Just as brick and mortar stores make errors in ads, people make errors when
    they post things on eBay. And what if you accidentally bid $5000 for
    something you meant to bid only $500 for? You can retract a bid under the
    right circumstances and the item will go to the next lowest bidder if they
    have met your reserve.

    Since eBay is a private concern, I don't think there are any city or state
    laws which apply to what happens on eBay, unless you start getting into
    nonpayment and fraud.
     
    Sheldon, Apr 18, 2005
    #7
  8. eric phillips

    Matt Ion Guest

    Legally, I don't think so... you might want to check eBay's specific
    policies though, they may have different rules for their members.

    The catch of it is, you could try to back out, but the seller could
    still try to hold you to the purchase, despite their error.

    I bought a cell/USB cable once from an eBay retailer, accepted their
    "Buy Now" price, and as I was looking through the ad to find their
    shipping cost to add to my PayPal form, I noticed nice big bold letters
    stating shipping was only available to the US (I'm in Canada). So I
    gave up on that idea, stopped the process before making payment, and
    went on to find another retailer that would ship to Canada.

    When the first seller started emailing me reminding me of the "contract"
    and my "obligation to pay", I pointed out to them that their site stated
    in large bold letters that they only shipped to the US, and on seeing
    that, I decided to shop elsewhere. They responded that they did indeed
    ship internationally and pointed out that is said so elsewhere in the ad
    (it did... in small letters near the very end).

    They refused to accept that their wording was ambiguous and insisted
    that I must pay or be labelled a "bad buyer". I offered to label them a
    "bad seller" because of their misleading ads. They responded that if I
    did so, they would automatically list me as a "bad buyer".

    Now this strikes me as particularly idiotic... I could be the best, most
    reliable buyer on the whole freakin' net, but if I should have a problem
    with them and have the gall to say so, they'll AUTOMATICALLY toss the
    label back in my face. Seems to me like some kind of abuse of the system.

    I ended up eating the $25 and buying a second cable for my phone, which
    ended up NOT being exactly as advertised (they sold it as a "USB cable
    with charging" - they shipped one USB cable, and a separate
    car-cigraette-lighter charging cable... assholes). By that time I just
    didn't have the energy to deal with them anymore.

    Just for the record, the store was Cellular Oasis
    (http://stores.ebay.com/cellularoasis) - do avoid them, they're idiots...


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    Matt Ion, Apr 18, 2005
    #8
  9. eric phillips

    Mark² Guest

    If you advertise to sell your home for one dollar...you still do not have to
    sell it to me.
    -No matter what I click.
     
    Mark², Apr 18, 2005
    #9
  10. eric phillips

    Chris D Guest

    Seems to me like standard Ebay practices from all that I've seen
    of Ebay. I Agree it's crap, but it's standard. You leave
    someone bad feedback, and it's gonna show as a bad feedback on
    you as well.

    -Chris D
     
    Chris D, Apr 18, 2005
    #10
  11. As soon as I saw the item I alerted the seller so no harm was done as
    he quickly amended the pricing. Seller or buyer I hate to see someone
    getting financially hurt. I must say that I have had no problems with
    any sellers-I inadvertently ordered a wrong type of card for my
    camera,realising this I emailed the seller who cancelled the order in
    a friendly manner.
    eric phillips
     
    eric phillips, Apr 18, 2005
    #11
  12. And error in a listing is one thing, an error noticed after the sale
    is another. A store can tell you that an ad was in error and refuse to
    sell you something, but it is a gray area if you walk up with the cash
    an offer to buy. That sure sounds to me like a contract acted upon.
    Whether or not you can win your case is another thing. If it is a big
    item or a very well known place that you can hurt their reputation,
    maybe. Or if you are willing to slog through court (small claims
    unless the item is very expensive).
    Of course the laws apply. EBay may be private (not that this removes
    legal scrutiny) but they also make it very clear that they are not a
    party to the transaction. As such the UCC covers the situation.
    Enforcement, of course, is another thing.

    --
    Matt Silberstein

    All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
    a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
    there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
    end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
    or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
     
    Matt Silberstein, Apr 18, 2005
    #12
  13. It depends on how you do the offer. If you have an ad that says put $1
    in this box and you have purchased my car (homes are not covered by
    the UCC, real estate law is an entirely different kettle of fish) and
    I put in the $1, then I bought the car. It is not simply an
    advertising offer, when I have acted on the contract by your terms, we
    have a contract. That is different from an ad that say you are selling
    the item at $1.



    --
    Matt Silberstein

    All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
    a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
    there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
    end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
    or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
     
    Matt Silberstein, Apr 18, 2005
    #13
  14. It all depends on what the Buy It Now button means. If it is the
    equivalent of coming into the store you are right, but I think it is
    more. I can push BIN and electronically send my money. At that point
    we have more than an advertisement they have to correct, we have a
    person who has purchased the item and is waiting for delivery. I think
    there is an enforceable contract.


    --
    Matt Silberstein

    All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
    a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
    there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
    end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
    or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
     
    Matt Silberstein, Apr 18, 2005
    #14
  15. eric phillips

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Why do you care? That's an issue if you think the guy was trying to
    pull a bait and switch. If he just made an error, let it go.
     
    Paul Rubin, Apr 18, 2005
    #15
  16. eric phillips

    clutch Guest

    Well in Michigan, a retailer would have to honor it (I think). Last
    fall I bought an item at Home Depot and noticed they charged me a
    higher price than marked. I ended up getting a refund + and
    additional 10% off. I believe the extra 10% was Home Depot's policy
    to sooth ruffled feathers.

    Of course, this being cyberspace, where would the sale have taken
    place and under what states laws?

    Wes
     
    clutch, Apr 18, 2005
    #16
  17. There is nothing to let go. I alerted the seller. It was a matter of
    discussion only.
    eric phillips
     
    eric phillips, Apr 18, 2005
    #17
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