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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 109905
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I put a deposit ($1,000.00) on a used boat at a dealership

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I put a deposit ($1,000.00) on a used boat at a dealership in the Ozark Lake, MO area with the understanding that the balance ($27,000.00) would be paid upon satisfactory survey.

It was just ten days after I left the deposit and three days before the scheduled survey when I received a call from the owner with news that they had sold the boat to another customer! They claimed that they had received a better offer so I guess my deposit was for nothing at all!

I am outraged that they would do this! They never sent a formal sales agreement but they corresponded via phone amd e-mail regarding our agreement and my deposit was processed. In addition, they signed the boarding agreement from the survey company which is required before the survey can begin. They even provided directions to the marina and a contact person to deal with.

I've demanded they return my deposit ASAP and they promised to do that but I'm without a boat. I was looking for a particular make and model and the boat they had was listed for the lowest price I could find on-line. It may be another boating season before I get a chance to purchase this make and model at a price I can afford.

I live in upstate New York and the boat was in Missouri so I had considerable time invested in making shipping arrangements and finding a surveyor.

I would like to purchase a similar boat but I will definately pay more based on availability. If this happens, I would like to sue this bastard for the difference in cost. Would this not be breach of contract?

Thanks for your reply.

Brian Carr
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

You would have grounds to sue the seller for breach of contract since your payment of deposit gave you the rights to the boat. Under a breach of contract suit, you have the right to recover all damages directly associated with their breach of contact, but only actual damages can be recovered and no emotional or inconvenience damages.

You can only sue for what you prove your actual losses are, which could be any increase in price over what he was charging you if you find another boat of the exact same make and model.

You would have to sue him in MO courts, as those courts are the only ones with personal jurisdiction over him.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there anything else I can do here?


Also, it's my understanding that as long as I stick with the facts about my ordeal with this guy, I can post this on social media without risk of slander / liable lawsuit?


Thanks again.

Thank you for your response.

You can make your complaint to the BBB and you can post in social media as long as you post only the facts. Also, as I said above, you can sue. These are your legal remedies for breach of contract. The Attorney General's Consumer Protection unit will not get involved in this type of breach of contract, so those are your options.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.


I'm not sure where you live or if you're a boater but beware of Surdyke's Yamaha and Marina in Osage Beach, MO

Thank you for your response.

I have learned never to do business for large ticket items online or from someone I do not know.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 109905
Experience: Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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