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MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience:  Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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I sold a painting on eBay auction for $29,000. It was an item

Customer Question

I sold a painting on eBay auction for $29,000. It was an item on consignment from someone else- part of a family estate. Now the family who put the painting up for auction has told me they have a family dispute over ownership and some family members say the person who sent it to me to put on consignment did not have the right to sell it and they want the sale cancelled. Since ownership is up in the air I canceled the sale to the buyer.
The Buyer is a lawyer and his wife a federal court judge they tell me ( I verified this is true and she uses her email for her eBay and paypal address- which i thought was illegal for them to use). The Buyer and his wife now say they are going to sue me over this and want the painting. I had canceled the sale and refunded their Paypal payment( they made the payment after i canceled the sale) and are calling me every hour threatening me with a lawsuit - etc. Very threatening. ( I have saved the messages) Can they sue me? Do I have any recourse here?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MShore replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. Did they win an auction or pay a set price to close the auction (e.g. "Buy it Now")? How soon after the listing closed did you notify them of the cancellation of the sale?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They won it at auction. The bidding started at $100 and it was only at $2,000 an hour before the auction ended- but skyrocketed at the end.

We notified him of the cancellation of sale @ 36 hours after the close. It had not been paid for at that point and we canceled it based on the fact that our terms show payment must be received in 24 hours. When we canceled it no payment had been received. After we canceled it he sent us the payment. His payment was by e-check- which does not clear for 5-7 days. When he made the payment we cancelled it.

Expert:  MShore replied 4 years ago.
Thank you Stephanie, they could sue you, but it is unlikely they would prevail and they know this. The reason it is unlikely to prevail is they breached the purchase agreement by failing to make payment within 24 hours of the close of the sale, which made the sale voidable, and you exercise the right to void the sale before they performed on the contract (i.e. paid). Please let me know if you need additional guidance or have any follow up questions.
Expert:  MShore replied 4 years ago.
Stephanie, do you have any follow up questions? If I have answered your questions, please remember to rate my answers positively. I have no control over the law unfortunately, and I DO NOT receive any credit for answering your questions unless you positively rate my answers.

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