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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118251
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.

I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

Customer: replied 4 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 4 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.
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