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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118128
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I sold a secretary desk on a Facebook used furniture site

Customer Question

I sold a secretary desk on a Facebook used furniture site under the heading, "Antique black secretary desk for sale" $75. A woman answered the ad and sent her husband to pick it up and pay for it without ever seeing it herself. I bought the desk at a local antique store for $200 3 years earlier and just assumed it was antique. The buyer is now suing me in small claims court for her money back saying I. ommitted fraud because I wouldn't refund her money. She went on the site and posted derogatory comments about me making it impossible for me to sell the item to anyone else. Can she win this case? I'm not an antique expert and she never looked at the item before agreeing to purchase. Also can I countersue her for defaming my character publicly and my list wages over these court dates?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The sale of a used item is considered as is. In an as is sale, the courts hold it is up to the buyer to inspect the item prior to purchase and use the term "caveat emptor" or "buyer beware." If you did not know it was not antique and that was never told to you and they inspected it before purchase and bought it, they have no proof of misrepresentation, especially when the price certainly was not an antique price.

You can file a countersuit for defamation against her, which you need to do now before the case goes to court and you can pursue the damages she has caused you to incur as a result of the defamation/libel (written defamation) and for pursuing the frivolous suit against you, since the husband did inspect the item before purchase. The proof you bought it in an antique store is your proof you did not misrepresent the item and that it was as is and caveat emptor applies.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I no longer have the receipt from the antique store as it was purchased so long ago. Does that matter?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You would need to try to get one from the store as it would help your defense, but it is not compulsory. You still have the defense that 1) caveat emptor as this was an as is sale and 2) the price of $75 would not lead a reasonable person to believe it was a valuable antique and 3) the husband inspected it upon picking it up and could have turned it down at that time.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One last question how is the amount on a countersuit figured out? I sell real estate so am commission based but make approximately $50/hr. How is the worth of defamation figured out? What's reasonable to ask for.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You need to actually prove what you lost as a result of the defamation. You would have to show you lost business as a direct result of the comments she made and people did not hire you because of them. As far as time spent defending the frivolous suit, you have to add up your total time and multiply that times your average hourly wage.