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WWYD: Deposit/ Sale Question

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  • WWYD: Deposit/ Sale Question

    I took a deposit on a horse because the buyer wanted to do payments over time. Our contract states that the deposit is non-refundable. Horse is <$5K.

    The buyer has since contacted me to say that due to recent personal events she can no longer go through with the purchase.

    Would you return the deposit?

  • #2
    Originally posted by half hALTER View Post
    I took a deposit on a horse because the buyer wanted to do payments over time. Our contract states that the deposit is non-refundable. Horse is <$5K.

    The buyer has since contacted me to say that due to recent personal events she can no longer go through with the purchase.

    Would you return the deposit?
    Non refundable...is just that. No money back.
    You decide what is right and fair...to both of you.
    Is your not buyer asking for the money back?
    the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart


    • #3
      Nope. You have your answer in your second sentence. You can always return it because you want but what is the point of having a contract then?
      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


      • Original Poster

        No, she's not asking for it back (in fact, she's said to keep it). I'm just torn about it because I don't do this a lot.


        • #5
          Personally, if I knew the buyer had had some kind of personal crisis, I'd give it back. Not because there's any obligation to do so, but because sometimes doing the right thing reaps benefits down the road.

          If you do right by the buyer, perhaps when they are in a position to buy in the future, they will remember and seek you out first because you were ethical in your previous deal. Or maybe they know someone in the market they can send to you since they like the horse and will do something for you because they remembered you did right by them.

          It's not as though this buyer paid the deposit and then flaked on the rest; they let you know there was an issue and honored her end of the contract.

          Sometimes doing what's right is better in the long run than holding someone to the letter of a contract. What goes around comes around!


          • #6
            You do what you feel is best for both parties. If you feel like giving it back, give it back, whether it be the full amount of half. Or it's yours according to contract.
            "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"


            • #7
              On one hand, you are very reasonably entitled to keep the deposit. Not only was it specified as non-refundable in the contract, it also fairly compensates you for your time, energy and hassle, plus for the weirdness that is created when a sale horse is returned (putting up new ads, letting people know the horse is available again, etc.)

              OTOH, there are so many worse ways this could have turned out (just read a few threads right here on COTH). And you obviously feel badly about keeping the money.

              You decide.


              • #8
                Several years ago i had a similar thing happen.
                I decided to not return the deposit but told the buyer that I'd allow the amount of the deposit as a credit towards a purchase of a horse from me should she decide in the future to buy.

                A few years later she did buy a horse from me and I think in part because of the offer to use the non refunded deposit as a credit.


                • #9
                  I think it's completely up to you. Let's face it, sh*t happens. And it's usually pretty easy to tell when someone is being honest or just giving you a story. Plus, I think it depends on how much interest you've had in the horse since you accepted the deposit. If you've had lots of interest that was discouraged because of the deposit, then I'd most likely keep it; if not, then I'd most likely return it.


                  • #10
                    People lie.

                    Unless you know her personally and have actively witnessed her "personal events" she may have just decided to buy another horse. If she'd come forward and told you something like that I'm sure you wouldn't feel guilty about not returning her deposit.

                    If she's a friend, or you've seen the doctors/lawyers/whatever and her in the same room, I'd return the money.
                    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                    Need You Now Equine


                    • #11
                      Yeah - but if she actually said "I'm sorry, but I can't buy - keep my deposit", without all the usual sob-story hoopla that most people do in order to beg back said deposit - and I hadn't had to turn down any other buyers; I'd most likely send back the deposit.


                      • #12
                        I did, once. I told them I would when the horse sold ... mostly because they were so apologetic (SP??) and insisted I keep the deposit. Maybe I am just contrary?
                        HaHA! Made-est Thou Look!


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for all of the replies. I've spoken to the purchaser and she's told me she's uncomfortable taking the deposit back, that it's mine, and I'm to keep it. So, I've taken S A McKee's advice and offered her equal credit toward any horse I have for sale.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by half hALTER View Post
                            Thanks for all of the replies. I've spoken to the purchaser and she's told me she's uncomfortable taking the deposit back, that it's mine, and I'm to keep it. So, I've taken S A McKee's advice and offered her equal credit toward any horse I have for sale.
                            It is so nice to do business with those that are fair and sensible, is it.
                            Good that you were both classy in your "horse trading".


                            • #15
                              It's so refreshing to see both a buyer and a seller doing the right thing.
                              "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."


                              • #16
                                Half Halter, that sounds like a good decision. Refreshing in this business, from both sides.