ACT Sold Item to Another Buyer on Gumtree - Legal?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by AshJ, 8 January 2017.

  1. AshJ

    AshJ Member

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    Hi Folks,

    First time poster.

    So, I listed a used mattress (pick-up only) on Gumtree and got contacted by a prospective buyer who expressed an interest in the item by contacting me via SMS. Upon request, I sent him a few more photos and then he mentioned he wants to come and have a look and possibly buy it (SMS conversation).

    This potential buyer then sent me another text saying that he will just come and pick up the item later in the week.

    Since then, I got contacted by another potential buyer, who came and bought the mattress on the spot.

    I then deleted my Ad from Gumtree and sent a message to all the people who had enquired, telling them that the item was no longer available for sale. At this point, the original interested party sent me a text saying that I should not have done this as by him saying he will buy it "constitutes a contract to buy".

    My view is that I have had experiences in the past where people were going to come and buy but never showed up. There was no contract as no money was exchanged.

    My concern is, will I actually get in trouble for doing this under Australian Consumer Law?

    No deposit or exchange of money took place with the person who originally expressed an interest, so surely I can change my mind and sell it another person who is actually genuine and offering me the money on the spot?

    This was a one-off sale as I am not a business, just a individual selling something that I no longer require.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    Think you are OK. You do not appear to have accepted his offer. Without acceptance there is no contract.

    BTW, money doesn't have to change hands for there to be a valid contract.
     
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  3. AshJ

    AshJ Member

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    Hi Rod

    Thanks for your reply.

    I don't think I explicitly accepted his offer. He asked me how much I will sell it for, I gave him a price and he just said, OK, he will come and pick it up without even seeing it first.

    I remember texting back and saying "no worries. " Surely that is ambiguous enough to not be a contract.

    There is always the possibility of him negotiating further if he had come and taken a look? And surely it's not worth causing any legal troubles for a $300 item?
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    I tend to agree with you, but that is based solely on what you have stated above.

    Sorry, I can only speculate as to what the buyer may or may not do.
     
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