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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12076
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Car I sold on ebay not as described

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Hi. I sold a car on ebay, accidentally advertised it with wrong engine type. 7 weeks after end of auction buyer wants a return and refund. What are his and my rights? Thank you. Should mention that it was American truck I had bought 6 months before, believed it had bigger American v8 engine in it as was led to believe by guy I bought it from, never had it mechanically inspected before I sold it, so was none the wiser when is I sold it, just that the new buyer has now advised me. But in 7 weeks he has also done lots of cosmetic work on truck so is not in same state as when I sold it. Thanks
Thank you for your question.
As the goods were misdescribed, the buyer would normally have a right to a refund even though this was a private sale. However as he has changed the vehicle by doing work to it you would not have to do so unless the changes were minor or actually improved the vehicle.
Happy to discuss further.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. I believe the guy has changed door locks and done some cosmetic and MOT work. My concern is that he has done this work over the last few weeks and yet only now is raising the issue of the engine? Surely the mechanical well being is the first thing you would check? How do I know he hasn't taken the engine out and replaced it with another, for whatever reason, maybe selling the original for a profit somehow. I was happy to accommodate any inspection before viewing, which a couple of locals did and they didn't raise it as an issue. I also offered a 14 day refund policy with my ebay listing, so surely that gave him plenty of time to inspect it if he had any doubts? I would appreciate further comment. Thanks.
I think on balance where the opportunity to inspect was given and where the person is doing work to the vehicle and clearly has knowledge of vehicles you would have a strong argument that he is out of time to reject it. You will be aware that the Sale of Goods Act doesn't apply to a private sale.
Your argument would be that the goods were accidentally misdescribed but the buyer ought to have noticed that well before he did.