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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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there, i saw item on internet and agreed price with the

Customer Question

Hi there, i saw item on internet and agreed price with the seller(private on ebay but business on receipt). Then i went to collect and pay in person. On the receipt the seller wrote 'sold as seen' note and i had to sign. When i came back home i had to dismantle the machine to see its parts and it turned out that it is not the one described on the internet. The machine has no label on it with specifications and i couldn't discover the discrepancy at time of collection. My question is where the item was seen and do i have any rights for compensation? Notes i informed the seller i live 200 miles away and will take a while to arrive. The sold as seen was not mentioned on the advert where i saw the item and i was not made aware until i went to collect. We now are on stage where the seller refuses any compensation. Can you please advise of how to take this forward, sa i intend to proceed with small claims court.
Kind regards,
Tsvetan Delev
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this a private seller?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo, the item was listed on ebay by private seller. The receipt i received with the 'sold as seen' note at time of collection was from business seller.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, don't worry about the note.
Is he really a private seller ? If you look at his sale history does he sale vehicles often?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am afraid no. He only has about 10 sales and from these there is only one close to automotive (wheel rims). With regards ***** ***** i realised that the model of the machine(carpet cleaning one) is as he says but there is diaphragm pump which is replaced and this is why i thought the machine was another model. However i beleive that because of this fact and not stating it anywhere, he is still entitled for replacement. Also there was statement in the advert that there is another 25 meter hose with it which turned out to be 7.5meter. I demanded from the seller to replace the wrong parts with correct ones or to refund the amount paid (plus my expenses and lost time because of his misleading) or to refund 40% of the value (which equals to about 80% of the missing parts value when new). Then i had reply that he will not be contacting any further and if i come back to him he will go to police for harassment. However, he is very king person, but i believe there are certain trading standards and one shall stand behind the statements he makes.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Would the parts in question have been visible to you at the time that you saw the vehicle?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, the machine (prochem steempro - carpet cleaning machine) has water tanks on top, which open in form of lid to give access to the parts, i.e. water pump and vacuum motor. The pump is underneath in closed compartment, not visible at first appearance and without thorough investigation from specialist or someone who knows what to do and how to open it or had one of these before. The tanks are fixed with screws so that they can stay as one whole with the rest of the machine. I had to remove the screws/bolts in order to get access to the inside of the item and see what part is actually used. All this was discovered on the day after i brought the item back.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Do you have any idea what the vehicle would have been worth in its current state compared to what you paid for it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The listing on ebay states that there's 25 meter extension hose to go with the machine as well, which new is around £340 (according to prochem's online store) and another 3 cleaning solution tubs (which also were not collected) at average on £23 each. The pump specified and used by manufacturer for this precise model is worth £209 (on ebay - from prochem) new. Considering the fact that the carpet machine is partly worn ( with approximately 80% life left in it, as its been looked after pretty well), the calculation would be £549 - 20% plus another 3 (missing sub-items) x £23 each on average and totals at £508.2. If we deduct the value of the pump currently in the carpet cleaning machine (£193 new, from prochem) and according to the above mentioned life span left, the calculation would be £495.4. Please note, the calculated values include new tubs of cleaning solution (chemicals) due to unknown content of the missing ones.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If this genuinely is a private seller then he isn't bound by the Sale of Goods Act. Therefore, there isn't a guarantee that this item would match it's description or be fit for purpose.
However, you can always rely on misrepresentation. Under that doctrine of law you just have to show that he said something untrue or misleading at the time of negotiation.
That would apply here whatever he is saying about sold as seen. All that is a bit of a myth. There is caselaw that a misrepresentation argument is weakened if a person had the opportunity to inspect but you did not really here because the fault was internal.
In principle you have a claim for a full refund and the return of the vehicle although the court may order the diminution value between the price you paid and the sum it would have been worth in good order.
Can I clarify anything for you?