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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13947
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I need advice, I sold a dishwasher on ebay, the description

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Hi, I need advice, I sold a dishwasher on ebay, the description matched the dishwasher but the buyer claimed the next day that it is broken, he bought it for £250 and is taking me to court for £115₩ £1150 He is trying to claim the cost to fix the machine
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in Manchester, England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have received an order to go to court and to send any correspondence and witness statements in to the court before a hearing
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I am about to send in the emails between us and a copy of the advert I placed on ebay
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: It is being held at Manchester court
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: That's about it. Thanks

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Whether the claimant wins or not depends entirely if you are classed as a trader or a consumer - and if your advert was in any way misleading.

I will presume you are simply an individual who role the dishwasher on eBay and you do not a business selling them. That being the case, as long as your advert was accurate then you should win with your defence. If you were a trader then the claimant can rely upon the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which gives them strong rights if things go wrong. But if you were just a private seller then "buyer beware" applies and as long as the ad was accurate, the fact the washer broke down the day after is not your liability. Not only that, even if you were found to blame, the claimant cannot claim those costs against a washer which cost £250. It is grossly disproportionate. As a claimant they have to mitigate their losses which would mean buying another £250 washer and not spending a fortune to sort this one. I note you have directions and a hearing coming up - you need to comply with the court directions and attend the hearing - it should be a relatively informal hearing and will take less than 3 hours. Let me know if you need further help.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,


Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Jim
This is what I thought applied, I just sold the dishwasher on ebay, my wife has a coffee shop and after a refurb during lockdown she gave it me to sell. Would this still be classed a private sale, I am in no way a commercial seller of these items.

Yes, you would just be classed as a private seller as you don't have an eBay shop, nor would you be considered selling the item as part of your trade, craft or profession (which is the definition of a trader). So my view is there are two serious issues with their claim : you are a private seller not a trader, and their claim is inflated too

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** the issues I am putting in my defence.
I have all the emails and the original advert.
Also, he is claiming over £900 more than he paid initially.
Thanks again.

Yes, if you were classed as a trader then he could ask for a refund. Or if he wanted a repair, you would get one chance to repair it or replace.
But as you are a private seller (in the same way someone buys a car privately), it is risky - my view is you have no liability for this

JimLawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** been a great help.