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rich89

Deposit refund question

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I sold a car about 2 weeks ago, the guy came and looked at it, test drove etc. We agreed a PX price for his car and he left a deposit as he needed to get the private plate off his first.

I called him about a week later as I hadn't heard from him and he tells me he's now in Scotland as he had to go up and look after a poorly family member. Tells me he will be back some time in January and I can either refund his deposit or keep the car for him until then.

I told him that's not possible to keep the car that long. The deposit was £500 and he said to send some of his deposit back but not sure on how much (if any).

I then got an email last night saying he will be back on the 14th Feb and if I can't keep it until then, he wants his deposit back.

What would you guys do? I don't believe for one minute he's just gone up to Scotland for nearly 3 months and his biggest concern is his deposit.

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It would be a pretty low thing to do to lie about having a poorly family member.

I would give him his money back. It sounds as though he has enough on his plate. He might come back and buy one at a later date.

Or if you have doubts... hold onto £100 and give him a credit note for £100 to be used against any future purchases.

 

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If you've got nothing documented, definitely give the money back. I had a shitty review when we first started with something similar to this, and it cost me more in time than the deposit was worth. Refund him and wish him all the best. Tis the season of goodwill and all that 

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Ask for full payment and storage cost's and you can keep the car for him for as long as he likes, if he then doesn't want the car come feb, factor in depreciation and give the remainder back (if you the space to do it) 

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There is a chance that even if you give him a refund that you may be stuck with the car until Feb anyway ? 

£500 is a fairly healthy deposit so i would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and wait. If he is a no show in Feb then you keep all of the deposit and re advertise it.

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3 hours ago, Max Branning said:

There is a chance that even if you give him a refund that you may be stuck with the car until Feb anyway ? 

£500 is a fairly healthy deposit so i would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and wait. If he is a no show in Feb then you keep all of the deposit and re advertise it.

This, but get him to confirm via email or whatever means of the understanding you have. You'll see what he's made of that way.

If that still doesn't feel enough ask for some more deposit and you'll hold it for him.

If you don't want to wait, deduct £100 for advertising and time wasted and give him the rest back... (in future those Deposit sales slips are a great investment for a fiver ;))

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I would not be refunding the deposit.

Sounds like a classic case of buyers remorse, and he's trying to pull on your heart strings to get his deposit back. Remember, buyers are liars.

If he was a genuine / decent buyer, he would have contacted you and explained the situation, instead of you having to chase him! (He seems quick enough to contact you when he wants his deposit back!)

He's also moved the goal posts, first he wasn't back until January, then February...... knowing full well you wouldn't want to keep the car that long.

So, I would go back to him, explain that you sympathise with his situation (even though personally I think it's a load of old b*llocks!), but you're a business and you can't afford to haver a car sat there, sold, but not paid for. Tell him you're happy to keep the car until he returns, subject to him paying the balance within X amount of days, otherwise you will have to cancel the sale and he will surrender his deposit. If he's genuine and wants the car, he'll pay the balance by BACS (Clearly he's got an internet connection to email you, so see no reason why he can't transfer the money.) If he refuses, then clearly he doesn't intend to go through with the purchase, in which case I believe you are fully justified to keep hold of his deposit.

Perhaps leave the door open, and say because it's the season of good will, you'll happily put his £500 towards another car in the future. (Chances are you'll never seem him again anyway, but shows some good will from your side.)

:)

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I’m with Ocsltd on this - it sounds a load of old cobblers to me and anyone naive enough to think the public would not lie about such a matter are deluding themselves.

He was there in person therefore he is not entitled to a refund of his deposit irrespective on the amount. 

Firm but fair, they get what they’re entitled to, nothing more, nothing less. He wouldn’t be getting a brass farthing in credit from me.

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I wouldn't believe the classic 'sick family member' excuse. Heard that one far too many times!

Why does a sick family member mean people can't honour commitments? - Are his Credit Card / Mortgage provider / Household Bills not going to get paid either?

As Ocsltd said, email (with the appropriate 'sorry for such a hard time' bull) and ask to pay the balance. If he's genuine, no reason not to pay.

These people are always suddenly unable to make a phone call as soon as a problem arises - any problems are always emailed in. Why? Most people don't have the balls to lie to your face. He knows if he says that he's changed his mind that you'll keep some/all of his deposit so he's giving you a sob story.

We have deposit slips stating that deposits are non refundable, and gives the customer 5 days to clear the balance. We do say to our customers that we'll hold a car for as long as needed, but the balance must be paid within 5 days.

(And remember to re-negotiate his P/X price when it comes to you with a shed load more miles :lol:)

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On 12/8/2017 at 10:04 AM, rich89 said:

I sold a car about 2 weeks ago, the guy came and looked at it, test drove etc. We agreed a PX price for his car and he left a deposit as he needed to get the private plate off his first.

I called him about a week later as I hadn't heard from him and he tells me he's now in Scotland as he had to go up and look after a poorly family member. Tells me he will be back some time in January and I can either refund his deposit or keep the car for him until then.

I told him that's not possible to keep the car that long. The deposit was £500 and he said to send some of his deposit back but not sure on how much (if any).

I then got an email last night saying he will be back on the 14th Feb and if I can't keep it until then, he wants his deposit back.

What would you guys do? I don't believe for one minute he's just gone up to Scotland for nearly 3 months and his biggest concern is his deposit.

Not the old sick family member routine? Be nice but firm and explain he has entered into a contract and if your deposit forms say deposit NON refundable car to be picked up in x days,the ball is in his court wait for the date to come and go then readvertise the car no more contact needed.

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I'd try and push for deposit refunded - prep costs (MOT expense + whatever work you did to prep the car for him).  e.g. £500 deposit - £30 MOT - £100 repairs  -£50 valet.  Along those lines.  But if he is difficult about it then just refund whole amount, not worth a bad review!

However If you think you'll struggle to sell the car I'd tell the guy its not a problem i'll hold onto it until February but if its any longer you wont receive the deposit back, then just park the car on your drive or a mates drive if you don't have one.  

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Refund less prep costs, re-advertise it and put it to bed.  Always the best way to go from my experience.  Why cling on to bad vibes and surround yourself with negative thoughts and worry, unless you're THAT in need of a sale.  We always take a minimum deposit of £250 even if the vehicle is full on finance.  We refund when the customer signs up.

If the buyer pulls out after paying the deposit, we refund minus any prep costs.  Our prep costs are MoT and Full Service charges and is clearly stated on our deposit sheets and we always point this out to the customer at the deposit stage.

Is it worth the worry, hassle and negativity to pursue a sale?  Not for me it's not.

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8 minutes ago, Earunder said:

Refund less prep costs, re-advertise it and put it to bed.  Always the best way to go from my experience.  Why cling on to bad vibes and surround yourself with negative thoughts and worry, unless you're THAT in need of a sale.  We always take a minimum deposit of £250 even if the vehicle is full on finance.  We refund when the customer signs up.

If the buyer pulls out after paying the deposit, we refund minus any prep costs.  Our prep costs are MoT and Full Service charges and is clearly stated on our deposit sheets and we always point this out to the customer at the deposit stage.

Is it worth the worry, hassle and negativity to pursue a sale?  Not for me it's not.

Why take a deposit then??

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Just now, Ocsltd said:

Why take a deposit then??

? Sorry, maybe I didn't explain it well.

We take a deposit of £250 on every car to cover our service and MoT charges. 

In the event of customers that go through on Zero deposit finance we charge them the £250 still, just in case they decide to pull out of the deal, prior to sign up.

When they come back to collect the vehicle and sign up, they are then given they're deposit back.

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14 minutes ago, Earunder said:

? Sorry, maybe I didn't explain it well.

We take a deposit of £250 on every car to cover our service and MoT charges. 

In the event of customers that go through on Zero deposit finance we charge them the £250 still, just in case they decide to pull out of the deal, prior to sign up.

When they come back to collect the vehicle and sign up, they are then given they're deposit back.

No I understood that. What I mean is, why bother taking a deposit if you're going to refund minus an mot and service cost?? If a buyer pulls out of a sale, I keep their deposit, which is surely the whole point of a deposit? For me it's not just about the prep costs (My cars are fully serviced, mot'd, checked over prior to sale anyway), but it's more about the lost opportunity / lost time to sell elsewhere....

If I booked a holiday, paid a deposit, then pulled out, I'd fully expect to lose mu deposit, so why should it be any different with cars...??

Of course, we all operate differently, so if that works for you, great.

But my question is, why bother taking a deposit (finance aside), if you're going to refund most of it anyway? :)

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I split it with him. £250 back.

He also told me he's put another 5k miles on the car and damaged a door since I saw it. (his PX)

Oh well. 

Edited by rich89

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19 hours ago, Ocsltd said:

No I understood that. What I mean is, why bother taking a deposit if you're going to refund minus an mot and service cost?? If a buyer pulls out of a sale, I keep their deposit, which is surely the whole point of a deposit? For me it's not just about the prep costs (My cars are fully serviced, mot'd, checked over prior to sale anyway), but it's more about the lost opportunity / lost time to sell elsewhere....

If I booked a holiday, paid a deposit, then pulled out, I'd fully expect to lose mu deposit, so why should it be any different with cars...??

Of course, we all operate differently, so if that works for you, great.

But my question is, why bother taking a deposit (finance aside), if you're going to refund most of it anyway? :)

Ah ok.

It's all about TCF.  Customers have 10 days to pay the balance and collect the car or they forfeit the deposit, again stated on the deposit sheet.  If they have the courtesy of letting us know they don't want the car, for what ever reason, we'll just refund less costs.  Maybe we've gone to the extreme and are possibly 'too nice' about how we operate with deposits but it just cuts out arguments.  We rarely have any customers pull out (maybe 3 a year?) but I don't see the point in arguing over £40-50, just give it back as a gesture of goodwill even though the customer is the one at fault.  It just looks good on the company as a whole to anyone questioning anything.

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