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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Consignment Seller Claims a Low Sales Price

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: MARYLAND

    QUESTION: I consigned an expensive item with a consignment shop. They're now claiming they sold it
    for $400 less then the agreed upon sales price because it had been there more then 60 days.
    However, I now know it was sold within the first 60 days and possibly not discounted at all.
    What rights do I have to request proof of the actual sales?

    Any feedback or guidance is deeply appreciated.
    Thank you so much


    HISTORY:

    Last Sept. I brought my Mother's Black Diamond Full Length Mink fur coat to a consignment shop. We
    agreed upon a sales price of $1,100 and I was told that after 60 days the prices could be discounted.

    I recently called asking about the coat and was told it sold for $400 less then the agreed upon price
    because it had been there a while. I asked to pick up a check and was told that was fine, Each time I
    called before going to the store, and each time I was put off to another day.

    Finally told her I depended on this money and she agreed to have the check ready last Friday. However
    when I arrived, she told me the check was cut in early November and mailed. She showed me the
    carbon copy of her printed checks.

    I moved November 7th; my mail is forwarded but I never received this check nor was it returned to her.

    She told me I'd have to wait a couple weeks for her to straighten this out
    with the bank. I informed her it would only take one phone call and 5 minutes
    for the bank to see if its cleared, stop payment and allow her to reissue
    another check.

    She flatly refused to call the bank, informing me she was a business woman
    and her husband was a lawyer and that was the way she was going to do
    business.

    She added that if she had to cancel the check, she would deduct the cost
    of the stop payment fee from my check.

    I calmly asked her if the profit of $350 from one coat wasn't already enough
    to cover her business expenses? she said "No"

    then she tried to intimidate me by threatening to call the police. I was
    relieved and said "please be my guest,

    then she called her "lawyer" husband claiming "this woman won't leave her store"

    I realized this wasn't going anywhere so I left, but I took her lead and I
    called the police. They said I was doing the right thing.

    the police arrived and talked to the owner, without me. They got her to
    agree to write me a check this Wednesday instead of a couple weeks from
    now.

    SUSPICION: after I left I began to suspect the coat was sold for the original
    price and not discounted at all because if a check was written in early
    November, then the coat sold in October. which is less then 60 days as I
    brought the coat to her in September.

    QUESTION: What rights do I have to view the actual sales records or to
    request proof of the actual sales?

    Any feedback or guidance is deeply appreciated.
    Thank you so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Consignment Seller Claims a Low Sales Price

    Obviously the shop is not going to let you see the records.

    Thus, your only real option is to start a legal action. This would be small claims, but discovery is very limited, so you need to do research on your state's law to see if you can do discovery. If so, you can subpeona the documents.

    If you sue, the burden of proof is on you. The shop doesn't have to prove anything. Thus you will only get your hands on the records with discovery.

    If her husband is really an attorney, you will have a real battle on your hands.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Consignment Seller Claims a Low Sales Price

    Your right to see the store's records depends upon either their whim or any language in the consignment contract permitting you to see the store records.

    It's my understanding that Maryland's small claims court, like most state small claims courts, does not permit discovery. I don't give you much of a chance in court, speculating that the coat was sold in October because a payment was (allegedly) sent in November. Guesswork, even if correct, does not substitute for evidence.

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