Author Topic: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract  (Read 7753 times)

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citadelle

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2013, 01:04:19 PM »
Directly related to the story in post #3, I am now facing the dilemna of how to not be pushy or come across as "too desperate".

It's Sunday morning.  I was supposed to get the wheel this weekend sometime but have not heard from the seller since Thurday afternoon.  She was supposed to send the item home with her daughter who lives about 45 minutes to an hour away from me.   She was quite clear that I'd have to pick it up fairly promptly as her daughter doesn't have room to store it.  I was willing to drive out pretty much right away.  But the problem is, with only one car, that's not really always feasible.  If it had been this weekend, I could have gone at the drop of a hat.  But during the week, that's much harder.

Do you think it would be pushy to send an email today asking for pickup details or should I wait for tomorrow - after the long weekend is done and her daughter is presumably home.

Even though I'm less than happy with the seller, I still want my beautiful new wheel.

I think if you want the wheel, you should go to where the wheel is to pick it up. Involving the daughter and adding complications to the pickup leaves more room for issues. I would call the seller and go pick it up as soon as possible, without asking her to send it closer.

Amara

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2013, 04:28:08 PM »
I agree with citadelle. It's a hassle for you to be sure, but I am guessing that the seller just wants the wheel gone (now!) and isn't amendable to anything but an immediate pick-up. She probably feels she's made accommodations. And I'll bet she has reached her breaking point so if you don't pick it up as soon as possible she may well take it back and get rid of it elsewhere. (I know that when I sell or give away something I want it gone yesterday and have little patience for pick-up negotiations.)

Knitterly

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2013, 10:14:48 PM »
I agree with citadelle. It's a hassle for you to be sure, but I am guessing that the seller just wants the wheel gone (now!) and isn't amendable to anything but an immediate pick-up. She probably feels she's made accommodations. And I'll bet she has reached her breaking point so if you don't pick it up as soon as possible she may well take it back and get rid of it elsewhere. (I know that when I sell or give away something I want it gone yesterday and have little patience for pick-up negotiations.)

If that is the case, I do feel that she ought to have said outright that she is not amenable to anything but an immediate pickup when I asked in my very first email.  Any seller is certainly within their rights to decline to give extra pictures, decline to meet the buyer anywhere except for at the seller's own home, and sell to absolutely anyone they wish to.
She has made an offer to be accomodating, but at 10pm on the last evening of the weekend, I still have not heard from her about when and where this weekend I am to pick it up, so although she may very truly feel she's made accomodations, she actually hasn't.

I would imagine that if you have little patience for pick-up negotiations, you are forthcoming about it, are you not?  I wouldn't imagine that you would make any offer to any potential buyer except "if you want this, you must come and get it."  The seller has twice offered to accomodate a pickup arrangement - once was my suggestion, the other was hers.  If she did not wish to sell in this manner, the first (mine) ought to have been refused and the second (hers) ought never to have been made.

citadelle

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2013, 10:34:55 PM »
I agree with citadelle. It's a hassle for you to be sure, but I am guessing that the seller just wants the wheel gone (now!) and isn't amendable to anything but an immediate pick-up. She probably feels she's made accommodations. And I'll bet she has reached her breaking point so if you don't pick it up as soon as possible she may well take it back and get rid of it elsewhere. (I know that when I sell or give away something I want it gone yesterday and have little patience for pick-up negotiations.)

If that is the case, I do feel that she ought to have said outright that she is not amenable to anything but an immediate pickup when I asked in my very first email.  Any seller is certainly within their rights to decline to give extra pictures, decline to meet the buyer anywhere except for at the seller's own home, and sell to absolutely anyone they wish to.
She has made an offer to be accomodating, but at 10pm on the last evening of the weekend, I still have not heard from her about when and where this weekend I am to pick it up, so although she may very truly feel she's made accomodations, she actually hasn't.

I would imagine that if you have little patience for pick-up negotiations, you are forthcoming about it, are you not?  I wouldn't imagine that you would make any offer to any potential buyer except "if you want this, you must come and get it."  The seller has twice offered to accomodate a pickup arrangement - once was my suggestion, the other was hers.  If she did not wish to sell in this manner, the first (mine) ought to have been refused and the second (hers) ought never to have been made.

That may be true, but the fact remains that she has something you say you still want. This gives her the upper hand.  The only way you have the power in this situation is to walk away from the sale.

lady_disdain

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2013, 11:30:32 PM »
The seller may have the upper hand but she also wants to sell the spinning wheel. And no upper hand will make what she is doing either polite or good business practice.

Amara

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2013, 11:38:10 PM »
Quote
If that is the case, I do feel that she ought to have said outright that she is not amenable to anything but an immediate pickup when I asked in my very first email.  Any seller is certainly within their rights to decline to give extra pictures, decline to meet the buyer anywhere except for at the seller's own home, and sell to absolutely anyone they wish to.

She has made an offer to be accomodating, but at 10pm on the last evening of the weekend, I still have not heard from her about when and where this weekend I am to pick it up, so although she may very truly feel she's made accomodations, she actually hasn't.

I would imagine that if you have little patience for pick-up negotiations, you are forthcoming about it, are you not?  I wouldn't imagine that you would make any offer to any potential buyer except "if you want this, you must come and get it."  The seller has twice offered to accomodate a pickup arrangement - once was my suggestion, the other was hers.  If she did not wish to sell in this manner, the first (mine) ought to have been refused and the second (hers) ought never to have been made.

You are correct, Knitterly, and I may have come across as more harsh in my post than I intended. If so, I apologize. The situation has obviously gotten difficult for both of you. I wonder if the holiday weekend has added to that? At any rate, yes, she should have make clear what her willingness was early on; her failure to do that was wrong. I honestly don't have any suggestions except to try and keep the lines of communication open. She wants to sell the wheel; you want to buy it. I hope it works out.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:06:32 PM by Amara »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2013, 01:00:12 AM »
At this point she either sent the wheel with her daughter - presumably making it much more inconvenient for her to try to sell it at the upcoming event - or she didn't.  If she still has it herself, she probably was going to flake all along.  If she sent it with her daughter, it becomes easier for her to get the wheel to you than it does for her to go pick it up herself and try to *maybe* sell it - so as long as you can get it before the festival, I think you'd probably be in the clear.

Lynn2000

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2013, 12:27:53 PM »
What a frustrating situation! I do think the seller has fallen down on polite communication here. She should have been upfront about whatever restrictions she wanted, so the OP could decide if she was willing to work with those or move on. It sounds like the seller has agreed to things several times, and then not followed through with them or changed her mind.

OP, I think it would be okay to contact the seller again, maybe by phone if you have it. Just keep everything polite and professional for now, and hopefully you will get your wheel in the end.
~Lynn2000

Knitterly

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2013, 07:16:49 PM »
At this point she either sent the wheel with her daughter - presumably making it much more inconvenient for her to try to sell it at the upcoming event - or she didn't.  If she still has it herself, she probably was going to flake all along.  If she sent it with her daughter, it becomes easier for her to get the wheel to you than it does for her to go pick it up herself and try to *maybe* sell it - so as long as you can get it before the festival, I think you'd probably be in the clear.

She did email me very late last night to tell me the wheel was with her daughter and gave me the daughter's email address to sort out picking it up. 
Hopefully things will fall together.

Knitterly

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2013, 09:29:22 AM »
sigh
I think I'm going to "flake" as I'm sure the seller expected. 
Can you tell me if the following sounds very rude?

Dear [seller] and [daughter],
Thank you for your willingness to accomodate me in purchasing this wheel.  The transaction has now become too frustrating to continue.
[Daughter] requested that I pick up the wheel yesterday, and I was willing and able to do so, however, no pickup address was given. I sent 3 emails requesting a specific location (my first one early in the morning in reply to her suggestion, my second an hour after she said she would be home from work, and my third shortly before the latest I would have been able to leave my house and be back at a reasonable time), but did not receive a reply.
My last email consisted of 3 suggestions for alternate pickup days and even suggested meeting at a [coffee shop] if she's not comfortable giving her address (something I would understand entirely - I am, after all, a complete stranger).  I still have received no reply.
I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and wish you the best of luck in selling this wheel in the future.
Sincerely,
Knitterly

So tell me.... how does that sound?
I am giving the daughter until tonight to reply with specifics for pickup and then I'm going to back out of the transaction.

lady_disdain

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2013, 10:34:28 AM »
You are not flaking - they are. You are ready and willing to keep to the agreed date and they haven't done their part (giving you an address). I would make that very clear in the email.

Dear [seller]

I still have not received the pickup address, even though we agreed that the pick up should have been yesterday. As I have not received a reply to my previous 3 emails requesting the information, am I to assume that you do not wish to go on with the deal we have? If I am mistaken, please reply with an address tonight.

Sincerely,
  Knitterly

Lynn2000

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2013, 10:37:58 AM »
Agree with lady_disdain. Maybe even strengthen it to "am I to assume you are canceling the deal we made?" These people are being very unprofessional. Do you have a phone number you could call anyone at?
~Lynn2000

Virg

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2013, 11:02:20 AM »
Knitterly wrote:

"I think I'm going to "flake" as I'm sure the seller expected."

You tried three times to arrange pickup and got no response.  Backing out at this point isn't flaking out, it's reasonable behavior.

Virg

Knitterly

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2013, 11:09:58 AM »
You are not flaking - they are. You are ready and willing to keep to the agreed date and they haven't done their part (giving you an address). I would make that very clear in the email.

Dear [seller]

I still have not received the pickup address, even though we agreed that the pick up should have been yesterday. As I have not received a reply to my previous 3 emails requesting the information, am I to assume that you do not wish to go on with the deal we have? If I am mistaken, please reply with an address tonight.

Sincerely,
  Knitterly

I like that wording.  It is much more concise.
Thanks.

Edited to add:  This is what I've written.  I have saved it as a draft and will send it tonight before I go to bed.  That gives the seller a few more hours to get back to me.


Dear seller,
I still have not received the pickup address, even though we agreed that the pick up should have been yesterday. {Very Big City} is a very big place and I do need a specific location in order to collect the wheel and wool. As I told {daughter} in my most recent email, it does not have to be a home address, a coffee shop parking lot would suffice. 
I cancelled plans on Tuesday evening to wait for a pickup location that did not materialize. I will not do that again. I have offered 3 alternate pickup days (Thursday, Friday, or Sunday afternoon) and received no reply.
I can now only assume from the lack of response that you mean to cancel this transaction.
I wish you all the best of luck selling the wheel elsewhere. It is a beautiful wheel and I am sure it will make some other spinner very happy.
Sincerely,
Knitterly


And with that, I'll be done.
I think at this point I am more saddened by not being able to buy the wool than I am over the loss of the wheel.  The wool was an AMAZING price and was two pounds of two specific breeds that I particularly enjoy spinning.  It was a "sweater's worth" of wool (meaning enough to spin a sweater for my hubby).

No transaction should ever be so frustrating.

I still desperately want a german castle or parlour style wheel, though.  I know that means nothing to anyone but a spinner - but it's a style of antique wheel that is particularly pretty and small.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 12:31:04 PM by Knitterly »

Amara

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Re: Honouring the intent to buy - etiquette of a verbal contract
« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2013, 04:41:43 PM »
I am sorry, Knitterly. You took the high road, you were responsible and reliable, and all you got for your efforts was frustration. The email is perfect. I hope you don't have to send it, that you are able to pick it up without any more trouble, and that you get the wheel and yarn. (And if you do, can you post a picture of it? I admit to being in awe of anyone who spins.)