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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, I agreed to sell a bike to somebody and before he was able to pay for the bike, another person offered a few hundred more and agreed to pay immediately, so I sold to the second guy. The first buyer is pretty pissed...

So i am wondering, if you were me, which of the following applies?

A) Sell to first buyer -- because it's immoral to not keep your promise.

B) Sell to second buyer -- until the bike is sold, it's not sold.

C) It's good to keep promise but if the price difference is substantial, I'd consider backing out even though it's not a morally ideal thing to do.

D) If the original agreed price was on the low side, then I feel more justified in selling to the second buyer.

or

E) I just hold a high moral ground on message boards, but in real life I am a cheap bastard and will do anything to make an extra dollar.

Let's keep legal discussions out because it's oral agreement and the subject amount is not that large.
 

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An oral contract is still a contract. If you were not commited to the first buyer it should have been "subject to better offers". Wrong form a moral stand point and pontentially from a legal stand point.
 

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State some condition in your promises as the deal is not close until you get your cash. I would sell to any one who offer a higher price.
 

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Yeah, I can understand the temptation associated with telling one buyer it's his/hers and then renegging upon the opportunity for more dough, but I can't defend what you did.

If you had a deal, you should've stuck to it. If the original buyer was a friend, or if you live in a smaller community, hope the fallout feels worth the extra dough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I said let's keep legal discussions out of this. It's not going to matter. No one would go to court for this, so it's irrelevant.
 

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You've already sold the bike. If you feel you have made a mistake (I'm not judging you one way or the other) learn from it and move on. If you really feel bad, go to the first guy and see if you can make it up somehow. Maybe you've got some parts or accessories you don't need but could give to him? Just a thought.

You're probably about to attone through enduring a bunch of flames anyhow....
 

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My personal decision would depend on if they were a close friend. If it was a close friend, I would hold out, even if it was a little more or if the other person could pay.

In regards to an oral contract, what you contracted for was performance: you sell the item in return for payment. His acceptance was contingent on performance. He should have gave you some money to hold an option on it.

I think you're fine and the other guy is just whining, feeling betrayed. I'd personally only care/be concerned if it was a friend.
 

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Sanhu said:
I said let's keep legal discussions out of this. It's not going to matter. No one would go to court for this, so it's irrelevant.

Why? The only other thing to say then is "you're a bad guy and not trustworthy," or "the other guy is just whining," or " you you you..." - just a bunch of personal decision based on your own values = an old fashion internet fight about crap that doesn't mean anything.

...but this is your thread. My decision is the same though: My personal decision would depend on if they were a close friend. If it was a close friend, I would hold out, even if it was a little more or if the other person could pay. I'd personally only care/be concerned if it was a friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input. I am just curious about the moral standards the various RBRs have (or claim to have).

Personally, I did what I did so I stand by the decision. In my personal experience, I used to be pretty serious about keeping my promises, but I have had so many people back out on me that now I tend to consider the first person to actually pay as the real buyer. The standard drill is, I post an ad, then someone emails back he wants it, then I say ok, then no response.
 

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Sanhu said:
No one would go to court for this, so it's irrelevant.
Famous last words - I'd have to know more about the specifics of your agreement, but to me, on the face of it, I'd say you dishonored yourself by not fulfilling your promise to the first buyer.
 

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Sanhu said:
The standard drill is, I post an ad, then someone emails back he wants it, then I say ok, then no response.
Legally that's even more clear to me and you're perfectly fine.

I wouldn't worry about it. If the guy said, "I'm going home to get the money, be right back." And Joe walked up right after him and handed you the money instead, that's different.

But if it was a couple days later and the first guy said "I might have some money coming in Friday" or something that left it unclear when he'd have the money or if he'd get the money...I'd sell ASAP. Again, unless it was a close friend who I trusted and I wasn't in a money pinch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey, if you looked at the thread, my post was in response to Downunder and not you. So I was not disagreeing w/ you.
 

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if you were person #1 would you be pissed and trying to make the seller feel guilty?

didn't think so, either would I. it's called get over it.....and with that out goes all my good juju for the next next year...
 

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i recently sold a frame on here and got a good # of responses (10 or so). at first I tried to give the first respondent first priority, etc. what I realized (like after emailing person #1 telling them this & after answering their ?'s, and saying if they are not interested to let me know, etc) is that you don't hear back from them etc. It was a pain in the a$s trying to do it the fairest way. Finally I said screw it, whoever gets money in my paypal first gets it(otherwise YOU may lose out). I will say this (the classifieds) is a good place to sell stuff, especially if you aren't trying to get super-top-notch dollar for what you have.
 

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Oh give me a break guys, oral contract? Get real.

Unless there's been money put down there hasn't been a transaction. Until there's money down the item is still owned by the seller and he can do whatever he wants with it.
 

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I would have tried to contact the first buyer to let him know that someone was offering more, and had cash in hand. That way buyer #1 could have at least had a chance to buy then, or back out. If you had let him know before you sold to someone else, he couldn't be justifiably pissed.
 

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You sound kind of like the seller in a situation I found myself in, where I was (unwittingly) buyer #2. I won an eBay auction for a bike I really, really wanted, at a decent price. Exchanged e-mails after the auction with the seller, everything seemed to be moving along, and then next morning I received an e-mail from a guy who had previously agreed to buy the same bike (through a different venue), and had already mailed the payment. I asked the seller about it, and his response was basically, "Oh, yeah--but it's cool...you can still have the bike". Apparently he was trying to play several buyers from several sources against each other to get the best deal, and there's nothing wrong with that, if he's upfront with people about it. After some three-way e-mails, I got so disgusted with this guy that I didn't want to deal with him at all, and wished the original buyer good luck. I know your case is slightly different, as the first buyer didn't get payment to you before you sold to the second buyer, but I think the principle is the same--if you reached an agreement with someone, unless you don't get payment within a reasonable period, you're ethically obligated to honor the agreement. If that doesn't suit you, then make it clear from the start that the first buyer to actually get a payment to you gets the bike.
 
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