help guy backs out of a sale after m.o. is iss

been corresponding with a fellow goner about buying and amp.
agreed on a price ,sent m.o. and guy backs out, claiming after he posted it pending sale, a guy locally offered more money cash, claims he will send my m.o. back .
what is my recourse,
thank you in advance.
an honest newbie.
at the very least, you are getting your money order back, and at your local post office or bank you will now be able to obtain your money back, consider yourself fortunate.
I think you should give him a chance to do what he says he will do.
For starters stop payment on the money order.
Agree with Glen, stop the money order ASAP! If he is honest, you will just get the canceled money order back. If he isn't he will have your money and you will have nothing!

I like Muzikat's response... at the same time - ask your
bank what your options are, and ask your correspondant
to keep in close touch with you. Let him know that you
are concerned, but that you are on board - after all, it
is your money. Save every correspondance, but like
Muzikat implied, these things have a way of taking care
of themselves -- the Audiogon community is very tight.

I've called my credit card fraud department once before
to notify them of a transaction that had taken a turn
for the wierd - not yet worse, but wierd. It ended up
being quite okay, but caused me some consternation
just because of the differences in the way some people
operate - both sides still in good faith, but with
vastly different approaches.

Prudence and patience first, firmness and follow-up next.
While I'm no lawyer, I believe your seller was contractually bound to sell you the item in question at your agreed upon price. (As I recall, an enforceable verbal agreement/oral contract exists when there was an offer, an acceptance of the offer, and a consideration of value exchanged; your agreement appears to satisfy all three tests).

Thus, if you really want to get the item you agreed to buy -- at the price you agreed to pay -- you could file a small claims action against the seller to seek specific performance of his contractual agreement to sell it to you. You wouldn't need a lawyer to file such a suit. However, you would probably need to file the action in the seller's home state & county which might be difficult for you if he lives far away. Also, different states have different limits on how much can be sought under a small claims action (these range from $1200 to $5000 or more), so you would need to check the limits in the (non)seller's state to be sure the amount you would claim (i.e., the amount you agreed to pay) falls within the allowable claim limit. Perhaps one of the lawyer/audiophiles who visit this site can give you better information about your legal options.

This said, I think filing suit should be a last resort. If you still want the item you sent payment for, you should start by telling the guy you want him to honor his original agreement to sell it to you at your agreed upon price. It may not too late for him to get out of the other deal; and even if he already sold it to the other buyer, he might still be able to get it back since that other buyer was apparently from his local area. If the seller refuses to honor his agreement with you -- and you're sure you don't want to pursue legal action -- then you should, at the very least, ask him to refund you for your postage cost and M.O. fee. (and perhaps even throw in a little something to compensate for the trouble he caused you).

In addition, you should look at the seller's Audigon feedback. If his feedback is positive apart from your bad experience with him, it might be worth trusting that he'll send your money order back as promised. On the other hand, if his feedback has any negative comments at all, you might want to put a hold on the M.O. as others above have suggested. (I think there is a charge for this service, so if you decide to order a hold, you should ask him to pay this fee as well).

Finally, be sure leave some negative feedback on this guy describing what he did to you -- it seems very unfair. Maybe this will keep the same thing from happening to someone else. Hope this helps. Good luck. Don
You can't stop payment on a money order - that's why they are like cash. If you get your money back, give him a negative feedback and be happy it wasn't worse.
Make sure you leave negative feedback. You do have a binding contract with the seller if you agreed on a price and if you had the funds and desire you could take him/her to court and make him honor the deal. Three parts to a contract- an offer, an acceptance, and a condition of sale.
This is why I always use cashier's checks for large purchases. They are easily cancelled if need be. I also use COD for large purchases. I also offer to prepay the shipping so the seller has no risk.

Assuming you get your mo back, I would definitely leave negative feedback. Obviously a few bucks is enough for him to back out of a transaction. I know I don't want to do business with him.

My bank will not stop payment on money order/cashier checks.Only if lost or stolen and then only after I beleive 90 days can it be reimbursed. As mentioned above... it is like cash and works for the seller... that is why so many want payment that way. I received a damaged power cord and could not stop payment. Luckily, I worked out a deal with the buyer otherwise I would have been stuck with damaged goods.Steve
A contract over a nominal amount ($100 ??) is suppose to be in writing to be binding. I wonder if Email constitutes "in writing"? There are no signatures and you cannot verify that the other person is who they say they are. The money is the consideration for the contract; so if he refuses to accept the payment, there might be no contract. I would wait to see if you get your money back before passing judgement.
Lets not send the lynch mob out yet. The A'gon community is very tight knit indeed, and he's quite likely to send the check back as promised. Djjd did a nice job on the legal end of it, but I don't suspect you want to fight this one... unless it is one special amp at one special price then just put you money back in your pocket and look for another one!

I'm a lawyer but will refrain from giving a detailed legal opinion at this time. Should the need arise, I'd be happy to help out Alexone in private emails without charging any fee. Believe it or not, we're not all crooks!

Suffice it to say that most courts would treat email correspondence for online transactions as meeting the writing requirement under the Statute of Frauds (in this case if it's a sale of goods for $500 or more, there must be a writing signed by the party to be held). Obviously, a "signature" is impossible to "prove" in standard email communication, but based on facts and circumstances, it wouldn't be difficult to establish that the emails were the product of your seller's mind and imagination and were not written by his cat, for instance!

Normally, the buyer's payment would be effective as an acceptance of the offer upon dispatching the letter under the "mail box" rule - unless, of course, a specific method of dispatch was agreed upon between the parties but then not followed by the buyer. Say, for instance, you agreed to send the money order by FedEx overnight (which I always do as a buyer) but then sent it by regular (snail) mail. In such a case, your acceptance would not be effective until receipt by the seller and he would have the right to revoke his offer in the meantime. This is one good reason to use overnight services unless it's a small transaction for less than $100 or so. Another good reason is to give proper respect to the nature of the transaction such that the seller will never be left waiting in suspense.

Negative feedback is a must in this instance. If he then retaliates with negative feedback for you, send a note to Cornfedboy asking him to look into the matter. I'm sure there is a way for A'gon to remove negative feedback if it's clearly unjustified. If worse comes to worse, then start another thread about it!
Audiogon allows feedback once money has changed hands. Once you sent the money order money had changed hands. Please leave the appropriate negative feedback to prevent this happening to others.
Not to quibble with any of the above posts, but from my experience with several diff. banks, a Money Order CAN be stopped, while a Cashier's Check CANNOT be stopped unless it is stolen. (This is why, when buying a house, sellers & or escrow firms require a Cashier's Check ; also a lot of auto dealers).

So, Alexone, just pay the $7 or whatever to stop payment on the M.O! There's no downside to that.
Good luck!
thanks everyone, it does feel nice to hear from so many honorable people.
i stopped the m.o. it can be done after signing and notarizing an affidavit , just had to claim it was lost , since i hope it was still in transit. fyi, there is a 12 dollar fee. so ,i think all of us should be concerned that a m.o. is not cash and that in can work for or against us.
i will leave negative feedback and hope to still get the m.o.
thanks again.
thanks everyone, it does feel nice to hear from so many honorable people.
i stopped the m.o. it can be done after signing and notarizing an affidavit , just had to claim it was lost , since i hope it was still in transit. fyi, there is a 12 dollar fee. so ,i think all of us should be concerned that a m.o. is not cash and that it can work for or against us.
i will leave negative feedback and hope to still get the m.o.
thanks again.
Wait until you get the check back, and then leave your negative feedback when all of the facts are assembled in front of you. If you get the check back, then it's just a matter of communicating in 80 charactes or less that he backed out of the deal at a point too late in the process and by doing so made you awfully nervous.

At a minimum, you should ask for a refund of your $12. Certainly, he owes you that much, and his reaction to this request should be considered in your feedback. To my way of thinking, it remains appropriate to insist he returns the money order. Although you are now protected by the stop order, remember that stop orders are not always followed by banks to which a stopped check is initially presented - and even a bank that issues a stop order (your bank) may honor the check by mistake. Do you want to go through a hassle with your bank if they were to make such a mistake?

Finally, if you don't get your check back, feel free to let loose with some choice explitives in your feeback!
Me again. I'm glad that you've agreed to leave negative feedback. I think this is a must. Other A'goners should be put on notice in these types of circumstances since it goes to the very heart of our expectations of one another. If he were to have other positive feedback and could point me to his Ebay history, etc., I'd consider doing business with him if he had a good explanation. Perhaps this is a one-off situation and nothing more than an exercise of poor judgment. Without knowing the dollar differential between your deal and what he got from the local buyer, it's hard to put myself in his shoes, but it's definitely something I'd want to know before deciding whether to deal with him.

Abraham Lincoln once said:

"Reputation is more easily kept than recovered."

He may well find that there is a greater price yet to be paid.
Wmcmanus- great advice!
got my m.o. back but he refused to send the m.o. and priority postage fees.
thanks all
Axelone, now it's time to let loose with your negative feedback!