Lay away purchase

Got an interesting question from a member (on another well known auction site) that I've never seen before. This person has 100% good feedback there and more buying than selling.

"...if i could make payments to you on this, there's just no way I could aford this all at once. if for any reason I had to back out , I would forfit all money paid to date and you keep the machine, I've never let any one down yet and I buy this way a lot. I could pay as much as 250.00 a month"

It would take 7-8 months to be paid up. I don't mind the wait but not sure how to go about it and if there could be any repercussions to me.
Mark, that's not good. You're not WalMart. And if he defaults, do you really want to take the money from a fellow hobbyist? On the other hand you could give back the dosh and have to start all over again. My experience on this site and Audio Mart before it would suggest that you think very carefully about entering into this arrangement. And certainly, if you do, you will need it all spelled out in writing.
Agree with Viridian's trepidation. Too much play/gray area in this kind of arrangement for me. How late is too late for a payment? Even though its layway, you would be in the collections business. How is that for a hobby?
If you don't mind the wait then what's the worry? It's not like you're going to send it to him until you're paid. I would promise to hold onto it boxed and in a safe place. If something happens to it refund the money. If you're seeing money go into your account each month I guess don't understand the problem. My dealer does it. Tell him he can't be late on a payment because you want it gone in 8 months. You'll make very little but some interest of the money. How do you think payroll companies make money? Interest off other people's money.
I likewise wouldn't have much problem with that, under those conditions. Especially if he has 100% positive feedback and that the feedback isn't from just a few transactions.

Unless it would cause you any financial difficulty to have the payments spread out.

Buyer offered to forfeit all payments if it didn't work out. So you get money for just your patience, and if it doesn't work out your buyer has learned a painful but valuable lesson.

However, if you have another offer at around the same price from someone who could pay now, then I'd do that.

"However, if you have another offer at around the same price from someone who could pay now, then I'd do that"

That's exactly the case. Nothing but a couple of low ball offers. This was the 2nd time I listed it and it was just about a full "buy it now" offer. I really don't have any problem waiting for it to be paid off. And like Don said, I hold the item until it's paid for. I was just wondering about any Paypal repercussions down the road.
I went ahead and accepted it, so time will tell.
Why does the word "scam" keep popping into my head as I read this?

Keep in mind that under those terms I'm pretty certain that you would lose all seller protections that may be provided by the site and/or the payment service, such as those that may help against illegitimate chargebacks and item not received claims.

Also keep in mind that at the most well known auction site it is by no means unheard of for an account having top-notch feedback to have been hijacked by someone else.

Finally, keep in mind the possibility that at some point during the process, perhaps when the second installment is due, "unexpected" circumstances he may find himself in may result in him proposing changes to the terms that have been agreed to. Perhaps, for example, he may find himself "unexpectedly" able to pay the entire remaining amount at that time, but only via a payment method that turns out to be of dubious repute.

Best regards,
-- Al
Well, You would have to have real ground rules laid out.
Like the form the payments would be in.
(to avoid the strange chance of some type Nigerian Prince phony check scam etc.
Then the hard and fast rule you will NOT refund any money if the time limit passes. (I would include one allowed missed payment. No more than that.)
Payments NOT by Paypal. it would have to be Postal money orders or personal checks with 15 day hold on the last one.
Absolutely no shipment withouut payment in full.

I would write out a form and email it to the buyer, which he has to sign and send with the first payment. Write something up and send it to him. If he say s YES...then go for it.

IMO PLENTY of folks do not have the money saved and would love to be able to buy some great equipment if they could do payments.

Naturally the one problem would be if he suddenly comes up with some bizarre payment scheme AFTER starting. Your contract could make it clear the system is set with payments as described and no other forms of payment are acceptable (except larger payments in the same form.

Anyway, good luck.
I have a good feeling about this guy! I am glad you went ahead with it. I would have also.

Times are what they are. Layaway made a BIG Resurgence this past holiday season.

+1 with Elizabeth, make a clear, concise and well worded contract that spells out both parties duties to perform. Payment by check, money order or transfer. Grace period and forfeture clause.

No Worries!
As your attorney, I recommend you start drinking heavily. If you want to become a finance company that's your business. I truly hope this turns out well for you. I do.
Charo, lol thanks for the free legal advice. I'll
keep you posted.
Sounds good to me. You still posess the goods, and he is giving you money. He has a much better chance of being screwed on this deal than you do. Plus, you are helping out a fellow 'phile.
Agree w concerns regarding paypal chargebacks and disputes.
Well I just closed an "unpaid item case" on the buyer. Promises to forward the first installment never happened.
Like I said, horrible idea. I have a bad feeling about this guy! :>)
Nothing wrong , seems the buyer is sincere but just can't afford the item all at once. Maybe he has family and other priorities first and audio after.I am happy you accepted and give the guy a help . You will feel good about it,there is nothing really to loose or worry about it.
I've done it too in the past (bought that way ),in my case though it took about a month and half.
It is obvious he cannot afford the item. Move on, unless this is the only possible chance you will ever have to sell.
Yioryos, we have differing definitions of "sincere". Mine is that you keep your commitments.
I was lucky enough to find a sellar who was willing to accomadate me. We both have quite a bit of positive feed back and we spoke on the phone more than once as well as communicating via e-mail. He received more than 50% of the cost up front which probably made the sellar's decision easier. No paypal was involved. I've never asked anyone for a lay away plan before and I probably won't again but I just couldn't pay all at once. I'm grateful to the sellar since he could have sold it to someone else. The item will take a relatively short time of 2 months to be paid off. The agreement was that the sellar would keep all the money in the event of anything happending to hinder the sale.