Can I now sell items left in my store for consignment if I closed my business over 6 years ago?

UPDATED: Feb 14, 2012

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Can I now sell items left in my store for consignment if I closed my business over 6 years ago?

I had a retail store – accepted consignment for home goods and artwork. Closed approximately 6 years ago. I have items never picked up that I have had between 6 – 10 years. Can I sell them – I have an urgent financial need need the storage space back. I never had an address on the person that left artwork – I did try to call them several times, and forgot about the items until recently. Also, what if the person contacts me now asking for them back? Am I obligated to return them 10 years later?

Asked on February 14, 2012 under Business Law, Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, I suggest that you make an effort via telephone calls and letters in the next 30 days or so to contact those that left property with you on consignment to pick up the items. Keep good notes of all attempted calls and copies of letters sent.

If you do not receive any response to your requests for contact say in the next 45 days, it would appear that under the law that the items have been abandoned and you can do what you need to do with them.

If you get contacted by the true owner seeking the item's return, you need to return the property to its rightful owner.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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