How long am I legally obligated to hold goods that have already been paid for if the person fails to pick them up?

UPDATED: Jul 2, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 2, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How long am I legally obligated to hold goods that have already been paid for if the person fails to pick them up?

We hosted a yard sale 3 days ago. A woman came in and bought almost all of our big items and asked us to hold them for her. She has yet to pick up these items. We have called her once to ask her to do so. We have been suspecting that there may be some sort of scam involved as she refused to even take the smallest items she bought. How long do we need to keep her things.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Business Law, South Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If the person who purchased all the goods that you had at your yard sale several days ago and paid cash, did you give her a receipt? If so, did you make a copy of it for your records and future reference?

Since you called the person on her telephone, I would use the reverse directory on the internet to send her a letter requesting that the items be picked up by a certain date or there would be a per diem storage charge for her property. Keep a copy of the letter for future need and reference.

If she fails to pick up her belongings by the demanded date, send her a second letter requesting the same. If she refuses to comply, take the items to the local offsite storage center and place the "rental" in the owner's name. When done, send the new owner a letter with a copy of the lease for the location where the items are now stored advising her of the need to pay the monthly rent for them.

In short, I suggest that you simply not discard the items bought or give them away.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption