What protocol needs to be followed to obtain retail merchandise belonging to me from a consignment store?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What protocol needs to be followed to obtain retail merchandise belonging to me from a consignment store?

I have several thousand dollars worth of inventory in a home decor boutique and cannot get the owner to respond to my requests to come retrieve it. We dissolved our agreement over 1 month ago.

Asked on September 17, 2015 under Business Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The "protocol" is to sue the store and/or its owner for the return of the goods and/or for their current fair market value. You would sue based on breach of contract not returning when the contract is over and conversion a form of theft--keeping something which had been entrusted to you but to which you are not entitled. If the store is an LLC or corporation, you sue the store otherwise, you sue the owners. It is easier to sue for the monetary value of the goods & if you do, the store and you could settle the case by their returns than for their return suing for monetary value is a straightforward suit for "damages" that's what the law calls the compensation to which you are entitled, whereas suing for their return means seeking "injunctive relief"--a court order--which involves additional procedural steps and a more-complex legal analysis.

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