What is my liability as a purchaser of an RV after signing a buyer’s order?

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What is my liability as a purchaser of an RV after signing a buyer’s order?

I signed a buyers order, wrote a check for down payment and had the dealership pay to have the windows tinted and other things on a used RV that I wished to purchase. Now I’ve changed my mind. Am I obligated to buy the RV still? I also signed a work order that estimated the cost of the improvements I requested. Am I obligated to buy the RV or just to pay for the improvements I requested?

Asked on May 5, 2012 under Business Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In signing the buyer's order and putting down a down payment, you entered into an enforceable contract to purchase the RV. The dealership could seek to enforce that contract against you--i.e. sue you for the profit or benefit it would have made on the transaction. (When a contract is breached, the non-breaching party can sue for what it lost--in this case, essentially the dealer's profit.)

The fact that it was a special order--that you requested changes or improvements to the RV--strengthens their case, since the fact that it was special order reduces their abilty to mitigate, or reduce, their damages through an easy resell; thus, you are likely to have to pay more in damages if you breach the contract than if it was an "off the shelf" RV for which they could more readily find a replacement buyer, since that reduces their offset against the loss.

So if they choose to sue you if you refuse to buy the RV, they will almost certainly be able to recover more than the cost of the improvements, but likely less than the full value of the RV, since not of of the RV's cost would represent profit to the dealer.


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