Skip to main content

Did I have a contract/agreement to buy a boat via text and email?

Duxbury, MA |

I offered 2700$ for a boat (via email). The seller took some time to respond to my offer, but eventually responded via a text message "We're good, he [his boss] said yes" (I was buying it from a non-profit, the director had to approve the deal). He never was willing to set up a time to do the deal, and I came to find later that he was still soliciting offers from other buyers on Craigslist and even said at one point that he "had not accepted any offers yet" and thought he could get more than he initially listed it for. Did we have an agreement? Is he obligated to sell to me? Does my text and email evidence stand up in court?

And, at this point he is not returning calls, emails, texts, etc.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I think you have a good argument that a contract was formed, although I am assuming the asking price was relatively close to what you offered. However, a court likely would not specfically enforce the contract and, besides, there is not enough more involved to make it worthwhile to go to court. I would look for another boat.

My responding to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. Also, please keep in mind that I am responding based solely on the information in your question and am most likely doing so from my iPhone and while out of the office. If you want to contact me, feel free to call me at 617-426-7400 or email


Sounds like a scam.... count your blessings that you never paid any money, and run, not walk, away and as far away as you can.... save your paperwork (including where this person said "had not received any other offers"), in case he/she tries to go after YOU for the money!

Best wishes.

No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside, particularly as it relates to family law, child support, custody and visitation (a/k/a "parenting time") issues, including 209A abuse-prevention restraining orders (a/k/a "ROs" in legal-speak), regarding un-emancipated children, under the age of 22.



I don't think it was a typical CL scam, I saw the boat, spoke to the guy a few times, etc. The issue is that he realized he could get more for the boat than the price I offered after he had accepted it, so he basically started ignoring me.

Julie Court Molloy

Julie Court Molloy


You may well be correct, however, you now know you are dealing with someone with, at best, questionable ethics, so, I still say RUN, and find another boat! Disappointing, yes, but, still, something "smells!"


Possibly, but a lawyer would need to carefully review the entire text/email history to form an opinion. Most lawyers in your area could advise you on this. Depending on the type of "boat," quite possibly covered by RMV regs and the UCC. Good luck.

This is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer