My husband & I own an online business selling through Amazon. I went to a coffee wholesaler on 10/18 in Miami where we live and do business and purchased 160 coffee boxes @ $9.55, totaling $1528. The invoice did not have a return policy, no contract or agreement was signed. I couldn’t sell the coffee, so I asked to return it and they would ignore my messages until they finally said they would not accept the return. I offered to pay some kind of restocking fee, but they still refused. I opened a dispute with my credit card company to get a chargeback. The company contacted them, and they ignored the credit card company by not disputing the charge. The credit card company reimbursed me the whole amount. We decided to drop off 144 coffee boxes in front of their door. The remaining 16 were sold. I got a call from a friend of the wholesaler saying that they need us to pay them $700 for “losses” and “attorney’s fees”. However, they refuse to show proof of that.They want us to sign a “Hold Harmless Agreement” and pay $700 or they will sue us. They refuse to show me any proof of “losses” or “fees”. I have not signed anything or paid anything, but I'm afraid they can have a reason 2 sue us.
This should be a lesson for the future.
You're trying to make a business out of reselling products, but it doesn't always work, as there is a chance that you won't be able to (like the coffee).
That being the case, you must determine the return policy before making the purchase.
Unfortunately, you didn't do that here.
You also got your money back from the credit card company, but then you also sold 16 cans?
That doesn't make sense because you had your cake and you ate it too. If you didn't pay for something, you really shouldn't try to sell it. By doing so, you have unclean hands, meaning that you are not completely faultless.
Under the circumstances, the supplier might have a reason to sue you.
You can avoid this in the future by being certain of all of the terms of the agreement by putting them in writing.
Best of luck.
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I hope you and your husband had the presence of mind to get some sort of receipt for the 144 boxes of coffee you say "we dropped off" at the front door of the wholesale coffee company--because it looks like they are going to claim that you walked away with $1,528 worth of coffee and also were reimbursed by your credit card company for the $1,528 you charged.
The good news is that they are only seeking $700, not the full $1,528; and unless they have a written contract governing the sale terms and providing for prevailing party attorney fees if there is a lawsuit to enforce the written contract, you will probably win if they sue you in small claims court.
Your concern is legitimate and as a business person you should know better. There is no right to buy things and then return them because you can't resell them. Especially food products. It may be worth the $700.00 just to resolve the issues given lawyers charge 300-400.00 per hour.
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