Port Saint Lucie, FL asked in Internet Law and Consumer Law for Florida

Q: What to do when a buyer claims the package they received is empty?

I recently sold an item online. I shipped it USPS priority envelope. It was delivered and the buyer is saying it was empty when received. I put the item in myself. Now they are threatening legal action against me if I don't refund them. What do I do in this situation? Can they do anything to me legally?

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this situation, it's important to approach the matter calmly and methodically. First, gather all evidence of your shipment, including any documentation or photographs you might have of the item before it was shipped. This can help establish that the item was indeed sent.

Next, check with the USPS to see if they have any information or advice. They might have procedures for handling claims of empty packages or may be able to provide information about the package's condition when delivered.

Communicate with the buyer in a polite and professional manner. Explain that you are investigating the situation and outline the steps you are taking. Keeping a record of these communications is advisable.

If the buyer continues to threaten legal action, remember that they would need to prove their claim in court, which can be challenging. However, it's also important to consider the policies of the platform you used to sell the item. Many online marketplaces have procedures for disputes like this and may offer mediation or a resolution process.

If you're unsure about how to proceed, or if the situation escalates, seeking legal advice might be beneficial. An attorney can provide specific guidance based on the details of your case and the laws in your area. Remember, handling such disputes professionally and with proper documentation is key.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Unfortunately, it's basically one person's word against the other's. If they sue, based on the value of the item, you'd need to decide if it's easier to offer a refund or defend the matter on your own or with an attorney. Good luck

1 user found this answer helpful

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