I bought a small plane from E bay ($8000 USD) and paid $1000 via paypal, I went to see the item in The USA at a csot of about $3000!! Both Parties signed a contract agreeing that I would pay remainder when it was packed. About 6 weeks later vendor said he had sold it elsewhere and now is refusing to refund my deposit. Paypal says it is not covered by there paypal scheme as it was listed under vehicles . I used my credit card top pay paypal.any suggestions what I can do

  • I believe PayPal provides protection on trasactions for upto 180 days. Talk to them.
    – A. K.
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


I assume this is not a request for specific legal advice, instead you want to know what the law is pertaining to third parties and breach of contract. You have some kind of agreement with Ebay. I will assume that you contracted with eBay Marketplaces GmbH in Switzerland, and you live in New Zealand (those details don't matter subtantially). You have a dispute with that entity, which you may have to resolve by arbitration depending on whether you opted out of arbitration. Under the terms of the contract, you would either litigate the matter in Salt Lake County, Utah, or it will be arbitrated by the American Arbitration Association. The question then is whether Ebay can be required to compensate you for the vendor's breach of contract. §13-14 of the contract limits their liability: basically, you did not buy the plane from Ebay, you used Ebay to buy the item from the vendor. Ebay did not breach their contract with you, the vendor does, so you have to sue the vendor. They do, in fact say that

For motor vehicles and real estate, a bid or offer initiates a non-binding transaction representing a buyer's serious expression of interest in buying the seller's item and does not create a formal contract between the buyer and the seller

You would have to inspect the details of the rules established by the seller regarding refunds, but it is probable that there was no contract (given the aforementioned Ebay contract clause), and the seller has no legal obligation to refund the deposit. I assume that the deposit was held by the seller, and not by some 3rd party escrow company.

You think you signed a contract, which may or may not be correct. You would look at the document and see what exactly it says. If for example it says "Buyer promises to deliver $7,000 to seller upon delivery of the plane", then by not delivering the plane, the seller has breached his contract with you, and you could sue him. One would hope that the contract indicates that there is a $1000 already paid which constitutes part of the total price. If you do have a contract with the seller, you could sue him to get your money back (and possibly the cost of travel to see the plane).

If the goal is to get the deposit back, you could try small claims court. If your hands are clean, so to speak, then the court will probably not allow him to unjustly enrich himself by keeping the deposit. However, the court documents do not indicate a method of Skyping a hearing. You can have an attorney represent you in Tennessee.

  • Thank you so much for your help, I had a horrible feeling that I was going o struggle to get my money back. Yes I have been in touch with ebay and paypal and you are quite correct they state that motorised vehicles (or those advertised in that category are not covered by the compensation scheme. Yes the seller (who seemed a really genuine guy when I went to se him, big house hangar own airstrip etc) held the deposit as it was paid to his paypal account (I funded the transaction through my credit card so that may possibly be an avenue??)
    – Chris P
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 21:09
  • The signed contract was between myself, UK based and sellor from Nashville Tenesee We both signed the contract. which said I would pay the rest of the money due before the plane was shipped. Vendor was supposed to be helping me find a trailer to ship it in, when I asked him about trailer he said that the plane was sold, he had incurred costs thus not returning the deposit. His e mails said nothing done as no trailer. Is there a small claims system I can go through to sue him where I can file paperwork and either do the hearing by phone or similar as its just not viable to do it in person?
    – Chris P
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 21:18
  • Absolutely lodge a dispute witjh your credit card company.
    – davidgo
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 6:30
  • I do hope you left negative feedback. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 16:31

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