What happens when you buy a locked safe on eBay for $122.93, open it, and find it contains $26,000?

February 16th, 2012

Note that the listing on eBay indicated “What you see is what you get, no returns, and no money back.”

This would make a nice contracts hypothetical.

There was an offer for a safe, with the notation that “what you see is what you get.” A buyer accepts the offer, and tenders payment. The seller, after receiving the payment, ships the safe. The buyer gets the safe, opens it up, and finds $26,000 in it. Would the seller have any claim to the money inside?

Here’s what happened:

“I thought it was empty,” he said.  “I shook it and I didn’t feel anything inside of it, so I figured, well, maybe it’s just a locked safe, you know.  So I put it on eBay.”

Labrecque lives in California.  The person who bought the safe lives in Bartlett.  Upon receipt, the buyer brought the safe to a welder, who cut it open.

Inside the safe was $26,000 in cash.

The buyer gave Labrecque a positive review and shared the news.

“I feel like the stupidest idiot in the world,” said Labrecque.  “I told my friend, I won the stupidest idiot in the world award the other day, you know.  I gave away a safe with $26,000 in it.”

In a contentious e-mail chain Labrecque provided to Action News 5, he asked for a cut of the cash.  The buyer declined, citing Labrecque’s seller policy that states, “What you see is what you get, no returns, and no money back.”

Labrecque said this is different.

“That’s a chunk of change, you know.  That’s life-altering money,” he said.  “I mean, if I was in that situation and I found that kind of money and I bought it from someone, I’d say, ‘Here man, I found this money.  I’ll give you half of it.'”