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Shaitel that Never Arrived

Kavod Rabbonim,
A woman purchases 2 shaitlach at a buy one and get 1/2 off for the 2nd. sale.
She pays for both in full and leaves with the 2nd, 1/2 off shaitel. The 1st, full price shaitel, is to be ordered and the purchaser is told to wait 6-8 weeks for the special order shaitel to arrive from Europe.
10 months later the purchaser says that there are production issues and the shaitel is still not available. The seller is willing to refund the money for the 1st shaitel but also claims that since only the 2nd shaitel was purchased that the 50% that was discounted is now owed since only 1 shaitel is being bought. The buyer says, that had she known that this would be the situation she wouldn’t have made any purchase
What is your psak? Thank You.


Since the lady’s (the buyer’s) original purchase was to buy the shaitel (the 2nd one) for half the price, she cannot be made to pay the full price for it. She can rightly claim that it was never her intention to buy the shaitel for the full price.

At the same time, the seller can claim that she only intended to give the shaitel for half price under the assumption that two were purchased, and not for the purchase of the shatel on its own.

The result is that the seller can cancel the sale if she wishes, whereby the buyer will have to return the shaitel, and the seller will have to refund the money. In principle this means that the buyer will have to pay a “rental fee” for use of the shaitel over the relevant time. However, I am not aware of such a market (for shaitel rental), so that it seems that the buyer will not be obligated to pay for this.

This answer is contingent on the fact that the production problem was something beyond the control of the parties, and that the seller was not aware of the problem and could not have been aware of it. Of course, for the psak to be binding both parties need to agree to arbitration etc.

Best wishes.

It might not be in the seller’s interest to cancel the sale at this stage, because she will be getting back a used shaitel. This will be up to her.

Another possibility is that the buyer will

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