Regarding transactions of sale of used/second hand items between private individuals (where trading goods is not a “common practice” or a full “occupation” for them), by default the buyer has no right to return the goods bought. Only in exceptional cases, cancelling the deal will be possible, however only by providing hard proof with substantial evidence and not just the standard; “burden of the proof is on the plaintiff’s shoulders”.

This was the case decided in July of 2015 before the honorable judge, Mr. Yariv Amit of the Tel Aviv court  case # 51729-12-14

The heart of the matter presented was:

Whether the oral agreement for the sale of a used frame of glasses for 250 shekels includes the right to cancel the purchase agreement?

Some important points a buyer should be aware of:

According to Israeli law on contracts, one doesn’t have the right to cancel a contract if it is not agreed upon by both parties that the contract can be cancelled.

In any type of transaction but especially in a second hand deal, “Let the buyer beware” (Caveat Emptor) is the ruling legal opinion.

What is important for you to know?

Bringing testimonies to court doesn’t mean the Judge will necessarily believe them and also a Judge can determine which testimony is right either the defendant or the one for the plaintiff. As a result, according to what we mentioned beforehand “the burden of the proof is on the plaintiff’s shoulders” the case against the defendant will be dismissed because there is lack of hard evidence for the plaintiff to prove his case (if there is not enough hard evidence brought to court).

Writing a long lawsuit (such as in this case, a 24 page document) even when dealing with large sums of money is never a good strategy! In our case it was a mere 250 shekels.

The Court ruled as follows:

The Consumer Law does not apply in this case because it is a not a deal between a consumer and an “establishment” (as stipulated by the Israeli Consumer Law), therefore there was no inheriting right to cancel the deal.

Furthermore the evidence brought by the plaintiff was inaccurate and not crucial, as it should have been. The testimony was not really in the plaintiff’s favor and the plaintiff himself even changed his mind regarding his own affidavit.

The plaintiff was inaccurate regarding the dates of purchase and other dates..

As a result, the plaintiff didn’t provide sufficient evidence and his case was dismissed after the Judge ruled the plaintiff to pay the defendant 1500 shekels in addition to the costs of the testimony.

If you want a Judge’s attention follow these simple tips:

  1. Be brief– no more than two pages
  2. Be precise, very precise
  3. Don’t bring testimonies if it is not crucial and if you do decide to bring them, be certain beforehand that they are still on your side and have a fresh memory of the events,
  4. Try other options to solve the problem before you bring it to court.

A word of wisdom:

Don’t sweat the small stuff! I mentioned a case that involved a 250 shekel deal and a 24 page lawsuit. Where are the proportions?