Is there a federal law that says that a seller cannot refuse a certain form of money as long as it is valid, commonly accepted form of payment??
I remember about learning such a law back in a college law class, but I can't remember the specifics. Basically, it says that a seller cannot refuse any particular type of payment of money as long as it is a valid form and the buyer agrees to cover for any expense for that payment. Of couse, basic law 101: the laws of the land SUPERCEDE and OVERRIDE all eBay rules or contracts between sellers and buyers. An invalid, illegal company rules or business contract is not enforceable.
Here is the situation: I bought an item on eBay that was to be picked up personally. In the original listing, the seller wrote that the item was located in El Segundo, California, and the buyer makes payment in money order or cash in El Segundo (at the pick up.)
Now the seller has changed the terms and conditions AFTER the auction has closed and without my prior consent -- now the item is located in Long Beach, California, and the seller demands me to mail a money order or cash to an address in Hawaii. He has not given me an address in Long Beach for the pick up, nor a contact person to meet for the pick up, nor a contact phone number in California to call and to make the pick up arrangement.
Please note that we have had a prior dispute before the seller decided to change the terms and conditions. (i.e., we set up a time and place on the Christmas shopping weekend for the pick up, I missed the first pick up due to miscommunication. The seller immediately turned berserk and became rude and *extremely* uncivilized.)
I have the strong feeling that, once I have made the payment in cash or money order, he will just screw me over because there is no proof there I pay. He will just not give me the item, leave me a bad feedback, and then I can't leave him a bad feedback because he has filed an unpaid item dispute, which will prevent me from leaving him a feedback. (i.e., The seller has filed an unpaid item complaint against me.)
I know he has a PayPal account, and I want to just send money to his PayPal account so the transaction is traceable and documented. Also, PayPal will deal with him if he refuses to give me the good -- and charge back to his account. I even put in the extra money to cover any possible PayPal fees (although I know he has the most basic free account, so it does not cost him anything to get money via PayPal.) However, he refuses to accept PayPal payment because he says it is not "in the original terms" (although he has already changed the terms himself -- he insists that he, as the seller, can set up the terms -- those darn egoistic musicians think they don't have to follow the rules and can make up the rules on the way.) I am quite sure he will not accept my PayPal payment, but then eBay will cancel the deal if a seller refuses the payment, and his complaint will be cancelled as well.
I checked eBay rules, and one says a seller cannot refuse a payment, but the rules are very vague. And I remember that we have a federal level law that says no one can refuse a particular form of money in payment. Of course, laws supercede any eBay rules or seller/buyer contract.
Please, if anyone can tell me about that law in details, I'd appreaciate it. I've also posted this message in various legal forum seeking for advice.