web analytics
May 6, 2015 / 17 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Until When?

Business-Halacha-logo

Outside the school, a person stood selling waterproof knapsacks. A sign above him read: “SALE! Only $100 for a knapsack! Limited time offer.”

Mr. Wasser passed by and was intrigued by the knapsacks. He came over and asked the salesman about them.

“These are high quality knapsacks,” the man assured him. “Fully waterproof!”

“One hundred dollars seems high, though,” said Mr. Wasser.

“Oh, no,” replied the salesman. “I’ve seen these packs sold for twenty and even thirty dollars more.”

“I’ll take one for my son,” said Mr. Wasser. He took out $100 and gave it to the salesman, who handed him a knapsack.

Two days later, Mr. Wasser happened to stop at a large local store. He passed by the backpack aisle and saw the exact same knapsack being sold for $60. “Wow! I can’t believe it,” he thought to himself. “I thought that $100 was a bargain!”

He asked the salesperson whether this was a special price for the knapsack. “No,” replied the salesperson. “This is the regular price.”

On the way home, Mr. Wasser stopped off at another store to check how much the knapsacks were selling for there. He saw the same knapsacks offered for $70. Another store sold them for $55. A small, old-time store was the most expensive he found, at $80.

“I was gypped by the salesman,” he said to wife. “This is classical case of ona’ah (overcharging). This is grounds to invalidate the sale.”

“Then return it to him,” she said.

Mr. Wasser returned to the salesman. “Overcharging above the going price range by a sixth is a violation of ona’ah,” he said to the salesman. “More than a sixth invalidates the sale. The highest price I saw this in the area for these knapsacks is eighty dollars, and many stores were less. I’d like my money back.” (C.M. 227:4)

“Had you returned the knapsack yesterday, there would have been what to discuss,” said the salesman. “However, now it’s too late!”

“What’s the difference?” said Mr. Wasser. “You overcharged me. It’s not like I waited a week. I just realized today that you overcharged me.”

“Time’s already passed,” said the salesman. “Sorry.”

“You’re required to take it back,” Mr. Wasser insisted. “Here, ask Rabbi Dayan.”

Mr. Wasser dialed Rabbi Dayan and put on the speakerphone. “Someone sold me a knapsack two days ago for one hundred dollars. I found out in stores today that the very same knapsack runs between fifty-five and eighty dollars. Must he take it back?”

“Although you were significantly overcharged,” ruled Rabbi Dayan, “since sufficient time passed for you to verify the price and you did not check, you forfeited the right to demand restitution.”

“What’s the difference?” asked Mr. Wasser.

“While significant overcharging is reason to invalidate a sale, Chazal wanted to uphold commerce, and not allow people to undo sales after time passed,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, they determined that if enough time passed for the customer to verify the price and he did not do so, we presume that he was mochel – willing to forgo his claim.” (C.M. 227:7; Sefer Hachinuch #337; Aruch Hashulchan 227:8)

“What is the time frame?” asked Mr. Wasser.

“This varies according to circumstances,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “The Gemara uses the expression, ‘time to show a merchant or relative.’ If the item is readily available, and can easily be checked in other stores, the time would be short – possibly even the same day. However, if the item is a specialty one that requires professional evaluation, the time would be longer, so that the customer would have the opportunity to meet with a specialist.” (See C.M. 227:17)

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Until When?”

  1. He should punch the guy that overcharged him. Twice, 10 dollars for each punch.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Bayit Yehudi Party Celebration
Coalition Last Minute Talks: Likud Capitulates, Bayit Yehudi Wins Justice + 2 Security Cabinet Votes
Latest Judaism Stories
Napping Yehuda Barkan and Daniel Dayan from the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman"

Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people

Social Media pic

With ubiquitous texting, social media, & email, society is mislead to think that words are ephemeral

Safar-050115-Califlower

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with – it blends so easily into whatever dish I am preparing.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

It’s an interesting idea, that love is illustrated by understanding another’s needs.

“Keeping” Shabbos means to guard it and make sure to keep every aspect and detail of it.

Pesach is a time when we can grow in this perspective. But merely spending a week working on something will not leave any lasting impression on us.

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

Morah for a parent is connected to shemiras Shabbos because the Shechina shines on, and through, the Sabbath.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him.” – Vayikra 19:17   When the Torah mentions the obligation to rebuke a fellow Jew, it ends with the words “and do not carry a sin because of him.” The Targum translates […]

The Bais Halevi answers that we must properly define what is considered to be “in the middle of a mitzvah.”

They had realized they would be far from civilization and kosher food and had packed plenty of fresh and canned food as well as making sure there was a microwave in their room which they knew how to kasher.

He was deeply saddened by the thought of her going to her final resting place alone and that it appeared as if she knew no one and had no family who cared about her.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

The Debt Lives On
‘The Orphans’ Mitzvah To Repay Their Father’s Debts’
(Ketubot 91b)

Rabbi Fohrman asks what’s the connection between animal sacrifices and leaving crops for the poor?

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

“The guiding principle regarding work terms is: hakol keminhag hamidina – everything in accordance with the common practice,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“No, I can’t take more than $65,” protested Mrs. Fleisher. “You may not owe me more than that.”

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/until-when/2014/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: