View Full Version : Well, I thought I bought a Bridgeport

08-31-2006, 09:26 PM
On Sunday, I looked at a mill and asked if it was reasonably priced

On Wednesday, I made an offer over the phone for cash, which was accepted. I offered to drop off a check for the amount to hold it until I gotthe cash, but he said ot wasn't necessary.

Today, I took some time off work to get the cash, then called the seller after work to arrange for a meeting time. He told me he didn't have the mill anymore, since someone had come by with more money and a trailer that morning. He stated that since I hadn't called or shown up that morning, he broke the deal. He made no attempt to inform me that someone else wanted it.

That, of course, leaves me somewhat ticked.

The sellers name is Dennis Needham, and the phone number in the ad (713)973-**** is traced to 90** Emnora Ln, Houston, Tx His shop is located at 1201a Uptown Park, Houston, Tx 77043, although he said he was selling some of the equipment and moving. His cell number is (832)659-****.
(Edited to remove certain information after recieving the sellers last name)

The last I heard, he still had two surface grinders for $1000 each.

If anyone must do business with him, get a contract in writing before money or goods exchange hands. Of course, I would recommend strongly against any sort of business relationship.

At this time, I'm only out some time and a bit of lost pay. Hopefully, I lose the couple of ebay auctions before they close, or I'll be losing more money.

There were times when a man's word was as good as a sworn contract. There are still places where that holds true. It seems that the scumsuckers are still out there, and they may be taking over.


Still looking for a mill.

08-31-2006, 09:31 PM
It aint legal until money has been exchanged

08-31-2006, 09:47 PM
Yeah, I know it's not a legal contract until money has changed hands.

There's still the difference between doing what's legal and doing what's right. If someone makes a verbal agreement, then breaks it, he may be in the clear as far as the law goes, but he isn't honorable.

In the end, Dennis stil has to wake up in the morning and realize he's sold himself for a couple of bucks.

I'll get over being ticked. A few hours tommorow will take care of my monetary loss. Sometime in the future, I'll get a mill.

No one who knows what Dennis did to me will trust him at his word until he proves he means it. Members of this board and wnyone who browses by won't be taken in.

Sure, it wasn't a legal contract. To someone with integrity and honor, it wouldn't matter.


08-31-2006, 10:03 PM
cuts both ways. just dealt with selling a small loader tractor. im part of a site that collets these things. posted the for sale there first out of courtesy. got no less than 4 (2 from the same guys) saying yes i will take it. each separated by a week, would pull the ad, wait for payment, a week would pass then they would say sorry...cant take it..repost it and so-on. finally i said screw you guys, put it on ebay and made a grand more than i was askin. also was quite ticked..each time this happened. now when i sell it goes to the first to show up with the money

Jim Caudill
08-31-2006, 10:13 PM
I have had a similar experience several times. Once I had performed work and purchased materials for a repair job and agreed to take a horizontal mill in exchange for the repair. "No rush" I was told on removing the mill from his storage building. Then, while attending his Christmas party, was told he sold the mill to another guy in the Dallas area (we're in Dayton, Ohio) and even got paid around $1500 for delivery to Texas. Gave a check to a fella across the street for a 1966 Mustang and took a receipt for payment. Title was to be delivered the next day. He backed out and gave me the check back. Bid and bought a Monarch 10EE in Virginia off ebay. Seller then advised his dad had already sold it to someone else after haveing the son list it on ebay. Probably a few more like that if I care to think on it for a while. I don't. I think in everyone of these cases, something better came along later. The guy that sold the horizontal bought me a Hurco CNC for a $1000 (my first one) when he bought one for himself. He said no big deal if I didn't want to take the deal, he would sell it to someone else, but he thought I would probably want it; He was right! I picked up a late-model Hardinge TFB for around $1,600 last may; better deal for me than the Monarch, as I already have several Hardinge lathes and am familiar with them. Life goes on, and you may be better off for having "lost" this deal. BTW, the horizontal was a small toolroom Hardinge and later on I was given the opportunity to purchase a Hardinge TM-UM horizontal with a vertical head for $800 in excellent condition when a old toolmaker friend of mine was dying of cancer.

08-31-2006, 10:40 PM
[To someone with integrity and honor, it wouldn't matter] I'll back you up on that one. Seems like a dying breed. People have no self-respect, so that's why you got ripped that way; or else I'm just too damn old. Remember when a man's word was good enough?

08-31-2006, 11:41 PM
That's a shame. Obviously, the guy is not a Texan. Probably some transposed orphan of some foreign state. :D

08-31-2006, 11:53 PM
I agree he should have made an effort to keep your verbal contract. Greed goes a long way with machinery dealers.

But, I think it is rude of you to post his possible home address and his cell number. Keep it business and post his business name and location. But when you post someones personal information on the world wide web you are opening him up to criminal activity. JRouche

09-01-2006, 12:00 AM
Yes, today you can't count on a hand shake or verbal promise because people no longer have scrupples or a conscience about deals with each other. Another thing that is very dangerous is to pay for something and go back later and pick it up. I have quit telling someone that I will hold it for them unless I know them well.

09-01-2006, 12:26 AM
This is what google said goes with the phone number.
"Mi R Chung, (713) 973-9262, 9023 Emnora Ln, Houston, TX 77080 "
I do not like posting this information I deplore his actions even more. Very poor way to do busness in my book.


J Tiers
09-01-2006, 01:48 AM
I've had a number of cases where I have called about an item, and agreed to drive right out there and look, I'm the first to call, seller says so.

Get there, and it's sold and being loaded. "oh he just came by and paid the money". Maybe I just drove 40 min 1 way to get there....

Other cases, I have talked to people who say that they have a guy coming out to look, and if he doesn't want it I'm next. So it goes both ways.

But the second type are the ones I believe have some integrity. That's how I work it, and I will get a phone number and I WILL call back if the first guy doesn't do the deal.

Then there are the guys who say they will be there in 10 min. Then 4 hours later they show up and wonder why it is sold.... No, I won't wait 24 times longer than you said, when you didn't call and didn't show up.

09-01-2006, 01:54 AM
The answer is:

John Stevenson
09-01-2006, 04:53 AM
I'm selling a Bridgy and a Myford 254 for a friend who's eyesight is failing.
Last night I had five people interested in the Myford.
I sent the same email out to all on condition, equipment , price etc to all.
Only difference was that each one had where they stood in the list at the bottom.
That's the way the sale is going to go, first email is preference.
This morning No5 emails to say he's bought one during the week and he doesn't think sitting at No 5 will be any good so thank you and not interested.


09-01-2006, 07:13 AM
Cash talks,Bull$hit walks.

Assume a seller or buyer has no ethics,til deal is done. then you will not be disapointed.

09-01-2006, 08:55 AM
I have more sympathy with the seller.

Consider this a lesson. If you want to buy an item that has potential wide spread interest complete the transaction ASAP. Give the seller enough down payment (if not the total amount) once you've seen the item so there's no doubt you intend to complete the transaction.

I've sold a number of items over the years and have been a landlord for 25 years. Talk is cheap and verbal commitments are worth very little. Cash talks.

BTW, that was not a wise move listing the seller's name and contact info. You may have opened yourself to possible legal action on his part.

09-01-2006, 10:52 AM
My signature line sums up all this, very easily

People dont have respect for THEMSELVES.... let alone OTHER people


sad, sad, sad, sad

09-01-2006, 12:12 PM
Sometime back I responded to an ad for a backhoe for sale. Now I'd been looking for one for a year or so. When I got there the seller had two older guy's looking at it. As I walked up I said hello and asked if they had made a deal on it... they said no. So I went about checking it out. One old guy said it needs work and was kicking the tire. The seller said they had done a complete rebuild on the engine not long ago. I look at the motor and it appeared to of been out and worked on. I asked the seller if I could start it and run it about. It started right up and ran clean. I ran it thru its range on motion everything worked but after some minutes it died. The seller said that was the reason for the selling it would cutout after a short run but it you let it set it would fire right up and run about ten minutes. Ok I said.... I asked the old guys if they wanted it cause they seen it first... they said they'd think on it. I asked the seller to step aside made him a $2500 offer he counter at $3000 I said sold and wrote a check and told the old guy's not to think on it cause I just took it for three. They said hell we'd of took it furdat. Turns out the 1/4" line from the tank the carburetor seemed to show good supply but in truth a glob of solider from when the tank was made had worked it's way into the nipple for the petcock and was choking the supply. Once it was cleared it ran and work great for years and when I sold it I sold it to a friend that said if you ever sell it call me first... I kept my word and so did he. As was said earlier if you want something that has appeal to others and rarely come up in your neck of the woods... he who hesitates waits for another add to be placed. When I seen it coming up the road I told my wife if I can get it for 3 it's coming home with me. You should of insisted on bring over a check to hold till you could bring the balance or total with return of check in cash. Keep looking another will come up in time... and you'll know to jump and take your trailer.

09-01-2006, 12:26 PM
No sympathy for the seller is due. The buyer in this case offered to give a down payment to hold it and was told this was un-necessary. Clearly, that was a lie.

The only comfort in a situation like this is that you may be better off not making a purchase of something so expensive from a known liar.

I took a huge risk buying my Bridgeport mill on Ebay. When I went to pick it up two states away, I was generally pleased that it looked just as bad as it did in the pictures ;) There was one exception, however. The power feed had a tag on it that said "do not plug in". I waited until I got it home to do the deed and it clearly was toast...then...if not before as evidenced by arcing sounds.

I called and spoke with the person in charge of selling. He gave me an initial "well...we never claimed it worked" and I reminded him that what would have been reasonable was to state that it didn't since that clearly was known. I think he was an accountant for the company or something and was not himself a machinist. In any case, he agreed and asked what I wanted. I indicated that I did not think he needed to buy me one as clearly it was used, but asked for half of the going rate for a new one which he kindly agreed to. There are still people with integrity out there. Keep looking.


09-01-2006, 12:30 PM
I wouldn't worry about posting his name and # you could say you were helping him out with the grinders.LOL

09-01-2006, 01:45 PM
While it is unfortunate that it was sold out from under you, you offered a means to hold it, which he declined to accept. You are upset and I understand why, but the posting of the personal info is a bit much.

When I have had items for sale, I would take the prospects in the order they inquired. I would let them know if others have also inquired. The first one willing to buy, gets it. I tell that to all inquiries. Inquiries would after looking item over say; I'll take it, (with or without haggling on asking price), If the others pass let me know. or, If you sell it before I get back to you..... or, don't wait on me if someone is willing to buy...... I would accept a deposit to hold, refunded if they later change their mind, not take their word that they "will be back". I'm sure a lot of sellers have been burned on a "I'll be back" sale, potentially losing the possibility of any sale. I take each of the inquiries contact info and let them know the status.

Granted, I'm not a big buy/sell person, I do not sell many items. No one that I am aware of has ever made a claim that I promised them the item and sold it out from under them.

09-01-2006, 02:02 PM
"While it is unfortunate that it was sold out from under you, you offered a means to hold it, which he declined to accept."

This may have been the problem, he offered a check as deposit.

A cash offer is just that, don't make the offer unless you're able to come up with the cash quickly. If it was me, I would have gone to the cash machine, drawn out the max ($300) and given him that amount immediately, with the balance to follow next morning. Cash would have secured the deal.

I've been through the check-as-deposit scenario. From a stranger that check sometimes isn't worth anymore than the paper it's written on.

Whose ethics should be questioned in this case is up for grabs IMO. The poster stooped pretty low in publishing the seller's name and contact info when we've only had a chance to hear his side of the story.

09-01-2006, 02:26 PM
At the time I originally posted, I did not have the sellers complete name. Once I did, I removed the information. In any case, all information posted was readily available by google.

I offered a check as a deposit. He declined and said it wasn't necessary. He did not say he wanted a cash downpayment, which I could have willingly provided.

For the timeline, note that it was less than 24 hours between accepting my offer and selling the machine. At the time the offer was accepted, I told him that I would have the cash the following day. I don't know about you, but I'm not in the habit of keeping that much cash at my house.

For the record, one of the more offensive factors is the fact that he didn't call me. He did have my phone number and could have easily informed me another interested buyer was there. Instead, he did not even tell me I could match the later offer.

Of course you've only heard my side of the story. I started the thread. I will stand behind what I've written and the timeline. If anyone is interested in the seller's grinder or his EDM machine, a search of the Houston Chronicle or the Houston Greensheet will give contact information.

For that matter, there is sufficient information here to identify me. I won't say to contact the seller to get his side of the story, but anyone is welcome to get in touch with me and verify mine.


Herm Williams
09-01-2006, 02:27 PM
I'll give you another example, a friend sold a pressbrake for 5k buyer said he would pick it up in a month. It sat there for a year friend sold it again for 6k orignal buyer came by for his machine about a year later and was angry because it had been sold, friend gave him his 5k and told him to get out of his shop. Orignal buyer said it was just a business deal, he got over his mad and still buyes machines but my friend charges storage fees now.
All of his sales are based on his word, but if a buyer says he will be back on a day and time and don't show up within an hour of the promased time it will be sold to first come first served.

09-01-2006, 02:42 PM
If he had your contact details & sold it out from under you without letting you know he want's lynching,

09-01-2006, 02:43 PM
When I sold my Cessna 140 I had a person very interested who agreed to buy it from me. He needed a couple of days to arrange the money and I promised I would not sell it until then. He was a bit of a flake and I didn't have a lot of confidence in his flying skill but if he wrecked the plane after buying it that is his problem.

The next day I had a call from an airline pilot near retirement who was interested. I explained that I had promised to hold it for another person. The airline pilot decided to check it out anyway and really liked my plane. He offered to write me a check on the spot but I told him that he would have to wait until I heard from the flake.

Unfortunately the flake came up with the money the next day and bought the plane. I would have much rather sold it to the retiring pilot as I know it would have been looked after properly. But, I gave my word to the flake and I keep my word, even for flakes.

It can take a long time to build a good reputation as I have in my business. It only takes a moment to destroy it. I always do as I say.

09-01-2006, 07:17 PM
It aint legal until money has been exchanged

Where are you guys getting that one from? Certainly if you have a written agreement with some one to purchase an item at a particular price its a legally binding contract and the time at which the money changes hands has no effect on the legality and enforcability of the contract.

If you only have a verbal agreement with someone its not easy to legally enforce it, but there have been many times when someone has successfully used legal means to enforce a verbal agreement, particularly if the agreement was simple, concise and witnessed by others.

Do you know how many times (at least in California) some poor schmuck has ended up giving up half of his dough to his live-in girlfriend because he was stupid enough to say to her "don't worry, I'm going to take care of you". I bet those guys wished they could have said "Hey, wait a minute, I haven't given her any money yet so what I said didn't mean squat".

In your case it would be tough to enforce the verbal agreement, but don't necessarily give the guy an easy out just because he didn't take the money yet.

Paul T.

09-01-2006, 07:21 PM
As they say, a verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it is written on.

09-01-2006, 09:38 PM
As they say, a verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it is written on.
I have always heard it as "A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it is NOT written on"

09-01-2006, 09:59 PM
Yep, that's how much that paper is worth.

09-01-2006, 10:01 PM
Well it sucks I know,but two things I have learned are-

First I have found that you can give the seller a signed and endorsed post dated check for the deposit,it's as good as a contract once you fill in the cc line with"deposit milling machine" or similar.Just be sure you post date the check to the agreed pickup date.

Second it is not wise to devulge even the general location of something you want to buy on a BBS forum,the other screens have eyes.

From your post prior to this one-

Local guy is selling a bridgeport. Claims he used it in a injection mold shop for 15 years until he moved with the tools to Houston. This one hasn't been used in a couple of years. He's asking $2500"

A quick search of the classifieds via the internet would have yielded the location to the several hundred lurkers who view this site.Just a word to the wise.

09-01-2006, 10:09 PM
"First I have found that you can give the seller a signed and endorsed post dated check for the deposit,it's as good as a contract once you fill in the cc line with"deposit milling machine" or similar.Just be sure you post date the check to the agreed pickup date."

Yeah, maybe so, but how much would it cost to enforce the contract?

And, let's assume that was the case here, the poster had given seller the check. What would the poster sue for? Where's his loss?

09-01-2006, 10:51 PM
"First I have found that you can give the seller a signed and endorsed post dated check for the deposit,it's as good as a contract once you fill in the cc line with"deposit milling machine" or similar.Just be sure you post date the check to the agreed pickup date."

Yeah, maybe so, but how much would it cost to enforce the contract?

And, let's assume that was the case here, the poster had given seller the check. What would the poster sue for? Where's his loss?

If it played out in the same time frame,$5-10 to cancel the check.Also for a deal that size $100 is a deposit,if you lose it it isn't that much.If it were more like $1,000 then small claims court is where it's at,costs $40 to file suit here last time I checked.You can also attach it to a written and signed letter of intent if you want more concrete in the form.

If he(Kdahm) made the deal and then backed out the seller would of course keep the deposit anyway as a matter of honor because kdahm is honest right?

Still,half now,half later in cash is best,but you need more paper with that along with a witness or two.Cash disappears and memory fades,trust me I know.

09-02-2006, 08:57 PM
I believe that business is business, and you have to do what is in your interest, but that doesn't have to mean giving your word on a deal and then dropping it because a better offer was made. The seller could have at least had the courtesy to advise the buyer, and make it clear there was another offer. Being a "Man" starts with #1, and anyone who claims to be one should meet the obligation that goes with it. Yes, you should protect yourself, but don't be D*ck for a few more bucks and convenience. I happen to think Evans example is right on the mark as to how it should be done. JMHO.

09-02-2006, 09:55 PM
I'm with wolf. Cash talks BS walks. I did a lot of wheeling and dealin in the old car hobby. After a few times of getting burned with a good line of BS on I'll take it or I'll be back I took the attitude of I'll not hold it for you without a deposit. A deposit would only be for a short time of no meor than a week. There were no more verbal contracts. Your problems with money, selling somethin else, or hauling were not my problem. There are to many buyers out there ready to do the deal on the spot to give to much weight to a good line of talk.
I believe that the OP got a bum deal, but as a seller I would not have let him believe that He had the deal locked till the money changed hands.
no neat sig line

Duct Taper
09-03-2006, 03:40 PM
A post dated check is not cashable before the date and therefore is not a negotiable instrument and is not worth zilch until that date. It can't hold anybody to a deal until that date.

I was going to buy a Model A Ford. I looked at it and told the seller that I was seriously interested and would call him Saturday. I did call, only to hear him say he had taken it out to clean it up in case I was going to buy it and somebody drove by and bought it for the asking price. I was also going to pay the asking price, but no money changed hands and I was out of the deal. That is the way things work.

A contract, verbal or written, must have an agreement between both parties and some form of consideration to be enforceable. NO $, no deal.

04-01-2007, 04:53 PM
You know so many people just phone waste you re time and such. If you really wanted that mill you should of made the dog gone effort to get some money to the guy and at least a deposit followed by a receipt. Im sick of feeble minded people that phone you tell you oh i want it then don t bother to come put money down or even a wire transfer of funds to you to show sincerity. (oh gee must take 5 minutes to do) then whine when its sold but they didnt do **** to get a deposit down. People just arent too bright you know. Maybe this taught you a lesson But somehow i dont think it could teach you anything whatsoever. Have a nice Day

Lew Hartswick
04-01-2007, 05:27 PM
If he had your contact details & sold it out from under you without letting you know he want's lynching,
Yep. A lyer deserves to be known by his lies. Dosen't matter who he is.
Maybe if more of them were "outed" the occurance would reduce.
I can dream can't I?

edit to add:
All the automobile deals: Well what can you expect from a used car dealer? :-)

04-01-2007, 05:58 PM
He did offer to bring him a deposit!! That imo says the guy is a lowlife....I would never tell someone no need a deposit i will hold it, if i didnt plan on doing just that, now if there was no deposit offered, snooze you loose....

04-01-2007, 06:02 PM
My bad, i did re read again, i see he wanted to hold a check till he got cash....I have been burned once or twice doing that, i to would have sold it, Money talks bs walks...:D

04-01-2007, 06:09 PM
Wow, do you guys realize this post is like 6 months old? I am sure the guy has gotten over it by now...

04-01-2007, 08:01 PM
Maybe maybe not, lol....

Rich Carlstedt
04-02-2007, 12:13 AM
Hey, my buddy asked me if I wanted to look at a lathe he was interested in,
(just like my Atlas Clausing 6300) since I was familiar with it.
He had called the guy and made an appointment (100 miles RT).
We showed up and while looking at it, the phone rang.. and the guy said "excuse me" and answered the phone. My buddy liked the lathe (1500) and pulled the cash out of his pocket.. The guy came back and said
"The lathe has been sold" (to the guy on the phone )
My buddy flashed the cash and the fight started.. with out fists..
There are some very inconsiderate people out there.
I always thought "'First Money buys" but I guess not so.


Peter Sanders
04-02-2007, 04:12 AM

Yes, I know the original post is old :D

Two points, "What goes around, comes around" so if the seller didn't do the right thing, then he will get a "payback" in some form or other -AKA KARMA!

The second point is, if you don't get something that you wanted, it WASN'T meant for you in the first place. IOW it didn't have *your* name on it.

My experience was when buying a lathe. I had an opportunity to buy a Raglan Lathe (UK make), NO accessories for AU$500

I stood there for a while checking it out. It had a missing tooth and a damaged tooth on the backgear. I tried to offer less than the asking price.

I could not get an ok to my offer until the *real* owner returned.

When the *real* owner returned, so did another buyer. The other buyer paid cash on the spot and took it away :(

Not long after, *my* lathe came along. Same size lathe, HEAPS of tooling and accessories, complete with HD steel stand (with doors - holding all tools inside). Fully operational for AU$350.

THAT one had *MY* name on it :D The point I am trying to make is that while we may be disappointed, there are reasons why that happens.