Selling a used kayak as new-legal?

I was just wondering if anyone had any info about the legality of selling a used kayak as new. I realize that each state is different, but I’m hoping someone will have some info.

My friend bought a kayak a few weeks ago from a major sporting goods retailer. I took it out for the first time earlier this week- she had never been in it. My husband noticed two cracks in the kayak. (Non-functional, for what it is worth- they do not effect the usability of the kayak, but nobody wants to pay top dollar for a cracked boat.)

I reported said cracks back to my friend, who has not been in the boat, and she has reason to believe that the boat is a return that her very own friend took back to the store earlier in the week she bought it.

Is it legal for the store to sell a used, returned boat as new? If it is the same one, it was definitely used, which is when the first buyer noticed the cracks.

Don’t kayaks have to come with statements of origin that have the assignments listed? I live in NY, and I don’t actually need my statement here, but I do know that I definitely got one with mine. My friend did not.

Damages? There would first have to be legal damages before a legal issue arose.

If the kayak is defective/ cracked, it may be new, but should not be resold without notice. If there is a serial number, write it down. The kayak should be accepted as a return / exchange. If not, then an issue arises. Also, speak to the store manager and if the kayak will be resold, then report it to the regional manager.

Typically in retail, if something is purchased, it is usually only accepted as a return if it is either unused or damaged. If the original purchaser reported they did not use the item, (perhaps just changed their mind) and it looks to be in perfect condition, then the retailer could then resell it as new. If the original purchaser returned it because of a defect, and gave this as the reason for the return, then the retailer should not resell this as a 1st quality item.

Not sure if it would stand up in court…
… But many retailers will put returned items back out for sale as “new” if they do not appear to have been used (have all the tags, packing material, etc) … even if item returned was defective and repaired.

Ethically probably some fine lines here. If the item was clearly not used and there’s nothing wrong with it, and whatever warrenty it comes with is still valid, is it OK to market as new? Or must a retailer always mark these items as used, discount the price, and take a lower margin? The warrenty part of the equation may be important: by selling it as used, the retailer may void the mfg’s warrenty.

IMHO, a good retailer who takes an item back during their return window will sell the item as something less than brand new, maybe noted as a return or a “second”, but with mfg warrenty, and at a discounted price, with the amount of the discount in proportion to the item’s condition. A really good retailer would also note any repairs that were made.

A not so good retailer puts returned items that have clearly been used back out as new, and may offer a discount only when a customer points out the signs of use. It would be unethincal to put an item returned as a defect back out as new … buyer beware … but probably not illegal. It’s probably illegal to sell you something as new and under the mfg’s warrenty when that is not the case … or to misrepresent to the mfg that the item has been sold as new and therefor covered by warrenty when in fact the retailer knows the warrenty should be invalidated.

Give the shop an opportunity to fix
My son works at a kayak shop and damaged boats occasionally are found - usually before the sale occurs. He looks the boats over closely before they go out the door either to the customer’s vehicle or for delivery. Sometimes the boats may get minor scratches in the process of demo - as he had 4 demos yesterday & sold all four.

An ethical dealer wants a return customer & will go the extra mile to make it right. This spring, my son sold a boat that appeared fine in the shop, and then delivered it after work. Upon delivery, he discovered a cosmetic scuff on the side that was against the shop wall. He promptly notified the customer (it was a gift to his wife on Mother’s Day), who was not at home, and the shop owner. The customer was given the choice of a full refund & return, a partial refund for the damage, or a slightly larger amount in store credit. He chose the latter, and bought a paddle, and was very pleased with the entire experience. Had the boat been returned, it would have been shown to the factory rep for either repair (most likely) or return to the factory.

Buyer beware
I was at a chain store 2 weeks ago and wandered over to the area where they have some basic kayaks. I noticed a kayak standing end on end with some other ones(a loon 138). It had many scratches all over the hull, some little gouges with a price tag the same as the kayak next to it, that clearly was new. I brought it to the attention of the sales clerk and asked if it was a reduced item and he said it was brand new ! imagine that. I said again that it surely was a return as it was quite worn and he again stated it was not used - “brand new”. So, the moral of this story is: Sales clerks dont always know more than the customer ! You need to check your boat over yourself and make your decision whether to purchase or not.

I know from experience - another higher end sport store tried that one on me but I managed a decent discount on a couple of our kayaks!

Thanks for the opinions.
I think she intends to have her father take it back to the store and would like them to either give her a different kayak (with a discount, which is what they did for her friend that returned it a week before she got it) or give her a larger discount to keep said kayak. Her father is the one who bought it for her, as a birthday gift, and he is obviously not happy about this development.

This store is a chain store, and I looked around a bit there before I bought my kayak. I was really unhappy with the lack of customer service and ended up choosing a small store (which had FAR more kayaks in stock, and a test pond) and was very happy with the young man who helped me- he was very knowledgeable and able to help me find what I was looking for. Moral of the story: I REALLY prefer little cottage businesses to chain stores. And I feel better supporting them.

Repaired boat may be sold as new…
… Depending on the nature of the repair, or perhaps sold as a “second” at a discount. If the its the mfg’s fault, then I would guess any discount would be funded by the mfg, so the paddle shop makes out OK.

I can see this as a hard issue for independent paddle shops. If they don’t have a demo model, some shops will let a really interested buyer demo the boat. That boat goes back on the rack as new. Boats can get some marks on them just being moved around in the shop. It would be hard on profit to discount every new boat with a little cosmetic mark … I don’t think too many of these indepenedents are getting rich these days.

Personnally I wouldn’t expect a discount from an independent shop on a boat that was clearly new and unused just because it had a little mark here or there from being taken down from the rack a few times. A mfg’s defect is another issue entirely.

I would however not have a favorable opinion of a shop that tried to sell me as “new” a boat that had been clearly used, or had clearly been repaired. We as consumers get to vote with our feet and take our money elsewhere.

Good luck & let us know how it goes
I agree with you 100% on the small shops - have enjoyed some outstanding ones. Better to know the owner and his handful of employees… Its never occurred to me to look at a kayak at a chain store - I try to avoid such places.

Most likely the chain store …
… Will give him what ever he wants … another boat, a discount on the one he bought, or his money back. It’s easy for them to do this: depending on the chain, they have more room to work with, either by negotiating a better cost based on volume, or lower margins because of the scale of their business.

It’s even possible that the boat was unintentionally never marked as defective and put aside when it came back the first time.

If she really likes that boat, perhaps her dad can pick one that is still wrapped. I bought 2 of my boats that way: two local shops keep their stock wrapped up until they sell the boat or need it in the shop. So when I went over what colors they had in stock, I picked wrapped boats.

Here in PA Dicks takes kayaks back
as long as you did not register. I looked at one from there that was all scratched up and another that actually had a hole drilled in it. Another one had the Manufactorers sticker missing. I asked about it and that’s what they told me.

perhaps her dad should take Chuck Norris or Stephen Segall along for “negotiating purposes.”

They took the kayak back (to Dicks!)
The store wouldn’t even really respond to the allegation that my friend is almost certain her friend had owned the kayak prior to it being returned and sold as new/non-defective.

They did, however, give her a new, wrapped boat. They did nothing else for her. (And as a matter of fact, they put the one she was returning out with all the other boats sitting outside to be sold.) One employee was apparently nice about it, and the other claimed that the damage most likely happened when my husband and her boyfriend tightened the kayak down in the carrier. (Not even remotely possible based on the location and nature of the crack- they literally would have had to bend the kayak completely in half- and even if it was, if I were them, I wouldn’t admit to selling a kayak so shoddy it would crack when an average-strength man tightens it down on a carrier.) And she got her declaration of origin this time.

If it were me, I would have demanded some of my money back, or at the very least, store credit. She had to make a 1.5 hour round trip to take the thing back, and they were deceptive about it.

It is really skeezy to sell a used and/or defective boat as new. I can tell you right now I won’t be making any major purchases from Dick’s. (I really, really prefer cottage industries. Did I already mention that? Oh, well, it was worth mentioning again.)

Don’t buy at Dick’s
They know nothing about the stuff they sell, and will simply return any returned item to the fllor for resale. Someone in my kayaking group bought a rec boat there, and when they tried to register it, they couldn’t, because the boat was short one HIN serial number. The Ohio bureacracy couldn’t cope with this and deemed it an illegal, unregsiterable boat. They returned it and got another one. A week later, Dick’s sold the same “illegal boat” to another member of the club–even though they knew the reason it had been returned, and had been told by an Ohio DNR employee that it was illegal to re-sell the boat. Who knows how many poor schmucks have lugged that same boat home, only to find that they can’t use it in the state they purchased it, and had to return it. It seems that Dick’s is banking on the possibility that somebody will buy it, take it home, and never register it.