Last week Shawn sold a pair of speakers through craigslist. There was a bit of confusion on Shawn's part about who he was selling them to and he ended up agreeing to sell the speakers to two different people. In his defence, he wasn't being malicious or sleazy - there was a genuine miscommunication between Shawn and the first person he agreed to sell them to. Shawn sold the speakers to the first person and emailed the second person to apologise and explain the situation.
The second person (hereafter referred to as Mr. D-Bag) replied that Shawn had a week to produce his speakers or he would sue him. He emailed Shawn from his work email address, identifying himself as a Realtor. He told Shawn that their email correspondence was a legal, binding contract and that Shawn had broken that contract by selling the speakers to someone else. He said that as a real estate agent, he was very knowledgeable about contracts and that he knew he would be successful in suing Shawn.
Shawn called Mr. D-Bag to try to diffuse the situation. He felt like he could talk to Mr. D-Bag to better explain the situation and make Mr. D-Bag realize that Shawn had made a mistake and felt remorse. He also offered to help Mr. D-Bag buy a new pair of speakers, using his contacts in the industry to get Mr. D-Bag a sweet discount.
Mr. D-Bag refused Shawn's help, saying that he didn't want or need new speakers; he wants Shawn's speakers. Only those speakers will do. He also reiterated his knowledge of contracts and his belief that he will be successful when he takes Shawn to small claims court. At which point Shawn asks Mr. D-Bag if this is really worth his time. Seriously. He's going to sue Shawn over speakers? And Mr. D-Bag says that yes, he is going to sue Shawn over speakers; it's not that difficult to file a claim and he can recoup the fee when he successfully sues Shawn. Shawn took this to mean that Mr. D-Bag has done this before.
Mr. D-Bag then tells Shawn that if he pays him $200 "compensation" he won't sue him. Oh yes, Mr. D-Bag throws down the extortion card. He tells Shawn he can have a few days "to think about it" and hangs up.
So of course I'm all riled up. I'm all "let's write a letter to his employer! Let's report him to the Real Estate Board of Canada!" and Shawn is all "I don't know. Maybe I should just pay him so he goes away."
Shawn's strategy is to ignore Mr. D-Bag in the hope that he will give up and disappear while my strategy is to draft stern letters that Shawn said I am allowed to send if/when Mr. D-Bag actually files a claim.
The situation is so bizarre. Using Mr. D-Bag's logic, Shawn could sue the two individuals who both agreed to buy the speakers and never showed up to actually complete the transaction. Or the idiot who agreed on the price but showed up with $200 less and pressured Shawn to still sell him the speakers because that's all he could afford to spend on them. That's what Craigslist is. It's sometimes shady and unreliable. Does that mean you should sue every time something doesn't work out in your favour?