Originally Posted by everex5
Keep the money. Deposits are made to be returned only on good faith if there is a contact etc etc. If he surfaces later on... then renegotiate something, if need be. You did your part... he did not finish.. therefore... you keep the deposit.
Actually, everything I can find regarding the legal aspects suggests it is the other way around. Deposits appear to be either a partial payment to show good faith on further payment in full, or security held to ensure against damage. If a down payment deposit is not listed as non-refundable upfront, and no actual services were rendered, then it looks like you stand on rather shaky ground to refuse to refund it.
I guess the sticky part here if holding the items and not offering it for sale to others ahead of him is a service or not.
Personally, I would make a final attempt trying to contact the person to complete the sale. If no contact can be established, then put the items back up for sale. If it sells, then let it go to the new buyer.
I would keep any direct costs for yourself, but still hand onto the rest of the money until contact can be re-established. Given my past experience using paypal, I would NOT
blindly refund it back to his account.