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Selling a Laptop without a Charger

Rabbi Baruch Fried

Case: I bought a used laptop from a frum person. Upon delivery, I discovered it did not come with a charger. The seller claims he just said a laptop, and he doesn’t even have a working charger for it. 

Question: He’s offering me a discount, but can I insist he provide me with a charger?

Answer: When it comes to defining terms of sale, whatever is common practice or common usage is considered to be the intent of the transaction. Shulchan Aruch [CH”M 216:8] refers to this as “the great rule in matters of commerce, we follow the common terms and customs of that location”. It seems quite clear that in today’s terminology, the sale of a “laptop” does include the charger. Leaving it out is akin to leaving out the processor. Therefore, the seller must provide the charger if he has it. 

He cannot simply offer you a discount, because it’s considered one big purchase, not two separate ones. One who buys a dozen eggs and finds only eleven does not have to accept a discount; rather, the store owner must provide him the missing egg. Here too, the seller must complete delivery of the purchased item. Moreover, even if he doesn’t currently own one, if it is readily available on the market for a reasonable price, he is expected to purchase one for the buyer. 

If, for whatever reason, the seller cannot supply a charger, it is up to the buyer to decide whether to terminate the entire sale or deduct its value from the sale price. (1)

(1) ע’ נתיבות המשפט סימן קפ”ב כל הפרטים בדין זה

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