Generally, a seller may not accept a deposit for a consumer transaction unless the seller will be able to provide the goods or services to the consumer. A deposit is money a consumer pays in advance toward the purchase of a good or service.
The Deposit Rule (O.A.C. 109:4-3-07) says if a seller accepts a deposit for unique (one-of-a-kind) goods or services, then the seller may not offer those goods or services to anyone else within a specific amount of time. If the goods or services are not unique, sellers may accept deposits only if they have enough goods or services for all consumers who make deposits.
Receipt for a Deposit
The Deposit Rule requires the seller to provide the consumer with a dated receipt that includes:
Description of the goods and/or services;
Cash selling price (for motor vehicles, this includes all discounts, rebates and incentives);
Amount of the deposit and amount for any trade-ins or discounts;
Timeframe to exercise any options;
Whether the deposit is refundable and the refund terms; and
Any additional costs, including storage, assembly, or delivery charges.
Each time the consumer makes an additional deposit the seller must provide a receipt showing the date, the amount paid, and the remaining balance to be paid.