Brokers

From writings of Harav Chaim Kohn shlita
Simonim:
Year:
Date:
Sectionnum:
N/A
5779
16.05.2019
#459

Brokers

Q: What are the different types of brokers recognized in Halachah? What are their respective rights, responsibilities and liabilities?

A: There are three basic types of brokers:

1. One who buys in order to resell, commonly called a sarsur (C.M. 186:2).

2. One who is hired as an agent to buy or sell for his sender, such as a real-estate agent. He is considered an employee, whose wages must be paid on time, if he demands them (C.M. 185:1; 339).

3. One who mediates a deal on his own initiative, such as a shadchan. He is not considered an employee who receives payment for his labor per se; instead, the obligation to pay him is because of the benefit that the parties received from him (Rema 185:6; Gra 185:13).

The last two types are commonly referred to as metavchim (middlemen).

To each of these three types of brokers apply specific halachos, which we will discuss, be”H, in coming weeks.

footnotes:
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From writings of Harav Chaim Kohn shlita
Simonim:
Year:
Date:
Sectionnum:
N/A
5779
23.05.2019
#460

Buying on Consignment (Sarsur)

Q: I received merchandise on consignment, and it was lost through oness (circumstances beyond my control). Am I liable for it?

A: A person who accepts merchandise with the express understanding of reselling can retract and return it if he does not find buyers.

While you hold the merchandise with the intention to sell, you are liable for any oness that occurs to it, since at that point you are considered a buyer (or borrower). While the merchandise is being returned, though, you are liable only as a shomer sachar (Nesivos 185:3; 186:1-2).

Similarly, if a sarsur takes the merchandise to another city to sell, if it is lost through oness on the way there, he is liable.

However, if he did not find customers and is returning with the merchandise, he is then a shomer sachar and exempt if it is lost through oness, unless it is also common to find buyers while returning (C.M. 186:2; Sma 186:4).

If the common commercial practice is otherwise, or the consignment contract states other terms, they are binding.

footnotes:
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