Basically, there is no difference. It is the payment of a sum of money to reserve, buy or order a good. But if the sale is canceled, the consequences will be totally different depending on whether this amount represents a deposit or a deposit.

The deposit

The order can be canceled at the initiative of the buyer or the seller.

No one is obligated to continue the sale.

MAIS the sum is lost and remains with the seller if you change your mind.

EXCEPT if the seller does not fulfill his obligation:

  • He does not deliver the good on time
  • He no longer has the good in stock


The seller can then be ordered to pay back double the deposit.

The deposit

The deposit is the first installment of a purchase. This is why we consider that the sale is concluded upon payment of a deposit.

Therefore, neither the seller nor the buyer can retract, the sale must take place and the deposit check can be cashed upon delivery of the goods.

Both the seller and the professional may be ordered to pay damages in the event of cancellation or withdrawal of the sale.

Exception :

The only exception to recover a deposit: The purchase linked to a loan contract

This loan is used to finance the purchase (car, furniture, etc.) and can be offered by your personal banker or by the credit institution in business with the seller.)

Loan refused:

If the sale is linked to a loan contract and the banking establishment refuses to grant the loan to the buyer. The sale is canceled and the seller must reimburse the deposit on request and, in any case, within one week of the bank's refusal.

Loan granted:

You benefit from a 7-day withdrawal period to waive the loan offer. If you decline the offer within 7 days, the sale is canceled and the deposit must be returned.

To know :

If nothing in the contract or order form indicates whether it is a deposit or a deposit, the law considers it to be a deposit.

Legal references:

1590 of the Civil Code,

L.121-17 of the Consumer Code

L.214-1 to L.214-4 of the Consumer Code.

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  1. Hello,
    Regarding this subject, I find that it lacks a precision:
    Can the seller who receives the down payment or deposit cash them when the delivery will take place later?
    I believe that there is a notion of purchase of supplies which authorizes in this case the seller to use the deposit or the deposit but apart from this case can he collect the advances provided?
    Best regards
    Bruno Carpentier
    21320 Rouvres under Meilly
    06 75 27

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