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James Labrecque decided to sell the heavy-duty safe on eBay as he did not have the combination to open it. Shortly after it was placed on the online market place a buyer snapped it up and, upon prising it open, was surprised to find £20,000 inside.

James, who was devastated when he found out, asked the buyer for some of the money back – but they refused, saying it was finders keepers, reports Mirror Online.

Speaking to news outlet WMC-TV, James, from California, said: “I made a mistake, you know, that’s what it boils down to, and it cost me dearly.

“I shook it and I didn’t feel anything inside of it, so I figured, well, maybe it’s just a locked safe, you know. So I put it on eBay.”

“I told my friend, I won the stupidest idiot in the world award the other day, you know – I gave away a safe with $26,000 (£20,000) in it.”

Describing it as a ‘life altering’ amount of money, James was gutted that he did not prise the safe open, instead posting it out to the buyer in Bartlett, Tennessee.

The buyer at least gave James a good review on eBay, but some say he should have done more and given some cash back to the seller.

Commenting on the story, one person said: “I think I’d have to give the guy back maybe 5k. I dunno maybe I’m too generous.”

Then another added: “Poor guy. Ouch.”

But others sided with the buyer, as one wrote: “I feel bad for him, but he should have checked first. If it was me I’d be depressed for a while.”

James shared a text message exchange with the buyer, who said: “What you see is what you get, no returns, and no money back”.

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