Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

What Happens When You Accidentally Buy A $245,000 Car On eBay

from the it-ends-up-in-court dept

Today is the day of odd eBay related lawsuits it seems. The latest is the story of a limo that was once owned by Elvis Presley. The owner tried to sell it on eBay, with a "buy it now" price of $245,000. He was therefore quite happy when someone did, indeed, agree to the "buy it now," price. There's just one problem the owner of the account claims his two year old daughter was playing with the mouse on his computer and she is actually the one who made the bid. He apologized, but apparently that wasn't good enough. The seller is now suing him for $245,000, plus an additional $150,000 in "damages." There's a lot that doesn't make sense on either side of this case. On the buyer's side, it takes more than just a single click to "buy it now," so some are saying it must be a hoax bid. The guy stands by his claim, though, that it was just his daughter playing around. On the other side, though, is this really worth that kind of lawsuit? All he has to do is put it up again. He claims he did, but that there were no bidders -- which seems odd. There apparently were bidders for the original auction, so it's not clear where they all went. Either way, it seems a bit vindictive to go sue this guy for that much, even if he did make a hoax bid.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Al, Jul 30th, 2005 @ 6:49am

    Fishy story

    I've never used the Buy It Now feature on eBay, but I would imagine one would have to go through some sort of confirmation after clicking on the Buy It Now button. Am I wrong?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Myth, Jul 30th, 2005 @ 10:02am

    Re: Fishy story

    Not wrong at all, its takes about 2-3 clicks to buy it now. Wouldnt the enter button act as a mouse as well?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2005 @ 1:22pm

    No Subject Given

    The seller should get any money that he spent putting up the auction, and that's it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    David Oh, Jul 30th, 2005 @ 5:10pm

    it could happen.

    It could happen. With IE and Firefox's automatic password save, you can conceively bid on it by pressing the buy it now with your mouse, and pressing enter by accident one or twice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Carlos, Jul 31st, 2005 @ 6:28am


    It could happen, I dont' agree with the lawuit, I think is ridiculous.

    - C

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Angryoaf, Jul 31st, 2005 @ 7:37am

    No Subject Given

    Something like this happend to me once. While using a friends computer to look at cellphones I clicked the buy it now button expecting to get "additional buy it now info" I dont know if they changed it now but that click commited me to the purchase. The only problem is... the thing I was looking at was $500 and there is no way I intended to buy it, also since I was on a friends computer, I was browsing on his account. He started getting tons of mail and account warning when he didnt pay after I sent numerous letters and emails to the seller and ebay which were all ignored. I'll never use Ebay again...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    buster, Jul 31st, 2005 @ 9:36am

    Re: No Subject Given

    you bastid! you shoulda gived to your frend $500 rite away! I would not wan a fren like you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2005 @ 7:55pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Liar. Its always taken 3 clicks to make a purchase. Just clicking Buy It Now doesnt make you buy it. You have to enter your password, then confirm that you want to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Topickiller, Jul 31st, 2005 @ 8:13pm

    The who story is abit suss

    Thats abit weird, because I thought on ebay, you can either "BID" or "Buy it Now", so once someone bids, the buy it now option goes away. how can he have other bidders before this guy's Daughther clicked it.

    Whole story is abit suspicious

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    GZ Tech Dog, Jul 31st, 2005 @ 10:15pm

    Re: The who story is abit suss

    If it is a reserve auction, where the auction price must go beyond a certain value before it is legaly binding, then the Buy it Now option does not go away until the reserve price has been reached

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Dianne, Aug 8th, 2005 @ 2:41pm

    245,000 car on ebay

    I just read this article about a buyer on ebay stating it was his daughter playing around on the computer that placed the bid for the 245,000 car. I used ebay a lot, both buying and selling, granted, not for such large amounts of money, but I am very familiar with the procedures. This article states that it is only a 'one click' that is used to use Buy It Now...this is incorrect. You must click on the BIN button, but then you must click a confirmed button to actually purchase the auction. Now I don't agree with all of the lawsuit, however, the amount of money he was charged by ebay for fees for the sell of this item had to be rather substantial...I think the buyer should be responsible for that, but the seller could have also contacted one of the other bidders and offered them a second chance offer. No matter which way this went, the seller might have still had the fees to deal with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    JOHN STARR, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 1:38pm

    reply to comet

    e bay has NO MUSSEL at all . ebay can only suspend youre acount . they cant make annybody do annything . pay now or whatever MEAN S NOUTHING . they work hard to convence us there the judge and joury , THERE NOUTHING . there only leverge is cansel youre ebay acount . if they would stop trying to scare us [ dont deal outside of ebay not safe ] annything goes but ebay dont get payed outside of ebay . EBAY HAS NEVER REACHED INTO ANNYBODYS POCKET AND TOOK MONEY, THE JUDGE CAN .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    zz, Sep 28th, 2009 @ 8:42am


    They need like one of those "enter this code for comfirmation" thingies before buying - then these things wouldn't happen

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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