Update: The M3 Ebay winner notifies BMW North America

BMW M3 | March 26th, 2008 by 4

We are continuing our coverage on what seems to be the story of the year. As we announced a few days ago, Mr. Ken Tanisaka …

We are continuing our coverage on what seems to be the story of the year. As we announced a few days ago, Mr. Ken Tanisaka has won an Ebay auction for a brand new BMW M3. The auction ended at  $60,000 which turned out to be a great deal for Ken, but in the same time, a huge headache. The story has become so popular over the internet that many websites, blogs and forums had a record number of visitors(including your own BMW Blog).

Today, many news stations, such as CNN, MSNBC, Chanel 8, have requested interviews with the representatives at BMW of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since the things evolved so fast and a large scale, lawyers from both parties have been involved. In our previous update, we shared with you that BMW of Lincoln agreed to sell the car at the Ebay auction price but…under certain conditions. 

He got the dealership to remove two conditions Fil Catania tried to impose on the deal on Monday. The first condition was that I agree not to sell the car for 2 years. They agreed (through their corporate counsel in Arizona) to drop that one. The second condition was that I agree to confidentiality and that I do something to stop the press from contacting the dealership and say something nice about the dealership. We got that one dropped, too.

I was told to arrange to make the deposit with Fil Catania at the dealership today (and was given a 4 hour deadline). To my dismay, Fil Cataniam, the GM, used my call as an opportunity to berate me, telling me CSNBC, etc.,. etc., were calling the dealership again. In my call to him, he also refused to take my credit card! In essence, he has rejected the deal corporate counsel for the parent company had worked out with my lawyer last night.

Do you think this was over? Not even close. 

So I am ceasing communication with the dealer for now. My lawyer drafted the letter that appears below (he has dealt with Mr. Herbert Klein, general counsel for BMW NA in the past), which he faxed earlier today to BMW NA..

Also, other dealerships have been calling me, offering not only support, but greart deals on M3s! As much as I would love to take one of them, I don't know tif they are real offers or not, and I simply want BMW of Lincoln to live up to its obligations to me. 

Honestly, I do not think this will be over soon and out of this whole game, the BMW dealership will be suffering the most. 

Here is my question to you and other dealerships, regardless of the brands: was it really worth it all these negative publicity for a $5,000-$6000 loss?

My opinion: No, I would have gladly acknowledged my mistake and I would have been better off in a long run.

And finally, here is the letter Ken has sent to BMWNA

March 26, 2008

Herbert L. Klein, Corporate Counsel

BMW of North America

300 Chestnut Ridge Road

Woodcliff, New Jersey 07677-7731


I represent Ken Tanisaka in connection with his dealings with BMW of Lincoln.

No doubt you have heard of the controversy that became viral on the Web this weekend.

Ken and I had worked out a “no preconditions” deal in which BMW of Lincoln

was going to treat him as any other customer and sell him the M3 sedan at the winning

bid made by Ken on eBay. ($60,000 plus a $399 title or document fee.) Mike Maledon,

counsel for the parent company that owns BMW of Lincoln, instructed me to have Ken

call Fil Catania, the general manager of that BMW store, to provide credit card

information and place the deposit. Mike had told me that Ken had 24 hours (from last

night) in which to make the deposit.

When Ken called Mr. Catania, Ken was subjected to an abusive lecture and told

it was his (Ken’s) responsibility to make the press go away. Mr. Catania refused to take

a deposit from Ken, effectively reneging on the deal that was reached yesterday, in which

BMW of Lincoln, through Mike Maledon, had agreed not to impose an impossible

condition that Ken “control the press.”

Can you help us? As you may be aware from the blogosphere, thousands of

BMW afficionados are asking “What is BMW NA doing about this?” I think that’s a fair

question. And, once we get this straightened out, perhaps BMWFS can also step up to

the plate

Sincerely yours

  • Pingback: BMW dealer refuses to honor M3 Ebay auction

  • Ryan T

    That is simply foolish on the part of the BMW dealership in Lincoln, NE to refuse the sale. Perhaps they thought it would just quietly go away but they should have had the foresight to think through worst possible scenarios. I mean why list the car at $60k at all if you are not going to be willing to sell it for that price?

    If your minimum was $65k then list it there and if it does not sell on eBay then you lost a few bucks on the ad.

    But refusing the deal on the net like this has seriously damaged their credibility and reputation.

  • Jarrod P

    Exactly Ryan, Ebay offers reserves on auctions for a reason. It isn’t the guys fault that BMW of Lincoln doesn’t know how to use Ebay to their advantage. Besides, the mark-up on cars is completely ridiculous. With the car selling at what it was I bet only the commission off of it was cut out. Two things should happen here: 1. The dealership should sell the car exactly like the Ebay auction described and 2. BMW should fire the employees dumb enough to try to sweep this under the rug rather than make things okay.

  • LaMa

    whats a big deal on this ? a list price of a M3 4 door sedan is 57k and dealer price is about 53k. if the car had a sticker price of 65k then the dealer price is around 60k and minus incentives and rebates. So whats a “story” material here ?  They did not honor the winning bid ? Leave a negative feedback and send them an email that you no longer wish to be able to bid on their item and include you on the blocked  buyers list.
    done. finish.

    Mr. Tanisaka has a lot of time on his hands and he decided to hire a lawyer to escalate something small into something a major pain in the arse.

    Any dealership would love to sell you a 65k stickered M3 for 60k with finance.  They make money on it and make a killing on the finance, so just call around and you will find many out there.

    there is a minimum of 7% profit for every BMW dealer plus a 1000 bonus… plus there are incentives and rebates, so there is plenty of money to be made. Also if they have a car on the lot for more then 6 months then they need to get that one sold as their new allocation is coming in and they need to pay for the old ones.

    Using this I waited 4 months before I purchased my car and looked at the car they had on the lot the longest. I was able to get a car under dealer invoice by 2000usd. They still made money on the car but a stickered 37.3k car was mine for 32.500 out the door.  No magic just numbers.