I'm assuming that most of you remember the famous BMW M3/eBay case that caused waves all over the internet back in March. It has been probably one of the most popular stories in the past year and I could certainly state that hundreds if not thousands of sites, blogs, forums, car magazines and even TV stations reported the story.
I remember at that time talking to our friend Stefan Lombard that works at SportsCarMarket and he decided to pass on this article to the magazine's legal correspondent, John Draneas. A few weeks later, an interesting article has been published. I'll give you a few fragments and point to the PDF file where you can read the full story.
Thanks again Stefan.
BMW’s new M3 sport sedan offers very impressive performance in an appealing package. At an MSRP of approximately $70,000, they fly out of dealers’ showrooms, and there have been reports of dealers selling them at $30,000 over MSRP. So a BMW dealer apparently tried to cut a fat hog by offering a heavily optioned new M3 on eBay on a so-called “no-reserve basis” with a $60,000 starting bid. Of course, a sale isn’t truly “no reserve” if an opening bid is set, as was the case here. However, the seller made it clear that the first bid of $60,000 or above would be enough to own the car.
Our bidder figured he couldn’t go wrong, so he bid $61,000, and eBay dutifully recorded his $60,000 opening bid. A week later, he ended up as surprised as anyone that his was the only bid in the auction.
About 15 minutes after the end of the auction, the bidder claims the dealer called about the “mistake,” and apologized that the “deal” was not going to be honored. The bidder’s suggestion that litigation might ensue was reportedly met with laughter. After all, how could this guy hope to battle a multi-billion dollar company?