Monday, March 24, 2008

Shady BMW Dealer on Ebay Screws Bidder

This story is starting to take off like a bat out of hell, it basically started as a post on an M3 forum, and after 10 or so pages, had become international news with people from all over Canada and Europe signing up to offer their support. Its got on the front page of Autoblog and the Consumerist, and the rumor is that MSNBC is picking it up.

The quick and dirty is that a BMW dealer in Lincoln Nebraska put an '08 M3 on Ebay, advertising it as the "lowest priced M3 on Ebay". They started the bidding at $60,000 w/no reserve and a buy it now of $65,000 (basically hoping to start a bidding frenzy I'm sure). So it sits and the guy who placed the 1 bid of $60,000 won the auction. They called him and said they wouldn't honor the deal because it was a "mistake". So on and so forth, after thousands upon thousands of people start reading the story, they're discovering that the dealership may have been "schill" bidding on all their auctions to drive up the final sales prices. Below are links to the original thread on the M3 forum and the articles on Consumerist and Autoblog:

Original Thread

Autoblog Article

Consumerist Article

This is another example of people with shady ethics ruining a good (or what used to be a good) thing for all of us. The more "contracts" like this are broken, bad precedents are set for all Ebay sellers, and online commerce in general. Can you imagine if you won an auction for something and the seller decides to back out or offer you another item? Yea, in the non-internet world thats called bait and switch, and is supremely illegal. Now with every state (except Louisiana, go figure) adopting e-commerce laws, all internet transactions are included in the same laws that govern us going to Sears and buying a freakin lawnmower.