Ebay: What happens if you accidentally sell your car for one euro?

Image: © dianaduda - Fotolia.com
Image: © dianaduda – Fotolia.com

A short click, a huge mistake: An eBay seller wanted to auction his car – and instead set an instant purchase price. However, the interested party did not want to see the oversight and sued the seller for damages.


On the internet auction platform Ebay someone wanted to sell their used BMW with the indication “price 1 euro” and an interested party promptly struck. Only later did the provider notice his mistake and cancel the transaction. The buyer then sued him for damages. Now the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main announced a verdict: If the willingness to auction is evident, the indication “Price 1 euro” on eBay does not lead to an effective purchase contract for one euro, as the ordinary jurisdiction of Hesse announced.

The seller had described in detail the vehicle to be auctioned, including the equipment, and set up the following offer: “Price: € 1.00” and: “Vehicle must still be auctioned within three days – picked up by the highest bidder and paid in cash on site …, Buy now offers are welcome The plaintiff then offered one euro and was automatically awarded the contract. When the defendant ended the auction before the regular end, he pointed out to the plaintiff that the price of one euro was meant as a starting price and not as an immediate purchase price.

The plaintiff claimed a whopping 13,000 euros in damages, which he believed he would have to pay for a comparable vehicle, but both the regional court and the ordinary jurisdiction of Hesse dismissed the lawsuit – there was no right to compensation because of the intent to auction by context of the vehicle, not the immediate purchase. Any purchase contract is therefore null and void.

Image source:

  • Law-law-gavel: © dianaduda – Fotolia.com



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