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Man accidentally sells yacht for €22.50 in online auction

Published: 10 Oct 2008 11:52 GMT+02:00

The owner of the five-figure “Jeanneau Sun Way 21” yacht apparently neglected to set a minimum bid for the six-metre boat, which he’d hoped to sell for at least €12,000, court spokesman Hubertus Nolte told The Local on Friday.

The seller from Porz tried to retract the boat from auction on the site, citing “technical problems” and “errors” on the website, but his claims didn’t float at the Cologne higher regional court.

“The standard laws of business transactions also apply to internet auctions,” Nolte said. “Now the seller must make good on his offer. He can’t say after the fact that he didn’t want to sell.”

Otherwise the seller will have to pay the buyer €12,000 in damages for the failed auction on the site AllesAuktion.de.

The case was conducted in writing, and the court ruled against the seller on September 3, though results were only released on Thursday.

The court ruling once again strengthens the rights of internet auction buyers, Nolte said, explaining there have been several similar cases in recent years.

"I remember a similar case that involved an tractor that should have been auctioned for a minimum of €60,000, but went for €51 when the owner forgot to set a minimum bid," Nolte said. "The bidder won the court case in this instance too."

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

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