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Fake fancy phone buyer set for compensation

The Local · 28 Mar 2012, 17:15

Published: 28 Mar 2012 17:15 GMT+02:00

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The seller offered the fake Vertu phone on the online sales platform at a starting price of €1 with the following description:

"Hello to all Vertu lovers – you can bid for a nearly new mobile phone (was only unpacked to try it out). Has a few light marks of being used (which I mention for the sake of honesty). I bought 2 and have chosen the yellow golden one ... You also get a case, headphones and spare battery. Private sale, so no returns. Have fun bidding."

The successful bidder took the seller to court afterwards because it was not an original Vertu, and demanded €23,000 in damages – his estimation of the difference to for a real Vertu.

A court in Saarbrücken, western Germany, threw his demand, saying the man should have realised from the auction's low starting price that the phone was not the genuine article.

But Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) overturned the ruling. "The starting price has no bearing on the value of the offer," Judge Wolfgang Ball said in a ruling released on Wednesday. "A low starting price lowers the cost of offering and arouses interest."

The Saarbrücken court now has to reconsider its verdict and decide whether the circumstances of the sale showed that the buyer believed he had bought an original Vertu.

Genuine Vertu mobile phones are handmade in the UK, using various precious materials including gold, platinum, diamonds and sapphires – the standard models range in price from €4,000 to €80,000.

Story continues below…

The Local/DPA/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:27 March 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Sounds like fraud and the seller is lucky not to land in jail.
22:38 March 28, 2012 by wood artist
I think the higher court got this right. The ebay auction could have had a low starting point, but a significant reserve, meaning it wouldn't sell cheap. In addition, if the seller listed it as genuine, ebay will have some things to say about the deal, and the seller could be charged, depending upon where he/she lives.

07:05 March 29, 2012 by J4K2
That is a very ugly phone! I wouldnt pay €1 for it!
08:48 March 29, 2012 by lucksi
I think the first judge, who threw the case out, has never actually been on ebay. Sooo many expensive things start at 1€
18:17 March 29, 2012 by Ziggy2k12
Got to go with the first judgement on this. Other than the greeting nothing in the bid posting says it is a Vertu just a mobile phone.
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