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Friday, August 3, 2007

Australian court orders completion of eBay deal

Having second thoughts about letting go of that item you sold on an eBay auction?

Too bad, according to the Australian court that today ordered Vin Thomas to complete a deal he made on the Internet to sell a vintage airplane.

According to a report in the Brisbane Times, Thomas put the plane -- worth about $250,000 -- up for auction on eBay in August 2006. An Australian war plane enthusiast, Peter Smythe, bid on the the 1946 World War II Wirraway plane moments before the auction ended, offering $150,000 (the reserve price). But Thomas wanted to back out of the deal, having found someone else who was willing to pay $100,000 more than Smythe.

Smythe took the case to court -- and won. The New South Wales state Supreme Court said the eBay auction formed "a binding contract between the plaintiff and the defendant and ... should be specifically enforced."

Kudos to the court for enforcing the agreement. But the case does bring to mind a question: Who buys -- or sells for that matter -- a vintage airplane worth $250,000 on eBay?

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