A bid is a binding contract says Australian court

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The perennial argument has been settled for Australians as to whether a bid on eBay is binding. Is the seller obliged to ship you the item and is they buyer obliged to pay?

Having listed a 1946 World War II Wirraway plane a single bid was placed in the dying seconds of the auction meeting the reserve price of AUS$150,000. The seller backed out and agreed a sale off eBay for AUS$250,000 but the New South Wales Supreme court has decreed the sale on eBay was valid and upholding the sale. Independent valuation puts the value of the plane closer to the AUS$250,000 so the AUS£100,000 loss has to hurt.

The judge said, setting a legal precedent in Australia “It follows that, in my view, a binding contract was formed between the plaintiff and the defendent and that it should be specifically enforced“.

If a seller doesn’t want to sell below a certain price they should use a reserve or set the start price higher at the time of listing. This goes to the heart of eBay, just occasionally you may win a real bargain and that’s what it’s all about.

4 Responses

  1. too right if you bid and win its yours !

    should be set in stone and irrevocable

    if they win they pay!
    if they win you send!

    Whatever the price whetever the gain or loss to either party



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