ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Friday, August 3, 2007

Changing One's Mind

An interesting story via Australia, that (yes) involves eBay:
An Australian court ordered a man to hand over a vintage plane worth about $215,000 after he tried to back out of an eBay auction, a newspaper reported Friday.

The New South Wales state Supreme Court ordered Vin Thomas to complete the deal after he changed his mind about selling the 1946 World War II Wirraway plane he had placed on the Internet auction site last year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Peter Smythe, a Australian warplane enthusiast, was the only person to bid on the item, matching the $128,640 reserve price just moments before the auction ended in August last year.

But Thomas had already agreed to sell the plane to someone else for $85,800 more than Smythe's offer, and backed out of the sale, the newspaper said.

Smythe took Thomas to court, hoping a judge would force him to follow through with the deal.

Judge Nigel Rein agreed, saying the eBay auction formed "a binding contract between the plaintiff and the defendant and ... should be specifically enforced."

[Miriam Cherry / Hat tip: Beth Winston (Catholic)]

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