Regardless of which side the law is on, a vast majority of you, the readers, both here and on our Facebook pages, have come down on the side of the buyer of the 2009 Corvette Z06 GT1 Championship edition that wasn't quite sold on eBay last week. You'll be displeased, then, to hear that the dispute is ongoing and John McKee still doesn't have his car--but there's a new hitch.
After talking further to both sides, we've come up with a handful of new details on the deal. While McKee has held steadfast in his desire to purchase the car for the auction price, the team at Lund Cadillac has changed their tune somewhat along the way.
Initially blaming eCarList for the errant no-reserve auction, they've since admitted it was a dealership employee that filled out the eCarList template as a no-reserve auction. They've also added that they tried to end the listing before the auction closed. However, they apparently were not aware of eBay's policy preventing closure of an auction within 12 hours of its scheduled end time under certain circumstances. More on those circumstances later.
To some, this would indicate that the dealership knew it had listed the car with no reserve, but decided, too late, that the bidding wasn't going to reach their desired price.
That, in fact, appears to have been the only mistake the dealership truly made.
Now, McKee is left with little recourse against the dealership--except, perhaps, eBay's own policy on closing an auction within the last 12 hours of the end of the listing. According to this eBay policy, an item with one or more bids, with a reserve price, may not be ended early. The Corvette in question, however, was listed with no reserve.
In the case of a no-reserve auction, the listing can still be canceled within 12 hours of its scheduled end, but with conditions: if there are no bids and no canceled bids, it can be ended without question; if, however, there is at least one bid, the auction can be closed only if the seller sells the item to the highest bidder.
Lund Cadillac has said it closed the auction before the end of its scheduled time, and is therefore not obligated to sell the car. eBay's policies on this point seem to contradict that idea--McKee was the highest bidder at the time the auction was closed, and yet he remains without his car. Oddly enough, eBay doesn't think the auction was closed at all, having sent out a winning bidder notice to McKee and indicating bidding ran its full time on the (now closed) listing.
If, however, the dealership had managed to close the auction, the question would become one of forensics: when, exactly, was the auction closed? If it was done more than 12 hours before the scheduled end, it would only have had to cancel all bids to safely pull the Corvette from the sale. If it was done within 12 hours of the auction's end, by eBay's policies, Lund would be obligated to sell the car to the highest bidder--in this case, McKee.
What do you think? Does this new information point in the direction of misdealing by Lund Cadillac, to be fixed by delivering the Corvette at the auction price? Or should McKee just mark it up as a sale gone wrong, cut his losses and start looking for another Z06 GT1 Championship edition? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to like the story on Facebook so you can jump in on the action there, too.