Here's an article about someone who won a car on Yahoo Auctions in Singapore for $1: "Man ready to sue to collect S$1 car sold at online auction," By Pearl Forss, Channel NewsAsia, 1/27/06 (link).
What happens when you win an online auction at an incredible bargain, but the seller refuses to honor the transaction? I get asked this question a lot by readers. eBay has rules for sellers including one called "Seller Non-Performance" (link).
When a seller lists an item on eBay, and a buyer bids for and wins that item, the seller and buyer have entered into a contract. Both members are expected to honor that contract.
eBay tells buyers that, If a seller has refused to complete a sale, and payment has not been sent or payment has been refunded, report the seller. Make sure to include a copy of the email documenting the seller's refusal to complete the sale with the full message text and complete email headers when making your report.
If the seller still refuses to complete the transaction, it appears to me the buyer has an option to retain legal counsel. I urge buyers to use common sense - there may be a valid reason a seller cannot complete the transaction. But if it appears the seller is merely disappointed that the item did not get a higher price, or that the seller is using the listings as a form of advertising, that's a different story.
There are likely some cases in the U.S. where buyers have taken sellers to court over non-performance, but I have not seen much written about such cases.
It's important to note that while much attention is paid to seller fraud, unfortunately buyer fraud is also alive and well online. And buyers also renege on transactions, thus the need for eBay's UPI (unpaid item) process (link).