|Wed July 3 2013 22:17:00|
Controversial Jersey on eBay Shines Spotlight on Deadbeat Bidders
By: Ina Steiner
When skimming eBay news headlines on Wednesday, my eyes glazed over at all the "Aaron Hernandez jerseys selling on eBay" coverage. He's the New England Patriots NFL football player at the center of a murder investigation, and most of the articles, I assumed, were marveling that the jerseys were being bid up to crazy amounts in the usual frenzy in the midst of a controversy or tragedy.
But one headline caught my eye: "Vigilante takes to eBay to thwart auctioning of Aaron Hernandez's jersey" - from Yahoo Sports.
The Yahoo writer said the inflated prices of the Hernandez jerseys may have been driven by at least one rogue eBayer "who placed repeated bids on Hernandez jerseys only to refuse to pay after winning the auctions."
Yahoo Sports was able to find details of 15 Hernandez jerseys the supposed buyer had "bought," he wrote, totaling $3,806 at an average of just over $250 a jersey.
But what was really different about this "controversial item gets high bids on eBay" article was that the writer explored what options the sellers had if the winning bidders refused to pay.
A lawyer said sellers could seek punitive damages in the civil courts. "They would need to prove intentional interference with a prospective economic relationship. Given the situation here, there is certainly a possibility that criteria would be met," Los Angeles attorney Christopher W. Blaylock said, and even mentioned the possibility of an FTC investigation.
But how realistic is it really to pursue a deadbeat bidder in court?
How difficult is it to deal with deadbeat buyers on eBay or through other auction venues, and is it much of a problem in your experience?