Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon July 22 2013 20:45:53

What's Your Best 'Baby Bid on My Item' eBay Story?

By: Ina Steiner

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Online sellers have lots of pet peeves, but one of the most common among eBay sellers is the bidder/buyer who tries to back out of a purchase by using a version of the "I didn't really order your item" excuse. One recent example got plenty of play in the news media, and eBay's reaction to the incident was a surprising one.

If you didn't see the pages of various versions of the same story on Google News, the transaction in question was a man from Oregon who said he didn't really purchase the 1962 Austin Healey Sprite on eBay for $202.50 - his toddler did using the eBay mobile app "while playing with daddy's smartphone." (An expensive version of butt dialing!)

eBay blogged about the incident, writing, "Initially, Paul and his wife, Christiana, were not sure whether they could afford to take on the car simply because the classic roadster needs a lot of work. However, they decided to keep it and Paul plans to restore it in time for Sorella's high school graduation or 16th birthday."

eBay implies that the purchase was not binding - the couple "decided to keep it" - not exactly the message eBay's sellers would be happy to hear. In fact, eBay rewarded the couple with prizes, including $1,000 in eBay gift cards. Hopefully the next time the toddler accidentally orders something on eBay, the couple will use the free gift cards to pay!

If you've got the eBay mobile app installed on your smartphone, you best not put it down for a second - it's apparently quite easy for anyone to pick it up and ring up quite a tab - so easy, even a baby can do it.

If you have any stories about buyers who provide you with interesting excuses for backing out on a transaction, please share them below! And - we're all human - let us know if you've ever accidentally purchased an item online!




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Perminate Link for What's Your Best 'Baby Bid on My Item' eBay Story?   What's Your Best 'Baby Bid on My Item' eBay Story?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jul 22 21:47:34 2013

When it took a few more mouse clicks to buy an item than it does now, an American airman stationed in the UK claimed his baby bought an item that he'd been asking about for a month.

After the "baby" bought it, the "baby" couldn't pay for it and the "baby" whined until I filed a NPB.

The number buyer "babies" has increased exponentially and grows monthly as The Ho's infantile, anti seller policies encourage and promote juvenile behavior.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jul 22 22:28:39 2013

eBay should have rewarded the couple since eBay probably got a few million dollars worth of free publicity.

I don't know anything about the eBay mobile app, so I might be completely wrong, but don't you have to sign in with a user ID and password? And, seriously, what are the chances that an infant could correctly type in a dollar amount and press the bid button? I bet the story was probably more along the lines of: Dad places a bid; dad has a chance of heart; dad tells seller his baby "accidentally" placed the bid and wants to cancel the sale; seller says no way; so dad tries to turn it into a media event by saying he'll pay for his baby's "mistake." I'd like to hear the seller's side of the story.

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 22:32:42 2013

This story is fishy, very fishy. eBay probably decided to run with it to generate some free publicity.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Jul 22 23:42:00 2013

I suspect that we would all be hard pressed to come up with better stories than those that are anyway most probably originating from the eBay Dept of Spin ...

And, “The band continued to play on, even as the bow dipped lower and lower.”—The Titanic/eBay Story ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jul 23 00:22:57 2013

Typical ebay story. Ebay rewards a bad buyer.

Ebay apparently has forgotten that a sale constitutes a contract.

Yet without any legal standing as a "venue," ebay can arbitrarily decide to cancel orders, replace orders with third party merchandise, and reward irresponsible buyers all without the knowledge and/or approval of the seller who owns the merchandise.

Mafia, Mafia, Mafia.

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by: Heidi This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 00:23:24 2013

When my daughter was around 5 Years old she bid 3 and a half million dollars on a spider-man ornament. Thank God it only went for $10. I then learned to log out when I left the computer.

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by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 00:37:17 2013

Bull pucky. Too many steps for a baby to buy. What a joke!

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 03:34:28 2013

Um---not too many for a Smart Baby.  We have one of those.  To go with our Smart Phones dontchakno.

About 18 months ago I noticed I had bought a pair of brake pads.  For our motorcycle.  Except--of course--I had NOT purchased a set of brake pads.  For anything.  Now I don't even LOOK at bike brake pads on line.  Directly to Honda we will go--on the bike in the car or whatever but NEVER on line.

So to say I was surprised--was an understatement.  And when I checked the time on the buy--I noticed that I had not been on the lap top.  But---

Someone ELSE could have been.

When we weeded out everyone adult we asked our then 4 year old grand daughter--did YOU "buy" brake pads?  To which she told us--Yes. Because the brake pads are BAD.   Because I want the bike to STOP.  

Um---kinda hard to argue with that logic.

I contacted the seller and asked him politely if I could cancel the order and why;  he was not happy and I told him I would pay for the items or do a trade for an item I sell for the same rare model bike;  he ended up nicely canceling.  

I then sent Biker Boy to the garage to check on--the brake pads.  Which I KNEW were fine because we DO check them almost every time we ride.  And guess what?  They were---fine.  BUT---the very NEXT time we went to ride--we discovered that the brake pads had disintegrated.

Soooo---here we have The Baby Bought Them.

Because something told her that they were going to be NEEDED.

Now if she had managed to get to Paypal and PAY for them---well!

A few months later she got her OWN Tablet and managed to run up a "Tab" on Grandma's Amazon "One Click" account!  How you ask?  There are a number of SIMS games that apparently;  in addition to Simoleons;  use REAL MONEY.  Grandma did NOT know that!  Now Amazon was quite nice about this--apparently they hear the SAME thing ALL the time--which shows a flaw in Amazons systems if you ask ME---and we changed the system settings.  

Do I believe ALL of the Baby Bought It stories?  Nope.  

Just like I don't believe the woman who bought a toddler snowsuit from me because--she claimed--the EBAY SYSTEM FORCED HER TO BUY IT WHEN SHE SEARCHED FOR SOMETHING ELSE.  Oh and it FORCED her to PAY for it too!  

Wouldn't we ALL like to know what ebay magic fairy dust SHE was partaking of to get our deadbeats to PAY UP!!!!

And $202.00 for an Austin Healy--even in need of work--that was an awesome buy!  Give the kid back that cell phone!  This could be Baby Genius at work here!  

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by: madelaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 04:53:41 2013

"I was drunk when I bought it but as it's for charity, I'll honour the deal"  Some people are nice, in spite of the bad lots (I've had those too but none are funny)

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 08:11:49 2013

My 5 yr old grand son downloaded a game on his tablet.....He picked up this computer stuff very quickly. He watches his parents once do something and he has it down. Wish I had that ability. So, yes, I do believe kids can make a purchase. HOWEVER, I think maybe that accounts for 1% of the time.

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by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 10:09:05 2013

my 6 year old is constantly trying to down load game apps for the iPad but she doesn't know my password. that hasn't stopped her from downloading free stuff or sending emails. or glomming up my login because she tried to input my password too many times incorrectly.  it's the new generation. i do believe honest buyer mistakes happen with kids but at least keep the stories REAL.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Jul 23 10:10:29 2013

Whatever happened to keeping an eye on your children? I find it difficult to conceive of a toddler with the manual finger dexterity to press every correct button needed in the correct order for a sale to go through.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: TFG

Tue Jul 23 10:33:35 2013

Why do these 4/5/6 year olds need iPads & computers? And why are they permitted to use them unsupervised?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Tue Jul 23 15:08:04 2013

I had one who said her cat stepped on the Enter button after she had changed her mind and decided not to bid after all. I can kind of believe it because I have a friend who has a cat that likes to jump on her keyboard when she's on the computer. Still, it does sound like a variant of "the dog ate my homework".  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Jul 23 15:55:46 2013

I have a cat that sleeps on top of my printer and every now and then he prints a demo page, not with his paw but when his butt sits on the demo page button ...

Looking for attention, he also likes to park himself on the desk in front of my monitors and then step on/across my keyboard to try to get onto my lap ...

Still, he's a lot nicer "person" than the Ho, Ho, Ho; I know he won't stab me in the back, at least not while I continue to feed him ...

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by: traflet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 16:03:52 2013

My own baby did actually purchase a butter churn at a live auction just by being a wiggle worm. But that's another story.  
On eBay, my latest experience was a buyer who asked me to cancel his $10 bid because "I have a lot of expenses right now and can't afford it." I took a look at his bidding history and he had regular bids running up to AND AFTER his bid on my item.  
I didn't challenge him on it because it's my first canceled bid since 1998.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Tue Jul 23 17:21:44 2013

Maybe the $92 quadrillion PreyPay transferred was a result from ''bring your daughter to work day.''  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jul 23 19:45:34 2013

@Phil

Does your cat have "thinking" days?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Jul 23 22:50:32 2013

@Ming,

Don't know about any "thinking" days but he has a lot of eating and sleeping days ...

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jul 24 18:35:20 2013

The local news just did an up-date on this story and said eBay Motors gave the family a plastic, toddler-sized "car" so she has something to "drive." Apparently, people are also sending the family car parts to help the dad fix up the car. Hmmmm. I wonder if I can get the squirrel that frequents my back yard to "buy" something so I can get publicity and lots of free stuff.

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