Remember about a week ago when we showed you that incredibly well-done ad for a used 1996 Honda Accord? Then remember yesterday how we told you the price got so crazy high on eBay the auction was cancelled? Well, the auction was cancelled again, CarMax made a bonkers video offer, and the guy who’s selling the car was on Good Morning America. Ours is a strange world right now.
Even stranger, there seems to be an odd discrepancy as to why eBay took down the auction, which had bid the green well-maintained shitbox up to a staggering and implausible $150,000.
Our own Alanis King asked eBay about why the auction was taken down, and this is what they told her:
Here’s our statement:
eBay canceled the listing as it violated its listing links policy. For more information on this policy, please visit http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-links.html.
Once Mr. Lanman removes the links from his listing, he is welcome to relist this item on eBay.
To your earlier question, we cancelled the auction for illegitimate bidding concerns.
So, they took it down because he had a link to his email in the ad, which could have been used for outside-eBay dealmaking. Oh, and because they had (pretty justifiable) illegitimate bidding concerns.
Compare that with what Max Lanman, the filmmaker who made the ad, told me in an email:
So here’s the story:
The auction had reached $150,000 with over 100 bids by yesterday. Ebay’s customer service had called us earlier in the day to reassure us that they were monitoring the listing and actively removing fake/illegitimate bids.
Then suddenly, last night we got a call from Ebay and we were told that Ebay had removed the listing in error. They told us that someone on their fraud team, who was unaware of the ad / story, could not believe that a 1996 Honda Accord would go for $150,000 and ended the auction early. (I kid you not.) They asked us to re-start the auction, so last night we kicked it off again at its original starting price of $499.
The story had reached a VP at Ebay who kindly reached out to us after this mistake and we’ve been reassured that they are doing everything they can to resolve the situation. I don’t have any immediate updates as of right now, but we expect to hear more from Ebay today.
So, they told Max the auction was removed by mistake. Though, really, you can hardly fault the fraud person for thinking a ‘96 Accord isn’t worth $150,000. I mean, $100,000 maybe, if it has a moonroof.
As far as the second auction goes, here’s what Max told me about its early termination:
This morning we received an email from Ebay telling us that the listing had been removed in error. We haven’t received a call explaining what exactly happened, so we don’t have any more details to share right now.
We’ve reached out to both Max and eBay for further comment, so hopefully they’ll get back to us with their stories straight.
A more fun development from all this comes from CarMax, who Tweeted at Max this video offer for the car and, um, other items, including the remains of the sandwich, coffee mug, and the cat, for a total of $20,000:
Holy crap, right? I hope Max can take advantage of this. It’s also good to know that the going rate for used sandwiches is $500 (-$100 for mayo removal costs), pre-owned cats are $5,000, and most other crap you’d expect to find for free on Craigslist CarMax is willing to pay several grand for if you can make the right commercial for them.
This is valuable information.