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July 27, 2011

eBay, Craigslist Buyer Beware

A $50,000 watch purchased by a German collector on eBay is a fake, reports the Vancouver Sun.

The watch was purchased from a West Vancouver woman and her son. The buyer, Dr. Oliver Hartmann, understood the watch to be a 1950s Patek Philippe wristwatch in 18 karat pink gold.

Experts later deemed the watch to be a low-quality forgery.

Dr. Hartmann sued the West Van pair for breach of contract in BC Supreme Court Case Hartmann v. McKerness.

Dr. Hartmann claims damages for breach of contract on the basis that he was “induced” to pay $50,000 for a watch that was not a genuine Patek Philippe.

The West Van defendants say that Dr. Hartmann received what was described in the eBay advertisement.

The Judge agrees with the defendants, saying that the eBay advertisement sufficiently corresponds to the watch itself. The Judge explains that “the law does not protect people from improvident bargains.” In other words, the law cannot protect those who make careless purchases.

The Judge rules against Dr. Hartmann.