A German court has ordered a British pensioner, who cancelled the sale of vintage tape recorder on eBay after noticing it was damaged, to pay £11,600 to the winning bidder.
Mike Godden, 72, put an advertisement up for the 1970s recorder on the American auction site, allowing bids starting from 99p.
The Studer A80 tape recorder is the same make as the one used by Pink Floyd for their iconic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon.
The device proved to be very popular among bidders and offers rose to £1,380.
But Mr Godden, a retired music studio manager, cancelled the auction after noticing the recorder was damaged – eight days before the end of the sale.
Mike Godden, 72, has been forced to pay £11,600 to the winning bidder of his eBay auction to sell his Studer A80 tape recorder (pictured)
Mr Godden’s Studer A80 tape recorder is the same make as the one used by Pink Floyd for their iconic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon
The winning bidder, a man from Germany, insisted however that the device was rightfully his and sent messages demanding to be sent the parcel.
Initially Mr Godden ignored the man, but the bidder took the case to court in Germany.
Although the seller had followed eBay’s rules correctly, which states a sale can be cancelled up to 12 hours before closing, the court ruled that EU law overrode the site’s procedures, and sent him a bill of £11,600.
Mr Godden joined online to be present at the hearing taking place at a regional court in Frankfurt.
The court ruled that the eBay bid was binding under the Rome I Regulation, a contract law operating in the EU and retained by the UK after Brexit, adding :’Both parties had made binding declarations of intention at the time the auction was aborted.’
Mr Godden was ordered to pay £7,551 to cover the costs of an equivalent tape recorder and £4,049 for legal fees after the court found he had created a contract with the German buyer
Mr Godden joined online to be present at the hearing taking place at a regional court in Frankfurt after the German buyer escalated proceedings (file image)
He was ordered to pay £7,551 to cover the cost of an equivalent tape recorder and a further £4,049 for the buyer’s legal fees and bailiff costs.
He said that bailiffs even paid him and his wife a visit at their home in Southampton, adding: ‘It’s just crazy. This should have never gone to court,’ he said according to The Mirror.
Mr Godden, who has paid the would-be buyer, is now calling for eBay to reimburse him and said that he ‘had not done anything wrong’.
Some of the strange items listed on eBay
The auction house of the internet, eBay often sees weird and wonderful items listed on its site.
This can range from bottles of discontinued fizzy pop, rare coins, original Mr Blobby suits and even merchandise from failed banks.
Here, MailOnline takes a look at some of the weirdest things that have been advertised on the website.
Merchandise from failed Silicon Valley Bank goes on sale
After Silicon Valley Bank went insolvent in early March, people turned to eBay to sell their company’s merchandise.
The various pieces of company swag, which included mugs, bags, cheeseboards and even cardboard boxes, attracted surprisingly high bids – a counterintuitive testament to health of the US economy.
Official SVB mugs appeared to be attracting average bids of nearly $100 and one of the cardboard boxes had a highest bid $201.
Another seller listed their own cardboard box on Monday night and started bidding at $45.
The various pieces of Silicon Valley Bank merchandise, which include mugs, bags, cheeseboards and even cardboard boxes (pictured), attracted surprisingly high bids
The seller of this light blue insulated mug claimed there was some damage to the powder coating but said the dings were an indication of the hard, but ultimately fruitless, work he put in for the company
Both sellers said their boxes – approximately 11′ x 11′ x 5′ – were sent to them after they received job offers from the bank.
Rare 50p coin featuring Paddington Bear sells for £1,500 and there are thousands more in circulation
A rare 50p coin featuring the nation’s most loved fictional bear has sold for a whopping £1,500 after being listed on auction site Ebay.
The Paddington Bear coin released by the Royal Mint in 2019, was put up for auction by a Glasgow seller, and sold on February 13.
A ‘rare 50p’ coin featuring the nation’s most loved bear, Paddington, sold for a whopping £1500 after being listed on auction site Ebay
The coin is said to be the 14th rarest 50p and features the famous bear standing outside Buckingham Palace and waving a Union Jack flag.
Only one bid was made on the the eBay listing, which ended on Monday, with the auction winner now laying claim to the iconic collectable item.
According to Change Checker’s Mintage figures index, the Paddington at the Station 50p is the most sought after of all the Paddington Bear coins, and has a mintage of 5,001,000.
Soft drinks fanatics flog Lilt for £100 on eBay after the ‘totally tropical’ fizzy drink was ‘cancelled’ and rebranded as Fanta
Fan-favourite Lilt was flogged for up to £100 on eBay after consumers rushed to stock up on the fizzy drink before it was discontinued.
Lilt drinkers paid tribute to the fizzy pop with memes and some took their commitment to the brand even further, with one man from London offering £100 for someone to bring him 20 cans.
The tropical fizzy soda will become a new Fanta flavour but fans expressed their concern that the drink has been ‘gentrified’ online
The half-litre bottle was described by the eBay seller as ‘delightful and refreshing’ and potential buyers were encouraged to enjoy the taste ‘one last time’.
‘Lilt grapefruit and pineapple drink. Totally tropical taste. The legendary drink has stopped production.
‘The last bottles before it disappears forever get your last taste of that lovely Lilt before it becomes a distant memory of the past.
‘A delightful and refreshing taste brought to you by the Lilt man for over 50 years, the pineapple and grapefruit combination gives you that vibrancy and hint of Caribbean flavours,’ the listing read.
Original Mr Blobby BBC costume from the 1990s attracts bids of up to £60,000 after going up for sale on eBay
An original 1990s Mr Blobby costume was put up for sale in an auction on eBay for nearly £60,000.
The Mr Blobby costume was made by the BBC’s costume supplier in the late 1990s but was not used for television
The costume’s age means that there has been some damage, the seller says, but that didn’t deter potential buyers
Bids for the pink and yellow costume of the iconic BBC character started at just £39 but the price rocketed a few days later to £9,500 and hit £58,400.
The costume was made by the BBC’s costume supplier for an overseas version of Noel’s House Party.
The seller eventually decided to keep the outfit after the anonymous buyer – who eventually bid £62,000 and made ten bids in total – pulled out of the sale just hours after the auction closed.
He said: ‘Losing the money is painful enough. It’s left me in quite a bit of debt.’
A spokesman for eBay said: ‘We discourage sellers from ending auctions early, as listing an item and accepting bids from potential buyers creates a contractual obligation to sell the item.
‘However, we understand sellers may occasionally need to cancel an auction and there are legitimate reasons for them to do so, including if the item is lost or broken.
‘If they do end an auction early, sellers need to make sure they have proof of a legitimate reason.’
Have you got Pokémon cards, a Casio watch, or a Polaroid camera worth a mint? Millennials and Gen Z drive up the price of retro items at auction
By SAM BARKER FOR THIS IS MONEY
Millennials and Generation Z may be sitting on a hidden goldmine, as auctioneers report a surge of interest is leading classic items like Pokémon cards, Casio watches and Lego to sell for tens of thousands of pounds.
Traditional auction items such as antiques, jewellery and art have growing competition from newer, traditionally less expensive items that many people had as children in the 1990s and 2000s, according to auction search engine Barnebys.
Barnebys said a wave of younger buyers and sellers is driving a 200 per cent increase in the sale of these nostalgic items since 2019.
One of Barnebys founders, Pontus Silfverstolpe, said: ‘It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons behind any given auction trend, but younger users entering the market have undoubtedly influenced which items become popular.
‘Millennial and Gen Z users have increased over 200 per cent on Barnebys since 2019, which aligns with the higher interest in ‘90s items like Pokémon cards and Casio watches. These users seem to crave a return to the nostalgia of their childhood, and they now have the disposable income to afford it.’
Building value: Old Lego sets can be worth a mint to the right buyer, with sets in good condition fetching the highest prices
Here are some of the 1990s and 2000s classics selling for hundreds or even thousands of pounds – and how to identify if you have a valuable retro item.
However, these items are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them. But remember, anyone looking to make money buying and selling nostalgic items risks losing money if sentiment changes.
Pokémon and trading cards
Sports cards, such as baseball and football cards, dominate the global trading card market.
But despite this a new category has recently been making significant headway — Pokémon cards.
Pokémon cards can be worth tens of thousands, both individually and sold in packs.
The most expensive individual Pokémon card ever was a Pikachu Illustrator, bought for $5.2million (£4.29million) by YouTube star Logan Paul in April 2022.
These cards are used to play a game where fantasy monsters battle one another, and can be sold and traded.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game, to give its full title, has been around since 1996, and cards are still being released today.
Many serious investors also flock to Pokémon as an alternative asset class, attracted by the cards’ increasing value and limited supply.
Individual Pokémon cards are unlikely to be worth more than a few pence or occasionally a few pounds.
That is especially true if they have been opened and played with – there are 3.4 billion of them in existence, after all.
But packs of sealed cards, and some rare single cards, do go for high prices – and for serious investors this is where the money is.
Catch ’em all: Complete sets of Pokémon cards can also be valuable regardless of condition
However, the best price a casual Pokémon collector is likely to get is a few hundred quid for a rare card in good condition, unless they get the card professionally examined and graded.
Pokémon investor Adam Leslie said: ‘If you want to go from talking hundreds of pounds to thousands, you need to get your card graded.’
Professional grading services will assess what condition a card is in – for a fee. This affects its overall price.
A graded holographic first edition Charizard can be worth hundreds or thousands – with a mint condition one owned by Leslie valued at £500. But that drops to around £50 for an ungraded card in the same condition.
One area of Pokémon investors flock to is sealed packs of cards, bought unseen.
The sealed packs offer a lottery-style thrill to Pokémon fans, who may end up with an incredible card through blind luck.
But sealed packs are also a boon to investors.
Leslie said: ‘Part of the value is these are completely enclosed and you are not sure what card you will get.
‘That value can be destroyed as soon as the packs are opened.’
Leslie added that specialist investors often use sensitive scales when working out how much a sealed pack is worth.
That is because holographic Pokémon cards are worth more than normal ones, but these cards also weigh more.
Using high-tech scales lets Pokémon investors know if a pack is likely to contain such an expensive holographic card.
Popularity contest: Pokémon cards can be worth more if they feature a well-loved character such as Charizard or Pikachu
But anyone looking to buy Pokémon cards should beware of scammers selling fakes in place of real items. Pokémon runs a website that helps spot fake cards.
But to get a rough idea if your old Pokémon cards might be valuable, take a look at the bottom of each card.
Symbols printed on the bottom indicate how rare a card is.
A circle is common, a diamond is uncommon, a star is rare and a white or gold star is ultra-rare. Holographic and first edition cards are typically worth more than standard cards, too.
How rare a card is, and what condition it is in, also affect its value.
Anyone wanting to know how much a Pokémon card is worth can check sale prices on auction websites like eBay. Alternatively, app TCGplayer lets users get prices by uploading photos of their cards.
Small but mighty: The Pikachu Illustrator card has set the record for the most expensive Pokémon card ever sold
Another item well-known to millennials is retro film cameras, which became trendy again as a reassuring analogue alternative to smartphone cameras.
Most famous of these is the Polaroid. These iconic cameras require little introduction, and have always been popular due to their ability to take and print out photos instantly.
Standard Polaroid cameras can sell from a few pounds up to a few hundred, but Polaroids that belong to celebrities sell for thousands.
An example is artist Andy Warhol’s camera which recently sold for around £10,500. Warhol famously admired Polaroid cameras, and the Big Shot model was said to be his favourite.
Vintage tech: Polaroid cameras can fetch high prices because there has been a consumer resurgence in older, offline technology
During the 1970s and 1980s, Warhol took Polaroids of numerous celebrities, including rock icons John Lennon, Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Diana Ross and others.
Classic cameras from brands such as Kodak and Canon are also highly sought after, Barnebys said.
‘We saw a trend of younger users seeking out analogue items in 2021, with things like stamp and coin collections, vinyl records and physical books gaining traction at auction,’ Barnebys said.
‘Vintage film cameras continued this trend richer images, a therapeutic and artistic process and physical copies that digital just can’t match.’
Similarly to the popularity of retro cameras, watches with a touch of nostalgia about them are also seeing growing demand.
Luxury watches such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega are always popular at auction, but Barnebys reports a lower-budget rival edging in too – Casio.
Casio’s digital and analogue watches are known for their tough design and utilitarian function, but that has still drawn them a legion of fans.
Big in Japan: Casio watches tend not to break the bank, but older examples are becoming more popular. This watch is worth around £50
The Casio company has been making watches since 1974, and there are now dozens of different designs.
Watches in the Casio G-Shock line in particular are adored by watch enthusiasts worldwide and have graced the wrists of celebrities including singers Rihanna, and Justin Bieber, as well as filmmaker Spike Lee.
New Casio watches sell for around £10 for an entry-level F-91W, ranging up to £30-£60 for mid-range watches and into the hundreds or thousands for top tier items.
But the same watches can fetch far higher prices at auction.
Most Casio watches listed on Barnebys in 2022 sold for under £150, which still makes them extremely affordable for those looking for a trip down memory lane.
However, vintage Casios in great condition do sell for as much as £3,500 on popular auction websites such as eBay.
Used run-of-the-mill Casio watches are unlikely to be worth significant amounts, though even a broken watch can still be sold for spare parts.
But Casio watches can be worth more than you paid for them if they are in excellent condition or one of the brand’s rarer models.
Check auction websites for an idea of what a watch you own might be, making sure to be accurate about your Casio’s model number and condition.
Old Lego and toys
Old and limited edition Lego sets can sell for tens of thousands of pounds on auction websites such as Barnebys.
In fact, a job lot of Lego from the 1950s and 1960s in their original packaging sold for £1,915 in December 2022, a whopping 499 per cent higher than experts predicted.
Lego also periodically releases limited-edition kits that get snapped up in stores, resulting in high prices at auction just a few years later.
For example, a Lego kit that ties in to Star Wars, the Lego Death Star, recently sold for £5,000.
Likewise, the Lego Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon recently sold for £3,700.
Big figures: The Lego Millennium Falcon is worth huge sums, both in its original and reissue versions
At the other end of the scale, used assorted Lego is worth very little in terms of cash value – but is still immensely valuable as a toy.
Lego sets tend to be worth the most, then Lego mini-figures, and then assorted Lego pieces.
Age, condition and rarity all affect the price of Lego.
Specialist websites such as BrickEconomy and Rebrickable are good ways to work out how much your Lego might be worth.