Facing Online Onslaught, Dealership Honors eBay Sale

The dealership that refused to honor a BMW 3 Sedan for sold on eBay for $60,000 seems to have buckled under the deluge of criticism, emails, and phone calls made by irate internetizens sympathetic to the buyer’s plight. A post by buyer Ken on m3post.com says that the dealership has agreed to honor the original price. However, there will be certain “conditions,” which Ken wasn’t yet able to specify. Ken’s story appeared in various auto forums, and on Autoblog, Consumerist, Fark, and Digg (although for some reason, it got buried even though it has 475+ diggs…dealership sockpuppets at work?). Online social justice networking is in effect.

PREVIOUSLY: BMW Dealer Refuses To Honor eBay Sale


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  1. badgeman46 says:

    Yeah, conditions! Probably like buying useless extended warantees, rustproofing, and floormats until it equals the price they wanted.

  2. hi says:

    who would have thunk a series a tubes

  3. Simkins says:

    Good news, I wonder what these “conditions” will be… That could be a deal breaker, for example, vehicle may not have an engine…

  4. cylonite says:

    Well, it still hasnt come up in digg. 2 versions were buried.

  5. we are the web, resistance is futile….douchebags

  6. Mollyg says:

    My guess is that the conditions include a gag on talking about it and a confidentiality agreement.

  7. Mollyg says:

    My guess is that the conditions include a gag on him talking about it and a confidentiality agreement.

  8. differcult says:

    The only thing he has to agree to is what was in the auction. If the dealership wants to add stuff to screw him over, they better think twice. I think it will be more along the lines of, please write a letter saying we corrected our mistake and you are happy.

  9. Traveshamockery says:

    The conditions will be total BS, and derail the sale. These guys don’t get it – eat a few thousand dollars and get out of the negative public eye. For goodness sakes, what ever happened to responsibility and taking blame for your errors?

  10. workingonyourinvoice says:

    @differcult: what he/she/it said.

  11. sleze69 says:

    @Mollyg: /agree. He’ll probably have to delete all his posts on the subject.

  12. investigator says:

    … See, they install that TruCoat at the factory, there’s nothin’ we can do, but I’ll talk to my boss.

  13. investigator says:

    THAT’s what the conditions entail… This post sounded much better in my head. :( NM… back to work.

  14. @investigator: Oh, yah… ::nods head::

  15. DeafChick says:

    Umm what? Why should they offer “conditions”? Just honor the price and move on.

  16. bohemian says:

    Unless the conditions were part of the ebay auction they are still being douchebags about this. I hope he gets the car transaction 100% completed before he complies with any conditions, if at all.

  17. statnut says:

    @Mollyg: Why would a car dealer get kinky with a gag? ;)

  18. statnut says:

    @DeafChick: That was my first thought.

  19. strangeffect says:

    Conditions = Sandwich board and two weekends a month.

  20. marsneedsrabbits says:

    “Conditions” don’t sound good.

    I hope he is really careful and doesn’t make any agreements to a higher price or anything that would negate his end of the eBay deal.

    Sellers aren’t allowed to renegotiate after the sale, but the buyer isn’t, either, so he really should not agree to anything that isn’t in the original deal on eBay.

    He should stick to demanding exactly what he was supposed to get under the original deal and nothing else.

  21. Geekybiker says:

    “conditions” based on previous episodes of this include a gag order to prevent any further bad mouthing of the dealer.

  22. mike says:

    Now everyone should call the dealership and ask what the conditions are and why the buyer should agree to them. They made the auction. They can’t change the rules just because they didn’t like the outcome.

    That’s like the Patriots saying, “Um, we won the Superbowl because, well, we get 7 points for showing up and 3 points for every pass we complete.”

  23. Fidel on the Roof says:

    I would check out the brakes after receiving the car.

  24. UX4themasses says:

    I hope Ken politely declines their conditions and provides his own simple condition.


  25. MoCo says:

    When the buyer won the E-Bay auction, the contract for purchase was ratified. Neither party can unilaterally add conditions after a contract is ratified.

  26. corvi_yallis says:

    so the only information about the price of this car that I could find is from uk autoblog. It is 50,625.00 GBP, which converts to about 100,598.04 USD. So Ken gets his car about $40,000 less than MSRP, before tax etc. What a sweet deal.

  27. johnwilliams713 says:

    So base is like 54K on these. The dealers are already marking them way up due to demand. I know people paying 70K+ for theirs. So it’s not like the dealer is actually losing anything. They’re just not fucking the customer quite as hard.

  28. TPK says:

    Sounds like the dealership is not in a position to ask for any “conditions”, other than “please don’t sue us”…

  29. johnwilliams713 says:


    You can’t just convert the GBP to USD. It doesn’t work like that. If you go to bmwusa.com you’ll see that the coupe starts around 58 while the sedan starts at about 54k. The problem is that the demand for the car is allowing dealers to mark the price way up.

  30. WraithSama says:


    I agree. If there were no “conditions” listed in the eBail auction, they don’t have the authority to add any now. If I were the buyer, I’d simply wait for eBay’s verdict and claim the car as advertised.

  31. azntg says:

    @InfiniTrent: Apparantly, millions of dollars will give them exceptions to what should be common sense! Idiots.

  32. mantari says:

    No… this is totally AWESOME! Let’s hope the conditions are OUTRAGEOUS, because it’ll make even better Internet drama! Seriously, guys, let’s hope the dealship drags this one out, because it is a great story.

  33. strathmeyer says:

    @Mollyg: “My guess is that the conditions include a gag on talking about it and a confidentiality agreement. “

    Or else, what? The dealership gets the car back???

  34. synergy says:

    If no conditions were listed on the auctions, the buyer doesn’t have to honor any conditions. The only thing that has to happen is that the buyer gets the item he won as described for the price he won it at.

  35. consumerd says:

    the damage is already done… I won’t bid on their stuff on ebay or buy from that dealer. Thanks for educating us mr. dealer on your practices. needless to say you made my choice easier on who I buy a car from.

  36. econobiker says:

    I am glad this guy is winning the deal so far (unless their conditions make it worthless).

    Based on the M3 site postings it seems like this dealership is paying for the sins of autodealers of the past. Everyone has a bad/shady/scummy dealer story and this auction allowed everyone to jump in and help someone finally get back at an idiot dealer… basically the high tech version of standing out in front of the dealership with flyers.

    I would have hated to be the phone receptionist at the dealer the last few days… I am sure the dealer owner finally saw the light when other salesmen started to get screwed over for time.

    BTW go to the BMW of Lincoln website for gander at the dealer owner’s hair do in the website promo video. Outrageous!!!

  37. Buran says:

    @WraithSama: Agreed. If they tried to change the terms, I’d be on the phone with a lawyer before the salesman’s mouth closed.

  38. Darkwish says:

    Any conditions not in the original listing violate the terms of the sale and they should be reported to eBay for it, even if the conditions are to let people know they finally honored the sale.

    Either way, good luck to the buyer! Don’t let them screw you over!

  39. bravo369 says:

    i would not agree to any conditions if there is wording that says the sale is ‘null and void’ if not met. the auction is over and you won so they cannot add on conditions now. However if all they want is for him to remove the bad posts from the sites then i would just go ahead and do that. you’re getting the car so it’s not too much to ask. I would also do that AFTER you have the keys in your hands.

  40. kalikidtx says:

    man if these conditions include mandatory overpriced service contract, rustproof, and so on, I hope he walks away, posts a huge post online, and sues the dealership for the time and money spent for travel and lost opportunity based on reliance to his detriment alone!

  41. edrebber says:

    If the dealer adds additional terms that were not stated up-front in the item listing, then the dealer is in fact not honoring the ebay sale.

  42. Buran says:

    @Mollyg: I sure wouldn’t agree to a damn thing except “here are your keys, sir”.

  43. StevenJD says:

    Let me guess…..

    The dealership listed a SPECIFIC car on the auction site. One of the requirements of the auction site included a listing of the VIN number. Listing the car on the auction site does not require the dealer from pulling the car from public sales. Though maybe it should be, the auction site does not require exclusive selling rights to the car. The car was purchased from the dealers lot by a walk off the street customer and now the dealer can not fulfill the exact requirements of the auction.

    Ooops. The dealer pays the fees to the auction site and everybody goes home pretty much happy.

    And them there VIN numbers are important. The cars may be equipped identically, have the same low, low mileage and look the same from 1 or 1000 paces, but without matching VIN numbers the cars are NOT identical. If you think VIN numbers don’t make a difference, try telling somebody with 000000001 as his VIN number on his ‘Vette that you want to do a straight up trade with your VIN number 123456789.

  44. narcolepticdoc says:

    @StevenJD: Umm No. Actually the dealership has the car, they just don’t want to sell it to him for the winning bid price because their no-reserve auction ended too low for their taste.

  45. SOhp101 says:

    I’m curious about the terms and conditions. Overall it appears that the guy has a huge advantage so it should be according to his terms.

    @StevenJD: You posted this before and now posting this conspiracy theory again? Can we vote to ban certain members?

  46. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    Didn’t read the whole story, but if the salient points are as portrayed, this is the right outcome. The dealership should have never cried in the first place.

  47. jpx72x says:

    @SOhp101: No, but we can point out how stupid he is every time he clicks submit.

  48. bigvicproton says:

    my brother fixes and restores cars for a living. since the invention of ebay motors his business has really taken off. he said people are showing up with cars with all kinds of problems that they never would have bought had they seen them first.

  49. dubs29 says:

    Taken directly from the journalstar.com – Lincoln, NE newspaper web site- Quoting the buyers latest info:

    ” They still haven’t given him the car. From his last post

    “Ok, here is where we are. My lawyer has been working on my behalf.

    He got the dealership to remove two conditions Fil Catania tried to impose on the deal on Monday. The first condition was that I agree not to sell the car for 2 years. They agreed (through their corporate counsel in Arizona) to drop that one. The second condition was that I agree to confidentiality and that I do something to stop the press from contacting the dealership and say something nice about the dealership. We got that one dropped, too.

    I was told to arrange to make the deposit with Fil Catania at the dealership today (and was given a 4 hour deadline). To my dismay, Fil Cataniam, the GM, used my call as an opportunity to berate me, telling me CSNBC, etc.,. etc., were calling the dealership again. In my call to him, he also refused to take my credit card! In essence, he has rejected the deal corporate counsel for the parent company had worked out with my lawyer last night.

    So I am ceasing communication with the dealer for now. My lawyer drafted the letter that appears below (he has dealt with Mr. Herbert Klein, general counsel for BMW NA in the past), which he faxed earlier today to BMW NA..

    Also, other dealerships have been calling me, offering not only support, but greart deals on M3s! As much as I would love to take one of them, I don’t know tif they are real offers or not, and I simply want BMW of Lincoln to live up to its obligations to me.

    I would ask that no one call the dealership or BMW NA about this, but just wait and see what happens next. I know my lawyer is preparing a lawsuit, and if we have to file it, I will post further information here. It will also be interesting to see if BMW NA, now that it has been “officially” notified, does anything about this. This will be a good object lesson for all of us about how a car company stands up for its customers, don’t you think?”

  50. mantari says:

    Geeeeez. After all of this, that car dealership is STILL playing games?

  51. dubs29 says:

    The eBay Bimmer is on its way to L.A.
    By RICHARD PIERSOL/Lincoln Journal Star
    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 – 05:55:58 pm CDT
    The Jerez-black BMW sedan is well on its way to Ken Tanisaka in L.A., but the whiff of burnt rubber remains in Lincoln.

    An Internet blog fight over the eBay auction of a BMW M3 sedan by Husker Auto Group raged on for weeks while winning bidder Tanisaka and his lawyer tried to come to terms with Husker Auto and their lawyer.

    After much rumbling and grumbling, the car shipped out to Tanisaka on Thursday, Husker Auto said.
    “I am pleased the dealership has gone ahead and honored this contract,” Tanisaka said by phone Friday.

    “I can’t help but feel this is a situation that could have been avoided. I’m getting the car I was entitled to, but I’m stuck with a $10,000 legal bill.”

    That brings his total expense to about what the car might have cost without all the hubbub.

    “It’s been a stressful experience,” Tanisaka said.

    Some facts are not in dispute:

    Tanisaka bid $60,000 and won the car on what Husker Auto Group said was a mistake. They had failed to post a reserve, or minimum price, and said the sale shouldn’t have occurred at Tanisaka’s bid.

    After Tanisaka posted questions on a BMW blog on his difficulty getting an agreement from Husker Auto Group to finish the deal, the issue exploded all over the automotive information superhighway.

    The viewing and commenting audience grew into the hundreds of thousands, especially on m3post.com, which had 120 pages of comments as of Friday.

    Husker Auto Group and its personnel were bombarded with angry e-mails and posts, some of it the kind of name-calling that gets banned from some Web sites.

    Husker Auto denied ever balking at awarding the BMW and said Tanisaka had failed to execute steps to consummate his end of the deal.

    Early in the dust-up, Husker Auto’s lawyer Michael Maledon, posted statements that said Husker Auto allowed Tanisaka time to secure financing, and that he hadn’t made a required deposit in a timely way.

    “It is true that Husker asked Mr. Tanisaka to post a comment on this site that would set the record straight,” Maledon wrote. “While it may or may not have been Mr. Tanisaka’s intent, the dealership and its employees have been unfairly subject to slander, threats, intimidation, malicious tampering of personal property, harassment etc.”

    In any case, things got settled.

    “Being the honorable dealership that Husker is, they agreed to honor the price of $60,000 for the BMW E90 M3,” Husker Auto posted on its Web site this week. “This vehicle typically would have been priced around $70,000. At Husker BMW, we honor all contracts. And in this case we covered the $10,000 for the vehicle to make our customer happy.”

    Their lawyer was a little more blunt.

    “I hope you’ll consider doing a follow-up story which vindicates the dealership and highlights the ‘mob mentality’ of many Internet users who followed this story,” Maledon said in an e-mail.

    Tanisaka and his lawyer had asked outraged bloggers and chatters to lay off the dealer while they tried to settle details of an agreement.

    Tanisaka’s lawyer, Scott Teppers, posted: “While I believe Ken has acted maturely about this and has nothing to worry about, some of the posters here and the Board itself should look at many of the offensive posts that have gone up, particularly those using copyrighted photos from the Husker Auto Group site.”

    Some bloggers started figuring Tanisaka was taking advantage and counterposted accordingly.

    Husker Auto Group’s BMW manager Fil Catania could not be reached for comment Friday.

    Reach Richard Pier