Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/21/digger_auction/
Toddler snaps up mechanical digger online
£7,700 auction punt while parents sleep
A New Zealand three-year-old was temporarily the proud owner of a mechanical digger after successfully bidding online for the earth-moving kit.
Pipi Quinlan, of Stanmore Bay north of Auckland, got up while her family were still akip and managed to find her way to the TradeMe homepage where her mother was already logged in.
According to The Age, she then quickly won the most recent auction listed, stumping $NZ20,000 (£7,700) for the Kobelco heavy metal (model not noted, but here's a small one).
Mum Sarah recounted: "The first I knew about it was when I came down and opened up the computer. I saw an email from TradeMe saying I had won an auction and another email from the seller saying something like 'I think you'll love this digger'."
"Well, I had a few Duplo Lego play kits on my watch-list, so just assumed I'd won a digger toy-set. It wasn't until I went back and re-read the emails that I saw $NZ20,000, and got the shock of my life."
The click-happy infant's mum quickly contacted TradeMe and the seller to explain the situation. TradeMe "reimbursed the seller's costs for listing the digger and the auction" and the unimpressed vendor relisted the auction.
Young Pipi is now kept a safe distance from the computer, The Age notes. ®
Those of you inclined to doubt the veracity of this story will be pleased to note that The Age has tacked this onto the end: "Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website, also owns TradeMe."
However, the story originally appeared in NZ's Rodney Times which is owned by... blast it, Fairfax Media.