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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Auction sale error - John Deere 4640 goes for $1,800 - Court fixes mistake

The Provincial Court of Saskatchewan has granted judgment to an auctioneer to correct a 10x mistake in the price paid for a John Deere 4640 tractor at auction.  Evidence from attendees at farm auction testified that the winning bid for the tractor was $18,000, but the successful bidder paid only $1,800 to the auctioneer.  The clerk for the auctioneer had made a clerical error and listed $1,800 on the invoice issued to the successful bidder, who provided payment in that amount and took possession of the tractor. 

Although the successful bidder was contacted by the farm owners about the mistake, he refused to pay the difference between the $18,000 bid and the $1,800 had had already paid.  At trial, the successful bidder called no evidence, but did cross-examine the witnesses from the auctioneer "in an apparent effort to challenge their credibility".  During his testimony, the auctioneer explained that he had paid out the $18,000 to the farm owners after the mistake made by his clerk was discovered.

The Court found that there was a clerical error made, the purchase price of the tractor was actually $18,000, and the successful bidder "seized on the mistake, to obtain a benefit he knew or ought to have known that he was not entitled in law to have."

Read the decision at: Ukrainetz (Ukrainetz Auctioneering) v Borowski.