View Full Version : 3-year old buys $20K digger in online auction

30 May 09,, 00:31
Pipi Quinlan, 3, accidentally buys mechanical digger in net auction - Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article6339258.ece)

May 22, 2009
Pipi Quinlan, 3, accidentally buys mechanical digger in net auction
Anne Barrowclough in Sydney

When you take most three-year-olds shopping, they're happy if you buy them a new doll.

Not Pipi Quinlan. When she got on to her parents' computer, she ended up with a $NZ20,000 (£8,000) mechanical digger.

The first thing Pipi's parents, who live in Auckland, knew of their child's expensive acqusition was when her mother Sarah logged on to her computer and found a series of e-mails from the New Zealand Trade Me auction site congratulating her on her buy.

The toddler who usually prefers high-heeled pink shoes over giant yellow and black diggers, had woken early and started playing on the computer while her parents were asleep.

After a couple of clicks on the mouse, she entered the NZ internet auction site Trade Me which her mother had logged on to earlier.

A few minutes later, she was the proud owner of the huge Kobelco excavating digger – and her parents were about to be $20,000 the poorer.

"The first I knew about it was when I came down and opened up the computer," her mother Sarah told The Times.

"I saw an e-mail from Trade Me saying I had won an auction and another e-mail from the seller saying something like ‘I think you’ll love this digger’," she said.

"I'd been looking at bulk lots of Lego for my son and I thought a digger must be in one of those toy sets.

"Then I saw the price and got the shock of my life," said Ms Quinlan, who added that she had to ask her husband Reid what a Kobelco was.

"I asked him if he'd been buying a digger. He said it wasn't him, and the only other person in the house is our 18-month-old son. That's when we realised it must have been Pipi.

"She doesn't even like tractors," she said. "She's a real girlie girl – even when she goes fishing she wears frilly dresses."

Pipi had recently been taught how to use a computer, so that she could play toddlers' games, Ms Quinlan said. But she had watched her mother use Trade Me and had noticed that when her mother clicked on some items, pretty pictures came up.

"I think she was just clicking on the computer to see what happened," Ms Quinlan said.

Sarah explained the error to Trade Me and the seller. The seller didn't see the funny side – particularly when he was told his buyer was a three-year-old whose piggy bank didn't run to $20,000. However, Trade Me has reimbursed his costs and he has now sold the digger to a grown-up.

The hardest part of all, said Ms Quinlan, was explaining to Pipi the enormity of what she had done without laughing.

"In the end I told her she had just spent enough money to buy 20,000 ice blocks. That made her realise how serious it was," she said.

Pipi has been banned from using the computer on her own and the Quinlans have deleted all their automatic log-ons.

30 May 09,, 01:29
Bless her little cotton socks, the whole country is very proud of her:biggrin:

31 May 09,, 05:11
Could that kid buy me a new log splitter, lawn mower and an ATV with a plow and have her parents pay for it?