ALLSOPP'S ARCTIC ALE, THE $500,000 EBAY TYPO
We know having correct spelling in the eBay auction title important. Unfortunately for one seller, leaving out one letter in the title turned out to be very costly.
The item in question is a full bottle of Allsopp's Arctic Ale brewed in 1852, pictured on the left. The item was first listed on eBay with the title: allsop's arctic ale.full and corked with a wax seal. Unfortunately, he left off the second 'p' in Allsopp's. This meant that any potential buyers searching for the correct spelling of Allsopp's would not be able to find it. This error is clearly a typo by the seller as he spells Allsopp's correctly in the description.
The auction had a starting price of $299.00 and closed with a winning bid of $304.00 with 2 bids from 2 different users. The seller was probably satisfied with the sales price until he saw what happened when it was listed on eBay again eight weeks later.
This time Allsopp's was spelled correctly using the auction title: Museum Quality ALLSOPP's ARCTIC ALE 1852 SEALED/FULL!!! The second listing had a much more robust description along with more pictures of the bottle from different angles. The auction received 157 bids from 56 unique bidders and closed with a winning bid of $503,300.00.
It turns out the original seller's typo cost him over $500,000. The $304 he received doesn't seem like much any more.
Validity of the Winning Bid
When you see such a large dollar amount for the winning bid, you have to question the validity of the bids. Looking at the bid history, we see one of the early bidders maximum bid reach $2,200.00. We also see two 1000 plus feedback buyers at $11,111.00 and $78,100.00. After that, we see several "Not a registered user" pushing the bidding over $500,000. This casts doubt on the winning bid being genuine.
After some more research, I found an article on Antique Week about this auction. It looks like the winning bid was a "joke bid" according to the winning bidder. He has no intention of paying the seller. As for the seller, he is storing it in a safe deposit box while he decides what to do next.
You have to feel sorry for the original seller. The bottle has been in his family for over 50 years before he decided to sell it. After all the publicity about the auctions, he has received many nasty emails calling him an idiot. The anonymity of the internet certainly allows people to be heartless.
The bottle is clearly worth several thousand dollars. Whether it is worth $10,000, $100,000, $500,000 or more is anybody's guess.
Finding Auctions with Spelling Mistakes
The person that found the Allsopp's auction with the spelling error made a handsome profit. Surprisingly, auctions that contain spelling mistakes are fairly common. By finding these auctions, you may discover some incredible bargains too. To help you find auctions with spelling errors, we have created the Misspelled eBay Auction Search Engine. Try it out and you may find that diamond in the rough.