Misspelling Costs eBay Seller $500,000
The seller was auctioning off an extraordinarily rare bottle of Allsopp's Arctic Ale. This beverage, brewed in 1852 for an arctic expedition led by Sir Edward Belcher, was crafted with special qualities necessary for the journey, including a freezing point below 12 degrees Fahrenheit and other properties said to stave off scurvy.
The initial seller's mistake was leaving out a vital 'P' in the name 'Allsopp's.' A savvy bidder either stumbled upon the listing for 'Allsop's' accidentally, or used a tool such as Auction Intelligence, which searches auctions for potential deals due to common misspellings. As you might expect, the misspelling made the auction difficult to find, which in turn made competition for the bottle very minimal. The winner of the bottle was only the second bidder on the auction and won it for just $304. That may sound like a lot of money to spend on a 105-year-old bottle of beer that's sure to be skunked. But consider this: The winner then turned right around and re-listed the item using the proper spelling this time. And this time, it sold for a whopping $503,300.
So proofread carefully, friends, and keep an eye out on Switched in the next few days for a follow up story along the lines of "Man Throws Self Off of Bridge After eBay Spelling Error."