Caveat emptor

A lesson you don't need to be told, but we'll do it anyway: don't buy expensive stuff without seeing it first. One of your humble Backbyters got burned recently purchasing a collectible DVD from an eBay auction. It was advertised as "mint", but, when it arrived, was nothing of the sort. In fact, it was in such lousy condition that it damaged the DVD player.

But enough of our problems. We weren't burned nearly as badly as Rob Keereweer, a Dutch art aficionado and tech company executive who thought he had stumbled onto a major bargain and ended up parting with almost $A290,000.

The story goes like this: a painting was bought at a garage sale. Years later, its owner wants to clear out some old stuff, so puts the painting up on eBay with a starting bid of 25c.

It's damaged, so he includes a photo of the damaged area. He says the damage was done by his three-year-old's tricycle wheel.

Then, interest mounts. Some bidders speculate that the painting may be a lost work by modern master Richard Diebenkorn. The bids get higher and higher, eventually reaching astronomical levels. Even at more than a quarter of a million bucks, a lost Diebenkorn is a bargain - the buyer is happy, and the seller is bewildered.

Then, it comes out. The seller said the painting was bought at a garage sale in Berkeley, where Diebenkorn worked in the 1950s. It wasn't. What's more, the seller doesn't have a three-year-old, but the photo of the tricycle damage conveniently happened to show an "RD" signature. And, it seems, one of the more interested bidders was the seller himself.

As we said, buyer beware.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

IDG staff

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?