Nick Ward revelled in his brief moment of internet celebrity at the expense of his "possessed" printer, but it seems the office equipment had the last laugh.
When the Kapiti film-maker listed his printer for sale on Trade Me, describing it as "evil incarnate", he attracted more than 1.3 million views, making it by far the most popular listing of 2013.
It was the second-most-viewed item in the website's history, outdone only by the handbag Tana Umaga used to beat Hurricanes team-mate Chris Masoe over the head in 2006, Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said.
Mr Ward began his sales spiel with the announcement: "Words cannot express how much I hate this printer." He went on to say: "There's nothing technically wrong with it, except it has a soul of pure darkness."
The eventual buyer allowed him to smash it to pieces for a television show.
But speaking yesterday, after finding out about his top placing in the Trade Me listings, Mr Ward said the printer - or at least its spirit - got the last laugh.
After he "ripped it to pieces" for television show Seven Sharp, he went home to watch the recorded clip.
It was a dark night in July and, after the screening, he heard a knock at the door. When he went to answer it, there was nobody there. But sitting by his front door was a printer of the same make and model as the one he just sold.
"We brought it inside and put it in the hallway and it leaked ink everywhere," he said.
He said the bidding for the "unholy piece of garbage" got into the billions of dollars but, after fake bids were removed, it sold for $280 to "Rick Danger" of Te Aroha.
"I phoned him up and he said, ‘Smash it'," Mr Ward said.
He tried to reduce the selling price to $100 - enough for Mr Ward to take his partner out for dinner. But the buyer insisted on $150, so they could get a good bottle of wine too.
The printer's closest competitor on Trade Me's annual charts was a rear-projection 43-inch Toshiba television - also with a quirky sales pitch - which got just shy of 175,000 views.
TOP FIVE Trade Me's most-viewed auctions for 2013:
1. HP wireless printer (possessed), Wellington 1,319,214 views
2. 43-inch Toshiba television, Canterbury 174,713 views
3. Same-sex marriage original billboard skin, Auckland 121,795 views
4. Treasure-hunting day for real gold & silver, Auckland 116,637 views
5. Luxury villa playhouse, Auckland 90,861 views
- © Fairfax NZ News
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