A New Zealand couple got the "shock of their life" after their 3-year-old daughter accidentally bought a $NZ20,000 (£8,000) mechanical digger from auction website Trade Me without their knowledge.

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

After consulting her partner, Reid Quinlan, they ascertained that daughter Pipi must have woken early and started playing on the computer while they were asleep.

"She doesn't even like tractors," Sarah said. "She's a real girlie girl – even when she goes fishing she wears frilly dresses. I think she was just clicking on the computer to see what happened".

Luckily the website and seller were understanding and managed to sell the digger to another customer. Pipi has been barred from playing with the computer alone, and the parents have removed their auto-log-in settings.