A builder whose flat bed trailer was stolen bought it back after spotting it for sale on an internet auction site.
The stolen trailer was being offered for sale on eBay
Richard Keen, from Barmouth, Gwynedd, checked on eBay for a similar trailer after his was stolen, but recognised his own and bid £1,500 for it.
His successful bid meant the seller's details were revealed.
Stefan Rowe, 37, from Sandycroft, Deeside, admitted handling stolen goods and was given 80 hours community service at Dolgellau Magistrates Court.
Prosecutor Tom Morgan Jones told magistrates that once the seller's details had been revealed the "warning bells must have started ringing".
He added: "Mr Keen was told that there had been a misunderstanding and the trailer was withdrawn from the auction."
Mr Keen asked his brother from Devon to make a bid and gave his mobile telephone number.
Mr Jones said the builder then went to Sandycroft, Deeside, where he viewed his stolen trailer and recognised some changes that he had previously made to it.
It had been bought for £800 by Rowe and put up for sale on eBay for £1,500.
Mr Keen informed the police and Rowe later admitted handling stolen goods.
The court heard Rowe believed the trailer was "shady" but because he was out of work he felt he could make money selling it online.
The prosecutor added that another man from Deeside was due to appear in court charged with the theft of the trailer from Mr Keen's home just before Christmas 2006.
Rowe was ordered by magistrates to carry out 80 hours unpaid work in the community with £150 costs.
After the hearing Mr Keen said: "I am glad to have my trailer back and did my bit to help the police."