Charles Stanley's grandson sells memorabilia on eBay, buyer returns it to family

Matt Brodersen with a framed photo of his grandfather, the late Charles Stanley, that he auctioned on eBay before having a change of heart and returning it to his family.(YouTube/FriendswithMatt)

One of Charles Stanley's personal items sold on eBay by his grandson has been returned to the family by the buyer.

Stanley, a respected preacher and founder of InTouch Ministries, died last month at the age of 90.

Following his death, his grandson, Matt Brodersen, started an auction on eBay for some items belonging to Stanley.

They included a coin collection, a pocket watch engraved with the letters "CFS" for "Charles Frazier Stanley", and a signed portrait of the late pastor.

After coming under heavy criticism, he initially defended the auction, saying that he "has bills to pay" and needed the money.

He then apologised for his actions but kept the eBay auction open.

The pocket watch received 63 bids and sold for $2,375, while the signed portrait closed at $3,650 with 40 bids.

The anonymous buyer of the pocket watch returned the item to the Stanley family and called Brodersen to explain that he had done this because of his own experience of feeling hurt and angry when members of his family auctioned off his grandfather's personal belongings.

Brodersen said in a YouTube video that they talked on the phone for about 30 minutes and had a "great" conversation that was also "a little jaw-dropping".

The buyer apparently told him, "I wish my family had not auctioned off my grandpa's stuff. I would have liked to keep some of those things. I'm so glad I got to buy them and send them back to your family for you."

Brodersen added, "So that is when it really all sank in about how creepy or weird that was of me to do that."

The sale of the portrait fell through and Brodersen re-listed it but he had a change of heart and removed it from auction after his conversation with the buyer of the pocket watch.

"When he told me his story, I just died inside," Brodersen said. "And I realised how selfish I was being."

He said he has now mailed the items to his uncle.

"So technically, nothing has gotten sold on eBay. Everything is going back to its right property owners," he said.