Facilitating consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer e-commerce for over 20 years, eBay has grown to become a multibillion-dollar business with operations localized in over 30 countries. But while the site handles the sale of millions of different “traditional” items annually, it has also seen its fair share of stupid, strange and sickening items posted for sale. Evidently, there will always be people willing to do anything to make a quick dollar. On eBay, that could mean selling just about anything from a half-eaten sandwich to a supposedly demonic bath toy. And since eBay has yet to create a “crazy listings” category, we’ve put together this collection of a few of the weirdest items that have ever been sold on the site.
12. An Autographed Air Guitar
Not only was this air guitar advertised as “unused, unopened, and undamaged,” but it also came with free shipping. The ethereal instrument was originally posted by cody2466503 for $15 on eBay. Though we question the intelligence of the person who actually bought it, apparently that was the only way to find out who signed it.
11. Justin Timberlake’s Uneaten French Toast
In 2000, a teenager from Madison, Wisconsin, named Kathy Summers paid $1,025 for two slices of leftover french toast. Sounds crazy, right? But just wait until you hear the catch. The singed pieces of bread were actually ordered and partially eaten by none other than pop music sensation Justin Timberlake (squeeee!).
Timberlake left behind the remainder after a breakfast interview at the studio of the New York radio station Z-100. The station’s DJ then put the toast on eBay, where Summers became the victor of a hotly contested bidding war. ”I’ll probably freeze-dry it, then seal it. . .then put it on my dresser,” said the 19-year-old N’Sync fanatic. Meanwhile, the chef who made the french toast wanted to know why Timberlake neglected the morning confection. Though Timberlake never did actually comment on the situation, Summers says that the slices “look a little bit on the burnt side.”
10. The Town of Bridgeville, California
Bridgeville, California, is a community of 25 residents situated 260 miles north of San Francisco. After failing to find a buyer for the tiny town through traditional real estate options, in 2002, the Lapple family—owners of Bridgeville since the early 1970s—decided to put it up for auction on eBay. Though the initial asking price was $750,000, it eventually sold for $1.8 million to an anonymous businessman from Los Angeles. However, when that sale fell through, another businessman stepped in to claim ownership for just under $800,000. Bridgetown would end up being sold again twice more over the next four years.
9. Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese
The Shroud of Turin, the Veil of Veronica, the Grilled Cheese of Duyser? When most people think of valuable religious relics, a wedge of cheddar slapped between two slices of Wonder Bread probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But one day after Diane Duyser took a bite out of her freshly made grilled cheese, she realized it bore the resemblance of the Virgin Mary. Startled at first, Duyser believed the sandwich would bring good luck and placed the remainder in a plastic bag for safe keeping. As the story goes, the sandwich sat in that bag for 10 years and, during that time, gathered not so much as a spore of mold.
When she finally decided to put the sandwich up for auction on eBay, the item got more than 1.7 million hits. The winning bid was from GoldenPalace.com, an online casino who would apparently stop at nothing to obtain the piece of Christian “pop culture.” The final selling price was a whopping $28,000!
8. Ghost in a Jar
When a jar found in an abandoned cemetery was put up for auction on eBay by a man in Arkansas, it earned almost $56,000. The owner claimed that it contained a ghost who had been terrorizing him to no end. He told potential buyers to beware and that he wouldn’t be held responsible for any unfortunate mishaps that befell the new owner. However, despite requests that only serious buyers bid on the item, when it came time to pay the piper the winner of the auction didn’t come through. Consequently, the jar’s true contents remain a mystery. But the mysterious Ghost in a Jar triggered a tidal wave of parody eBay sales including t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, and even a farcical post for PMS in a Jar.
7. Ad Space on Someone’s Forehead
Looking for ways to help finance her son’s education, Kari Smith decided that the quickest and easiest way to earn some income was to become a walking billboard. Selling her forehead as advertising space, the 30-year-old auctioned off her cranial epidermis and vowed to tattoo any slogan across it for any company that would pay her $10,000.
Oddly enough, GoldenPalace.com (the same online casino that bought the Virgin Mary grilled cheese) once again stepped up to claim the prize. They were evidently so dead set on the fresh new ad space that they hit the “buy now” button after just two days.
After receiving her $10,000 payment, Smith upheld her part of the bargain and tattooed GoldenPalace.com in black ink across her forehead. However, the tattoo artist who did the work wasn’t entirely convinced that Smith was in her right mind. He spent more than 10 hours trying to convince her not to go through with it.
6. A Corn Flake Shaped Like the State of Illinois
If you’re a fan of breakfast cereal, you should always pay close attention to what you eat because there might just be a fortune waiting to be discovered in your bowl. Just ask the two sisters from Virginia who found a corn flake that was shaped like the state of Illinois.
Knowing they had something special on their hands, the women put the flake up for sale on eBay where it sold for a mind-boggling $1,350. The winning bidder was the owner of a trivia website who liked to collect American knick-knacks and pop culture memorabilia to add to his travelling museum. Although the flake bears an uncanny resemblance to the geographic shape of Illinois, the thought of how easily it could be chipped or crushed or eaten by a mouse makes it seem like a pretty risky investment.
5. A Dorito Shaped Like the Pope’s Hat
GoldenPalace.com must give a lot of hope to people looking to sell their seemingly worthless items on eBay. In 2005, just a few months after their purchase of the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich, the internet casino purchased another item to add to their collection of “cheesy” Christian memorabilia—a Dorito in the shape of the Pope’s hat.
The single curved tortilla chip covered in cheese-flavored dust sold for an astonishing $1,209. According to the seller, after seeing the chip in his bag of Doritos he concluded that it would be unfair not to share it with the world. Once on eBay, the chip received 34 bids and the ad got over 41,000 visitors—prompting the seller to create his own separate web page, www.PopeHatChip.com, to capitalize on the popularity of this bizarre item.
4. A Custom Made Suit of Armor for a Guinea Pig
With a handy bit of metal working, Sean McCoy of Fairfax, Virginia, was able to craft a full suit of armor for his little guinea pig, Lucky. But sadly, Lucky passed away before he could make good use of the armor and so Sean decided put it up for auction on eBay. This resulted in an unexpected bidding war erupting over the item with the final price closing at $24,300. Apparently, there were at least 47 bidders who thought the little steel vest and hat combo would be the perfect look for their rodent pet.
According to the product’s description, 100% of the profits from the sale went toward Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, a Virginia-based non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and finding new homes for unwanted guinea pigs.
3. A Haunted Rubber Ducky
Although most parents are probably accustom to their children throwing tantrums whenever bath time rolls around, the owner of this tub toy claimed his toddler became enraged, as if possessed by a demonic spirit, whenever it was around.
In a detailed account of his family’s hardship with the duck, the seller explains that they even went so far as to seek the help of their family Pastor to alleviate the situation. Amazingly, even after describing the demonic deeds of the duck and warning potential buyers that the seller would not be responsible for any matters relating to the duck after shipping, it still got 41 bids. When the auction closed, the winning bid was $107.50.
2. William Shatner’s Kidney Stone
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that celebrity-related items can sell for ludicrous amounts on eBay. Case in point, William Shatner’s kidney stone which sold for $25,000 in 2006.
According to an interview, while filming on the set of Boston Legal, the actor had to be rushed to hospital after suffering an “unbearable” backache that prompted him to drop to his knees in pain. The operation was said to be excruciatingly painful, and the eBay auction even includes the surgical stint and string used to permit passage of the stone. The stone was so big, Shatner said, “you’d want to wear it on your finger.”
Shatner persuaded doctors to return the stone to him after the operation so he could offer it up for auction and give the proceeds to charity. The winning bid came from none other than GoldenPalace.com.
1. A Man’s Entire Life
When Ian Usher’s wife left him, he wanted a whole new life. But rather than let his old life just disappear, Usher decided to sell it to someone who could put it to good use.
Following his divorce in 2008, Usher posted his now-famous “life for sale” ad on eBay. In the description he wrote: “I’ve have had enough of my life! I don’t want it anymore! You can have it if you like!”
The “Ian Usher’s Life” package included his house, his car, his job, his motorcycle, and even an introduction to all his friends. It ultimately sold for £192,000 that he used to set off on a quest to fulfill 100 goals in 100 weeks. Some of the things on his list of dreams included running with the bulls in Spain, cave diving with sharks in South Africa, meeting Richard Branson, learning French, playing a part in a Hollywood movie, and getting six-pack abs. Sounds like Ian’s new life could be pretty interesting. Maybe that’s why his story has been optioned to be made into a feature-length film by Disney.