Famous EBay Auctions, eBay the World’s Online Marketplace®
eBay Inc. calls itself
Not just a virtual yard sale
We’ve Got the Famous Auctions, the Weird Auctions,
The Most Expensive Auctions Online
The World's Online Marketplace®. People used to call it the world’s biggest yard sale. Founded in 1995, eBay created a powerful Internet online auction platform for the sale of goods and services by a dedicated community of individuals and businesses. On any given day, there are 78 million items for sale on eBay across thousands of categories. The eBay auction market is made up of more than 100 million people around the world who buy and sell in the eBay marketplace. Through its services, eBay makes global e-commerce possible for an ever-growing online community.
But it’s more than just a virtual
yard sale. Famous online auction site eBay has spawned countless individual and small business success stories. The company estimates that more than 430,000 people in the U.S. make most or all of their income through its auctions. Entrepreneurs also use eBay auctions as a low-risk way to test the market for their product. For sellers it is a way to supplement income and sometimes it is a full-time business. For some sellers, it is a way to clear clutter out of their closets. For buyers, it is a way to find name-brand merchandise at deep discounts. These buyers and sellers are creating communities built on commerce and inspired by opportunity. I like to think of them as the pioneer settlers of the Internet.
- Famous eBay Auction Market is a Big Place Online
- What You Can’t Buy on eBay Auctions Online
- Famous eBay Auctions Online in the News
- Seven of the Weirdest eBay Auctions Online
- What Was the Most Expensive eBay Auction?
- The Wrap-Up
Famous eBay Auction Market is a Big Place Online
The famous eBay Marketplace has tools
available for competitive auctions and fixed-price storefronts. eBay also includes PayPal, a service that enables any individual or business with an email address to securely, easily and quickly send and receive payments online. A global leader in online payment solutions, PayPal has tens of millions of registered accounts and is accepted by millions of merchants worldwide, on and off eBay.
There is also a venue called eBay Live Auctions where you can participate and bid in real time on sales at bricks and mortar auction house across the world.
As part of the eBay facilities,
Skype is the world’s fastest-growing Internet communication offering. Skype allows people everywhere to make unlimited phone calls for free, both voice and video communication, between the users of Skype software.
For online comparison shopping, eBay has Shopping.com, Shopping.com empowers consumers to make informed choices and, as a result, brings sales to merchants.
Rent.com, the most visited online
apartment listing service in the United States is also part of eBay. Rent.com has more than 20,000 properties listed across the country.
What You Can’t Buy on eBay Auctions Online
Ebay is chock-full of good buys,
as well as amazing, unique and expensive items. But you can’t buy or sell things that are illegal or dangerous. For example, alcohol and tobacco for the most part are forbidden. Guns, switchblade knives and fireworks are off limits, as well as radioactive waste. Similarly, human body parts, Native American bones, KKK relics and Nazi helmets are not sold. Pharmaceutical drugs, contact lenses, used lipsticks and most live animals are forbidden. There are a few other items excluded from eBay, like drugs and drug paraphernalia, FBI badges, lock-picking tools and lottery tickets.
Famous eBay Auctions Online in the News
1. The first item ever auctioned
on eBay was a broken laser pointer listed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. He said he was sure to ask the winner, “You know it’s broken, right?”
2. Shoeless Joe’s bat
set a record for the most valuable baseball bat every sold. Shoeless Joe Jackson’s original "Black Betsy” bat, handmade of hickory, sold for $577,610. The Black Betsy weights more than 40 ounces compared to today’s average bat weight of 32 to 34 ounces. Jackson had the third highest career batting average of .356 and was known for a swing so perfect that was copied by Babe Ruth. Shoeless acquired his nickname in the minor leagues. When a new pair of spikes were giving him blisters, he took them off and played the rest of the game in his stocking feet.
3. Jay Leno’s Harley Davidson
was sold for $800,100 to raise money for the 2004 tsunami.
4. The oldest known pair
of Levi jeans, circa 1880, sold for $46,532 to Levi Strauss & Co. Levi Strauss planned to produce an exact replica for their vintage clothing line.
5. A Gulf Stream II business jet
is the highest-priced item sold to date. It went for $4.9 million.
6. A Chinese investment fund manager bid $2.1
million in June, 2008, and won the chance to have lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett. This was the most expensive charity auction ever held on eBay. Buffett, the billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and one of the richest people in the world, is famous for his investing success. Buffett is also well-known for his philanthropy. He donated the proceeds of the eBay auction to a charity for the homeless.
7. Civil War dirt, 100% guaranteed
by the seller to be from the Civil War era. “You get 1 lb. of unchecked Civil War dirt from Arkansas. Who knows what you will find? Comes with a certificate of authenticity.”
8. The Virgin Mary
in a famous grilled cheese sandwich. This success of the cheesy Mary inspired a rash of similar auctions. The sandwich was sold to the online casino GoldenPalace.com for $28,000, who made a million in advertising off it. After the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich took eBay by storm, other loony copycat auctions appeared. Some of them were: Hello Kitty grilled cheese; Howard Stern’s likeness on grilled cheese; the Virgin Mary on a pancake that sold for $75; Jesus on a fish stick; Mary and Jesus on a Funyun chip that sold for $609; and ET’s head on a flake of Nutri-Grain cereal that sold for $1,035. A nacho cheese-flavored Dorito shaped like the Pope’s peaked hat, called a mitre, was discovered and auctioned on eBay. 41,000 visitors checked it out and it sold for $1,209. GoldenPalace.com also bought the papal nacho, along with the virgin cheese sandwich.
9. The meaning of life.
“I have discovered the reason for our existence and will be happy to share this information with the highest bidder,” per the seller. Someone bought it for $3.26
10. Cathedral pickle bottle.
This pickle jar in the cathedral glass shape was bought at a garage sale for $3.00 and turned out to be so rare that collectors knew of only five in the world. It sold for $44,100.
11. A human kidney.
Seller’s description read: “Fully functional kidney for sale. You can choose either kidney. Buyer pays all transplant and medical costs. Of course only one for sale, as I need the other one to live. Serious bids only.” The market for transplantable human organs is illegal in the U.S., so eBay blocked the sale, but not before bidding reached more than $5.7 million
12. In May 2005, a Volkswagen Golf automobile
that had previously been registered to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who had been elected Pope Benedict XVI, was sold on eBay's German site for €188,938.88. The winning bid was made by the GoldenPalace.com online casino, continuing their reputation for outrageous eBay purchases.
Seven of the Weirdest eBay Auctions Online
It is the weird stuff that gets a lot
of media attention. There’s no underestimating the creativity of sellers, as in these famous examples.
1. “One Soul!
Get it before the devil does.”
2. “Young man’s virginity.
3. “The Internet” on sale
for $1 million. It’s worth a trillion.”
4. “Ghost in a jar.”
This was just some kind of black mist that a guy had discovered coming out of a jar and wanted to pass on to the next person. But it led to a rash of other copycat “ghost” auctions, like “Ghost Droppings” and “Ghost in a Bra,” as well as some spooky doll auctions.
5. The eBay “Wedding Dress Guy,”
also known as Larry Star, sold his ex’s size 12 wedding gown for $3,850. He put it on and modeled it for the picture, complete with black T-shirt and body hair.
6. A man from Arizona
sold an air guitar on eBay for $5.50. Hey, I could have sold mine, too.
7. John Freyer sold off all
his possessions on eBay starting around November 2000 and ending in summer 2001. He then traveled around the country to visit his items and chronicled the auctions, their new homes and owners in his book, “All My Life for Sale” His final sales tally was $4,906 with a total of 1,927 bids. Items included a saltshaker that sold for $1, and a Mac PowerBook Duo 250 that brought in $102.50.
What Was the Most Expensive eBay Auction?
1. A 340-year-old copy of Shakespeare’s
“Pericles, Prince of Tyre”, which survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, went for $5million GBP (Great Britain Pound).
2. A Grumman Gulfstream II jet
that sold for $4.9 million.
3. A 1909 Honus Wagner
baseball card at $1.65 million.
4. Diamond Lake Resort,
located in western Kentucky for $1.2 million.
5. A 2003 Ferrari Enzo
6. And as we mentioned above,
Shoeless Joe Jackson’s “Black Betsy” baseball bat for $577,610.
Browsing eBay auctions online
can tell you a lot about American culture and lifestyles. A glimpse at the price data gives us an understanding at how people value things these days. In addition to the famous, the rare and the weird, there are plenty of good, ordinary, everyday bargains on things you need and want to own. Happy shopping.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.
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