It’s true that a few crazy items have been known to pop up from time to time for sale on the internet. And with all the resources available to us as users on so many different platforms, we have the ability to reach a vast audience with our wares. So, why wouldn’t we take advantage of the opportunity to try to earn a buck here and there?
Honestly, though, eBay remains a place where some of the most eclectic and almost unbelievable things appear for auction. Throughout the years, there’s been no shortage of strange items hocked on this monstrous peer-to-peer selling site. The ease of use, coupled with guarantees and inexpensive listing fees, make it the perfect platform for amateur sellers as well as seasoned professionals.
Of course, digging out these quirky items is the type of project that can draw you in and never let go. You could spend hours, days, and weeks searching for these odd balls, but instead, we’ve compiled a slide show about the strangest and the weirdest items we’ve found on eBay over time.
To see some of the craziest items ever listed on eBay, click on the “Start Slideshow” button and we’ll do the rest!
Locks of Love
Leave it to everyone’s favorite heartthrob to top this list. Justin Bieber has definitely made a name for himself over the years, from adolescent crush to respected musician and dancer as an adult. There were some rough times in between – rumors of bad behavior and run-ins with media and reporters that made tabloid news. But in the end, the ‘Beeb’ is just as popular now as he was when his hair was all the rage.
And speaking of hair – would you believe that a lock of Justin’s hair was one of the hottest items ever sold on eBay? That’s right – the final bid that won the auction, which included hair fresh from a new cut off the idol’s head in a box, was for $40,668!
Let’s back up for a minute, though. How do we know this was actually Justin’s hair? And how did it ever make it to eBay?
At 17, Bieber went for a haircut, one day prior to making an appearance on Ellen. The big news as he walked onto the set was the cut itself – he’d been famous for his hair, and now, he was sporting a new style. But when he presented a signed box to Ellen that contained a lock of hair that had been cut the day before, everything changed. Ellen put it on eBay, and in the first hour, the bid had already crossed $10,000.
No, this wasn’t a money-making ploy. In fact, all proceeds went to charity – The Gentle Barn Foundation, which is an animal rescue organization. So, say what you want about crazy things going for high prices, and knock Justin and his behavior or make fun of his music, if you like. But be careful about judging a book by its cover – Bieber obviously has a good heart under that boyish grin of his.
Faces of Death
Okay, there is a cult classic movie called Faces of Death that is rare and hard to find. But that’s not exactly what we’re talking about here. Instead, we found something highly disturbing in our eBay weirdness searches.
In 2008, Casey Anthony’s 2-year-old daughter died, and she was accused of murdering the young girl. The story at trial was that her father, George Anthony, found his granddaughter accidentally drowned in the pool and advised his daughter to cover it up to avoid being sentenced to life in prison for murder.
The trial lasted 33 days in 2011, and at the end, Casey Anthony was acquitted amidst significant controversy. To this day, some people believe the whole story was a lie, while others feel it doesn’t matter and the cover up warrants punishment. Either way, the story was national news.
Sometime after the trial, a parody video popped up on the internet about the case. In fact, you can now find several such videos making fun of the woman whose innocence people still question. The videos can be funny or disturbing, depending on how you look at it, but they also contribute to one of the oddest things ever sold on eBay.
In one such video, a latex mask of Casey Anthony’s face is used, and this item was auctioned on eBay to the highest bidder. The item itself is weird, but the message left behind by one bidder left an impression for sure. “You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to profit off a child’s death!!!”
This user, who bid $999,000, isn’t a registered eBay user anymore, and the other 16 bids were retracted, the mask never sold. It turns out there were 8 others just like it, and no one apparently wanted the stigma of buying the mask.
No, we’re not talking about a set of DVDs for the popular television show. But one bold auction listed on eBay did offer a questionably lucky bidder the chance to own their own piece of California.
Sure, land used to be auctioned off by banks to recover money after default payments by previous owners. The same is true of houses today. But you don’t typically find property like this listed with online bidding sites. Under normal circumstances, the bidder has to attend a live auction, in person.
The town of Bridgeville, California was named for the bridge built over the Van Duzen River in 1875 and had a population of just 25 people at the time it was listed for sale on eBay. The town is only 83 acres in size – a tenth the size of Central Park in New York City. In 2002, the town went to the highest bidder, making eBay history as the first town to be sold via the auction site.
The initial high bid of $1.77 million was retracted, and the final purchase was made by businessman Bruce Krall for a mere $700,000. Later, though, in 2006, sold the town again, this time to a college student by the name of Daniel Thomas La Paille, for $1.25 million. The price included three cows, eight houses, and a post office. The 25-year-old listed the town again in 2007, though the sale didn’t take place until 2013, when an entrepreneur paid La Paille’s mother $900,000 for the town.
Fascinating Head Gear
Celebrities are always showing up in the most extreme fashion, making statements with everything they wear. From shoes and dresses to hair styles and makeup, you can expect nothing less than the most outrageous and gossip-worthy attire, especially at big events. One such item caused almost as great a fanfare as the event itself.
Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, and the event was international news. The bride was gorgeous in her dress, and women throughout the world continued to fan themselves as they watched one of the former most eligible bachelors tie the knot, sad to see him completely off the market. At the same time, there was another bit of news that almost trumped the entire affair.
Princess Beatrice, in her fascinator (at least, that’s the official name for her hat/head gear) garnered almost as many photos as the blessed couple who were supposed to be in the limelight. The unconventional look sparked a whirlwind of gossip and considerable envy, though the practicality of it is somewhat lacking.
However, the story ends better than you’d think. The fascinator was listed on eBay, and it sold for a pretty penny (or pound, really), going for the equivalent of $108,491. Best of all, the money didn’t line anyone’s pockets. After all, we’re talking royalty – Princess Beatrice didn’t need the money. Instead, the proceeds from the sale were split between UNICEF and Children in Crisis. Even if the hat is a bit ridiculous, the cause behind the sale is not!
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Some people will stop at nothing to get their hands on something that was once owned or touched by a celebrity. We’re not talking autographs, and we’re not even referencing old t-shirts or memorabilia. That’s normal. None of that would make a list of the strangest items ever sold on eBay.
But one fan bit off more than they could chew…or maybe not.
In 2004, Britney Spears was in the middle of some craziness in her life, but she was still on top of the world. Considered the Pop Princess of the era, fans coveted anything of hers they could get their hands on. It’s almost surprising some of her hair didn’t end up on the auction block! Actually, the bit of DNA belonging to Spears that someone purchased might be considered disgusting, under normal circumstances.
You might wonder at anyone who would purchase a piece of chewed gum, but honestly, it’s not the first and only time such was offered on the bidding site. This particular wad, however, came with a ‘personal story of procurement’. Maybe the big deal was that, unlike the typical order, this particular item went for $14,000, mostly because the seller bid against himself to drive up the price.
And apparently, though the gum didn’t come with a certificate of authentication, it did come with a ticket stub from the concert. Britney fans know that the performer has a penchant for chewing gum and discards it at random, so it’s not uncommon to find a wad of the sticky goo lying around backstage or outside a concert venue that could belong to her. Still, thousands of dollars for something full of celebrity spit seems a little pricey.
While the eventual sale of one item on eBay and the price it captured are news enough, the story behind its double auction is humorous, except to the original seller. As it turns out, a misspelling or typographical error can cost a literal fortune in some cases.
The item itself is definitely worth a gander. Sir Edward Belcher, who made a trip to the Arctic Circle, wanted to carry with him a liquor that could withstand the frigid temperatures of the region and so created Samuel Allsopp’s Arctic Ale. Though apparently several bottles went with him on his excursion, only one survived the trip (bottled in 1852), thus making it a collector’s item and sparking great interest.
Unfortunately for the seller who listed the item fat-fingered the title, leaving off the second ‘p’ in ‘Allsopp’. That meant that true connoisseurs searching for the correct name by the correct spelling missed the listing entirely. There were only 2 bids on the bottle, and it sold for a mere $304.
Imagine his surprise to find it listed correctly eight weeks later, with 157 bids from 56 bidders – and selling for a whopping $503,300! As it turns out, the bottle likely wasn’t worth quite that much, considering that most of the higher bids (over $78,000) came from ‘unregistered users’. Still, you have to feel sorry for the first guy – who spelled the name correctly in the description but didn’t take the time to check his title! It just goes to show that patience and attention to detail when listing on eBay can really up your profit margin.
State of Mind
If you thought paying a fortune for chewing gum was a bit crazy, you should check out this next auction.
It all starts with two sisters living in Virginia and a typical morning breakfast. If they’d discovered that their dining set was an antique and worth a fortune, that might make sense. But there are times you have to question how far people will reach for a buck.
In this case, it stemmed from musings over cereal. That’s right, the sisters were eating corn flakes and thought they had a grand discovery that might be worth a buck or two on eBay. Picking the corn flake in question out of the bowl, we assume, they marveled over the fact that it was shaped just like the state of Illinois and decided it couldn’t hurt to try to sell it.
The flake itself, as you can see, was maybe the size of a quarter, but it does, with a bit of imagination, look like Illinois, if a bit squatty for the state. Perhaps it’s the fact that anyone wanted this single corn flake that’s truly shocking.
In fact, the flake sold for $1,350, which has to be some sort of record for a single piece of breakfast cereal. The winning bidder, Monty Kerr of Austin, Texas, owns TriviaMania.com and has a traveling museum of ‘pop culture’. eBay cancelled the listing the first time around, stating that it violated the site’s ‘food’ policy. The sisters then listed a coupon redeemable for the flake instead. Kerr had ordered similar merchandise in the past, which had not survived shipping, so he sent someone in person to collect his prize.
He was obviously hungry for the piece of ‘memorabilia’.
All Tied Up
Who could forget the scandal around Rob Ford, former Toronto mayor, and his use of crack cocaine? For months, he denied the existence of a tape proving he had been involved in illicit drug use, but the powers that be finally found the evidence, and Ford made a public confession.
The whole thing was almost comical, considering that, if it hadn’t been for discovering he had cancer, Ford would have run for re-election, and likely won. Instead, he ran and won an election as a city councilman.
But back to his confession – when he spoke about it and admitted to his drug use, he wore a very recognizable tie. Whether it’s one of a kind or not, it’s unmistakable, and it’s hard to believe two people would have the fashion non-sense to wear something like it.
The former mayor decided to capitalize on the infamy of the ‘vintage tie’, which was covered in NFL logos from both former and current football teams, listing it for sale on eBay, along with several other items.
Undeterred by any public humility, he described the tie as “an original piece of memorabilia…not a reproduction” and offered a signed certificate of authenticity with it. There are collectors for everything under the sun, apparently, willing to pay a fair sum for such things. The piece earned 30 bids and sold for a total of $1,445 in the end, which is probably more than the politician paid for his drugs!
Have you ever wondered what an old game system was worth? Have you tried looking up working Atari’s online? Well, you should, because the market is always ripe for anything to do with video games, and you can spend – or make – a fortune, with the right sort of advertisement.
Surprisingly, though, used games typically sell for very little, and the evidence is seen with other forums offering small potatoes for trade-ins of old games. However, there are some circumstances under which you might find a hefty price tag on game cartridges. For instance, consider the cartridges used in the Nintendo World Championship, held in 1990. Only 116 of these cartridges, containing Tetris, Super Mario Brothers, and Rad Racer, were made, and all were gold.
In 2014, one such cartridge was listed on eBay for auction, with its label torn off. According to the seller, the label was damaged due to being glued to the Nintendo Power Magazine for its giveaway, but the cartridge was still used but in ‘acceptable’ condition. Three times in the past, these cartridges were sold, for totals of $21,400 (2007), $15,000 (2008), and $18,00 (2009). However, this one took the cake when the highest bidder offered $99,902 for the piece of memorabilia.
Unfortunately, the bidder told the seller that this dollar amount was a mistake. The tale seems common for top bidders on eBay when sales prices reach epic proportion, and you can’t help but wonder if these people are just trying to see how much it takes to knock others out of the competition. It’s pretty obvious not everyone can afford such luxuries, no matter how badly they want to be the proud owner of such a collector’s item.
Bread from Heaven
Sometimes, the imagination is worth a fortune. While some may only consider burnt food to be a mistake, others see it as an omen. That was the case when it came to an ancient grilled-cheese sandwich in 2004.
The ten-year-old sandwich listed on eBay, had a bite taken out of the corner and what could be construed as the image of a woman’s face on one side.
Diana Duyser of Florida managed to garner the interest of Richard Rowe, CEO of an internet casino. The company, not the individual, gave the winning bid for the sandwich and arranged for someone to collect the item in person. According to a spokesman for the corporation, the company’s executives claimed that they were willing to pay “as much as it took”, and that they planned to use the sandwich to raise money for charity.
As it turned out, ‘what it took’ to win the sandwich was in incredible $28,000. Duyser, a jewelry designer, said she truly believed that this was “the Virgin Mary Mother of God” in a statement. Maybe the sandwich was divine, considering that, in a plastic bag with cotton balls for ten years, it never sprouted a bit of mold.
Holy Dollar Signs, Batman!
With the newfound life Hollywood has given comics and graphic novels, the price tags on comic books have skyrocketed. While some editions have always been popular and sold for unholy amounts of money, today, they can sell for a small fortune.
In fact, originals are hard to find in mint condition, and when you have one, you have two options – lock it up in plastic and keep it for bragging rights or sell it and buy a private island with the money. Action Comics #1 is one of those rare publications that could end up setting you for life, if you found a buyer.
In 2014, the comic book became known as the most expensive in the world. What is most surprising is that it was auctioned on eBay, rather than sold privately at or to a comic book store, as most such valuable issues are. But this initial offering that introduced Superman to the world in 1938, was listed for sale on the bidding site, with a starting bid of $1 million.
The value soared from there, and when all was said and done, there were 13 bidders vying for the privilege of spending their life’s savings for the pristine copy. After 10 days of dueling, the last few minutes of the auction saw the price raise over half a million dollars, and the winner swooped in ‘faster than the speed of light’ at the last second. The final bid? $3,207,852.
Since this particular issue is considered the ‘holy grail’ of comic books, you have to wonder what people might pay for the actual Holy Grail!
Some things just can’t be sold.
Sparking incredible controversy, an 18-year-old Hungarian woman decided she had an innovative means of funding her trip to medical school. She thought that, perhaps, she could sell her virginity on eBay and make enough to pay the hefty bill.
Of course, this sparked incredible controversy, and the bid was promptly removed from eBay. However, since then, others have listed the same precious offer on eBay, including Catarina Migliorini. With a price of $780,000, she felt this was a business venture, stating that “I have the chance to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it.”
Several rich and notable men put their names in the running, but a Japanese man won the auction. Migliorini stipulated that she would be delivered to the ‘taker’ by airline, that the film would show her emotions prior to and after her first sexual encounter, and (by request of the Japanese man who wanted to remain anonymous) would not feature him at all. She also refused the use of any sex toys and demanded a condom be used, even with a mandatory test for STDs.
What was the purpose of selling what many would claim is her most prized possession? Apparently, she felt the money was more important and could build modern homes in her small and quite poor home town.
Welcome to Hollywood-land
Not many people are old enough to remember that the infamous Hollywood sign once had four additional letters. But when it was first erected in 1923, it actually read ‘Hollywoodland”. The shortening occurred in 1949, and over time, the original letters were sold piece mail to various celebrities, including Alice Cooper and Gene Autry.
In 2005, after spending the better part of 25 years in storage, the original sign letters were put up for auction on eBay. According to Dan Bliss, the owner who sold the historical monument, he just didn’t have time to take care of the pieces and wanted someone else to benefit.
Let’s be real – the benefits came to Bliss as well. Not only had he already sold off pieces of the sign as jewelry for pretty decent amounts; this auction ended with a final bid of $450,400, all of which went straight into Bliss’s pocket.
The Name Game
Sure, lots of parents ponder over the names of their child and sometimes can be downright indecisive. There have been times newborns have gone weeks without an official name, despite the newborn’s family having months to mull it over.
One Arkansas mother decided, though, it might be easier to have someone else choose her child’s name. But why give away such a privilege when you can earn a quick buck, right?
It might not surprise you that Golden Palace, the same online casino that bought the Virgin Mary printed grilled cheese sandwich, also procured the rights to naming the unborn child. Thus, Gold Palace, the child, was born.
Stating that she needed a way out of financial crisis, and with six children already – three of them still under the age of 3 – it’s no wonder the woman was looking to turn a coin. Of course, she’s not the first person to sell naming rights on eBay. A New York couple in 2001 tried unsuccessfully to get half a million dollars for the rights (unsuccessfully), and a Florida couple posted for a far lower sum in 2002 when they couldn’t decide on a name. Today, the venture would more likely be successful through reality television!
Superstition comes into play as much as anything when selling certain items, and buyers have to believe in the supernatural to even want to acquire some goods. Today’s craze with ghost hunting might spark more interest than it did in 2003, though certain types of people did seem to raise their eyebrows at one eBay listing at the time.
A ghost in a jar seems a bit far-fetched, but crazier proclamations have been made. When this item was listed with a starting price of $99, people were wary of a strange glass jar with odd symbols painted on it. The seller caveated that he wasn’t responsible if the winning bidder released the black thing from the jar, and bids actually soared to nearly $51,000, before it turned out that the high bidder backed out, and the item was never sold.
However, the frenzy of t-shirts and other ‘ghost in a jar’ merchandise did wreak a lot of havoc on eBay. Most of these auctions were deleted, and a number of legit auctions fell victim to the effort.
Meteor showers happen all the time on Earth, but one large rock that came straight from Mars entered the atmosphere back in 1962. Known as the Zagami meteor, it of course broken into hundreds of small pieces as it made its way to land, many of them landing in Nigeria.
The largest piece found was less than a pound, very small and insignificant. At least, in size.
But you wouldn’t believe the value of this tiny space rock. It seems everyone wanted to own a piece of outer space when what was little more than a speck of dust was listed on eBay in 2006. Before the auction ended, dozens of planetariums and museums were entering pleas for the future owners to lend the rock to them for limited display.
Considered one of the most valuable space rocks ever, the piece of the Zagami meteorite eventually sold for $450,000. Would you ever consider paying the equivalent for an acre of land on Mars? Probably not!
The list goes on, with new auctions recorded every day, and eBay continues to thrive as a top selling peer-to-peer site. You never know what might appear one day or the next, or the price tag that might be attached. Who knows? Maybe someday, you’ll have something odd to put out there!