I anticipation I was accomplishing able-bodied aback I put a molar beneath my pillow and got a dollar from the tooth fairy.
Imagine my abstruse anguish aback I heard addition awash acclimated dentures aftermost year on eBay for $38.99. Another guy awash his acumen teeth for $20.
After leafing through all the astonishing clutter in Marc Hartzman’s Begin on Ebay (Universe), I may never attending at a trashcan the aforementioned way again.
I may alike advertise my bits can. I’ll alike bandy in all the contents. Anyone affliction to accomplish an aperture bid?
Alike if you attending above the “genuine” anachronistic poop, the Enron belief manuals, and garden gnomes shaped like John F. Kennedy, you wouldn’t accept what can be begin on eBay. And what sells.
Attending at these eBay specials: two “rare” aberrant M&Ms that are aing like Siamese twins (final affairs price: $1); a monkey-shaped acceptable pit ($5.55); a penis-shaped Cheeto ($1.25) and a “real” hornet’s backup (hornets not included, $2.55).
Hartzman’s book beautifully illustrates all these treasures. But conceivably it’d be added absorbing to see pictures of the buyers.
Key Word: Gross
“People advertise all these things, not aloof because they can, but because it’s fun,” said Hartzman, a 27-year-old announcement copywriter who collects bazaar and sideshow memorabilia.
“As for buyers, I anticipate anniversary one has his own story.”
To acquisition awe-inspiring eBay merchandise, all you accept to do is go to the Web site’s chase agent and bung in accidental words, like “gross” or “disgusting.”
Pop in the appropriate chat and you adeptness acquisition a “used but clean” Speedo appearance swimsuit ($20.50) that a middle-aged man wore in the aboriginal 1990s, aback he “was adolescent and had a body.”
Behest for that swimsuit started at $4. Not bad.
The Yard-Sale Mentality
If eBay and added Internet bargain sites accept activated America’s yard-sale mentality, they accept additionally accustomed acceleration to a new anatomy of self-expression: The antic sale.
Aback a allotment of French acknowledgment partially eaten by Justin Timberlake sells for $1,025, there’s a simple explanation. He’s Justin Timberlake. He’s in ‘N Sync. Anything he touches is gold.
But how do you explain why some eBay applicant bought one acclimated size-9 assignment boot? That’s absolutely bisected a brace of shoes.
“Somebody blanket the larboard cossack so I charge advertise the appropriate boot,” the agent said.
“Now, you adeptness laugh, but apprehend that this boot, actuality about two years old, has apparent abounding places including, but not bound to, Seattle, Washington, best of the accompaniment of Oregon, … all of my three kids’ [s] …: and aftermost but not least, the base of my bed.”
The cossack awash for $1.25.
Call it bargain humor. But it works.
“With the advertisement fee, an bargain like that is aloof a laugh,” Hartzman said.
But bargain jokes can accept hasty payoffs.
Aback a agent listed “Gross Dentures” for sale, he allegedly didn’t apprehend the behest to shoot from $9.96 to $38.99
“They are in gross condition,” the agent appear in the artefact description box that accompanies every auction.
These accurate chompers were acquired in an acreage bargain from a 94-year-old dentist, who allegedly had to reclaim them from a applicant who didn’t pay his bill.
‘No Added Blah on the Cob for Me’
One of the joys of eBay is the adeptness to acquaintance the agent to allocution about his products. In the book, Hartzman has a brawl assuming as an ardent chump of the bizarre.
Inquiring about the gross dentures, Hartzman tells the seller, “I afresh absent a agglomeration of teeth … No added blah on the cob for me”
He asked if these acclimated prosthetic teeth could be bankrupt and used.
“You accept to be crazy. I don’t appetite to blow them abundant beneath apple-pie them,” the agent wrote back. “They still accept some of the blah on the cob on them.”
Still, the agent says, “If you anticipate you appetite to use these, aloof jump on it.”
A Beastly Arch for Rent
EBay has rules. You can’t bargain off a beastly branch or gift bits from the Apple Trade Center. They accept restrictions on a.
But, for the best part, the apple is your marketplace. You photograph an item, address a description, ample out a sales form, and you’re in business.
“You will see bodies advertise the barb clippings of consecutive killers,” said Sydney Johnston, CEO of Auctionknowhow.com.
“There are so abounding listings that it’s adamantine for eBay to badge the site.”
However, eBay is acceptable added corporate, and the baby sellers with camp antic items are accepting harder to find, she says.
“It’s accepting stodgier and stuffier, abundant added corporate,” she says. “It’s not as fun for the baby agent with arbitrary stuff, although you can still accept a acceptable time.”
But you can still do some agrarian things. Several weeks ago, 39-year-old Jeff Swanson of Iowa approved to bargain off ad amplitude on his arch for $100,000.
Swanson, a ancestor of four boys, says he needs the money for his family, and wouldn’t apperception if a Nike “swoosh” was tattooed bottomward his forehead. Anything, as continued as it wasn’t “vulgar or obscene.”
Hartzman capacity 101 camp auctions in his well-illustrated book. Here are some of my favorites: Begin on the Internet
Bluff Fetus: You could accept been the client of “Jaws Jr.” — a bluff fetus. No beastly was carefully harmed, the agent claimed. Apparently, a abundant bluff done up on bank and the agent aloof knew it was destined for eBay. (Starting bid: $19.95; affairs price, $32.)
Blimp Two-Headed Calf: According to the seller, the two-headed dogie was built-in a the family’s Duck, West Va., home in 1955 and accustomed to the ancestors to achieve a debt. It’s been preserved in a bottle case and comes with a letter of authenticity. (Starting bid: $20,000; no buyer.)
Taxidermied Musical Bullfrog: Does PETA apperceive about this? Once a active creature, this bullfrog has been blimp and airish on a copse block, arena a tiny banjo. “They do not pop up every day,” the agent promises. Indeed. (Starting bid: $4.99; affairs price: $27.99.)
Absolutely Nothing: Here’s a abundant present for an existentialist — nothing. An administrator from Sedalia, Mo., advertised that he was affairs “Nothing! Absolutely Nothing,” and giving the gain to a bounded university.
After six bids, annihilation awash for $1.03 — which adeptness be pricey, but the shipping, naturally, was free.
Hornet’s Nest: It’s 22 inches high, 1 bottom continued and “would accomplish a abundant piñata,” the agent promised. Hornets not included. (Starting bid: $1; affairs price: $2.25.)
The Body of One Beastly Being: A Kentucky man offered for bargain the body of one of his friends, an atheist. “Wouldn’t it be nice to accept added than aloof one soul?” the agent asked. “Perhaps you accept ahead absent or awash your soul?” Behest accomplished 71 cents afore eBay bankrupt the auction.
Goat Toenail Bracelet: This camp allotment of adornment from Guatemala makes “an awesome noise” aback shaken. (Starting bid $9.99; no buyers.)
Buck Wolf is ball ambassador at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is appear Tuesdays. If you appetite to accept account apprehension aback a new cavalcade is published, accompany the e-mail list.
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