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Because some of the most entertaining news stories come from ebay
:n/e/tsurf' has opened eBAYWATCH, to keep track of some of the odder auction items
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Items Sold on eBay Which Made Headline News

It was generally thought that eBay's requiring customers to register their cedit card number would put a stop some of the more "original" items. However, this has not been the case. See latest odd auction items under listing 2000. [ cf. eBay moves against prank bids" -" - March 15, 2000)


Early Wednesday morning, eBay had a listing for the U.S. spy plane — which is currently the subject of high-level talks between the United States and China — at the heart of a trans-Pacific controversy. "This is USA spy plane that was in collision with my country Chinese jet fighter," the description read. "Bidding starts at $1 million, with the winner "responsible for picking up plane." Although it took almost 24 hours for the first bidder to come forward, it later became fast and furious — the highest bid reached $100 million. [ ABCnews - April 19 ]

Talk about beachfront property for sale. Someone sold some of the famed beaches of Atlantic City -- by the pound. Local officials have been fuming ever since a seller on the Internet auction Web site eBay offered what was described as a pound of sand from the city beach and started the bidding at 99 cents. [ - February 2 ]

A 1995 Jeep that belonged to John F. Kennedy Jr. was on the online auction block at eBay. Auction ended March 18 with a $57,100.0 bid. [ - March 8 ]

Two Florida men are charged with stealing a Palm Beach County voting machine and trying to sell it on eBay, police said Friday. Originally, they asked $2,000, then raised it to $20,000,". Officers posing as buyers arranged a meeting late Thursday and, after agreeing to a negotiated price of $4,000, arrested two men.[ USA Today - November 20 ]

With confusion increasing over who will be the 43rd president of the United States, one eBay auctioneer had put the presidency up for bid. But the bidding did not last long, as eBay yanked the item, as it has done with undeliverable or illegal auctions in the past. Opening at one penny, the bid for the presidency had rocketed to $100 million by 2 p.m. PST. Shortly after, eBay closed down the auction.[ NY Times - November 13 ]

Numerous newspapers for sale on eBay prematurely declaring Bush the winner.

A three month-old satiric Web site,, that tracks the demise of dot-coms has set the online auction world on its ear this week by attracting bids in excess of $3 million (US$) on eBay. [ E-Commerce Times - September 13 ]

A Maryland voter protesting political corruption vows to hawk his ballot in the 2000 general election to the highest bidder on the Internet. By Wednesday evening, 20 bids after its original posting, the price had risen from $5 to $10,100. Vote selling and purchasing violates Maryland and U.S. laws, so will eBay pull the item from its site before the sale concludes on August 25? Vote buyers should beware as well. Such political purchases violate federal law and can lead to five-year prison sentences. [ CNN - August 17 ]

Anyone for a piece of the Great Pyramid of Cheops? That is what one anonymous seller is advertising on the U.S. online auction site eBay Inc.[ Excite News - July 16 ]

A Death Row inmate who killed three people tried to sell five seats for his execution on an Internet auction site Wednesday -- for several hours, anyway. The auction on eBay, with bidding designated to start at $100, closed several hours after it began about 1:20 p.m. EBay officials had removed the site by early evening.[ - May 24 ]

The online auction giant Ebay boasts a wide array of items on its Web site. But the one thing definitely not for sale is its name. The company canceled an auction Tuesday for rights to, an Internet address conspicuously similar to the name of its new wireless product[ NYTimes - May 23 ]

eBay Inc. shut down the auction of ``A REAL HUMAN SKULL FROM THE KOREAN WAR'' Monday, saying the seller from Arkansas violated a rule prohibiting the listing of human remains on its popular online auction site. [ - May 22 ]

eBay was in the spotlight again this week, with a six figure bid ($135,805) for an uncertified painting. Speculation that it may be a 1952 work by Richard Diebenkorn, the late California painter, drove the price up from the opening bid of $ 0 .25. [ NYTimes - May 9 ]

eBay has begun to cancel some of the Elian-related auctions, including that of a raft on which the boy supposedly survived while traveling to the United States from Cuba. Earlier in the day, bidding on the raft reached $10 million.[ - May 1]

Jennifer Ringley, who inspired an online cult following with the uninhibited Webcam documentation of her daily life on Jennicam, made headlines this week for auctioning off her wrought iron queen-size bed on eBay.~[ USA Today - April 14 ]

Early March, a young man put his soul up for bid. is for sale. Five years after starting what he says is the nation's original site for gays in the military, founder George Perry is looking to move on. He's asking for at least $14,000 and said he would auction off the site on eBay beginning Saturday. [ Salon - February 7 ]

Lovesick John Alanis has put himself up for auction on eBay to try and find himself a date for Valentine's Day. Alanis -- who describes himself as 5'7", fit, and with blue eyes -- has only managed to attract $45 since bidding began last week. The auction closes Friday February 4. The e-Romeo said: "The way I see it, prospective dates can bid on a romantic evening with me".[ The Register - February 3 ]

The online auctioneer comes under scrutiny again, this time for the sale of Ku Klux Klan-related material on its site. [ - February 2 ]

After spending $1,000 on classified newspaper ads, Jeremy Baumann listed his business on eBay on Christmas Eve. The auction didn't attract a single bid. The silver lining, says Baumann, is that the eBay listing generated 10 times more e-mail than the newspaper ads he placed. In fact, he says he'll use eBay as a cheap and "entirely promotional" alternative to classifieds until the right buyer comes along. [ The Industry Standard - January 17 ]

Sea turtle sales cause furor on eBay [ CNN - January 18 ]

The Good Samaritan computer consultant who bailed out Microsoft Corp. by paying an errant $35 bill for the software giant's Hotmail e-mail service has received a thank-you check for $500 from the world's most valuable company. Rather than cash the check, though, Michael Chaney placed it up for auction yesterday on eBay. He pledged to match the highest bid and donate all proceeds to charity. [ San Francisco Gate - January 18 ] domain name goes up for auction on eBay over New Year's Eve and reaches a record sales price of $ 10 million. Thee auction was corrupted by insincere bids. We are now entertaining private offers on the domain name. Serious offers should be sent to [

An old Soviet sub, the Juliett, is up on the auction block for a minimum bid of $1 million. [Salon - December 22]

A construction company sold itself successfully on eBay's german website for 250 000 DM [Les News Net - December 22]

Auctioning an Auction Site - wants to close up shop, so what better way to sell the business than to auction it off to the highest bidder? And on eBay, where else? [Wired News - December 8]

While all of NASA's horses and all of NASA's men are searching the celestial skies for the Mars Polar Lander they have failed to look in the most obvious place. . Naturally, it's on eBay. This all comes courtesy of a seller called "jmbrogers" who doesn't say how he got the Lander, but insists that the buyer go to Mars and pick it u themselves. At last check, the current bid was $10 million, a little pricey for something with 1 billion miles on it and in desperate need of paint job. No word if it's still under warranty . . .[Internet News - December 8]

EBay Pulls WTO Riot Items Paraphernalia from the "last great riot" of the 1990s doesn't last long on the auction site because it's against the rules. [Wired News - December 8]

If you missed the World Trade Organizations riots in Seattle, Adam Cohn has a way for you to get a piece of the action: He's auctioning off on eBay rubber bullets, detonated concussion grenades and other detritus. [ WSJ - December 6]

A fight is brewing over whether eBay should allow sales of Swastikas, armbands that Jews were forced to wear at Auschwitz and comic strips depicting women under Nazi torture. An eBay search on "Nazi" brings up more than 3,000 items for sale through its auction marketplace. [ - November 30]

BMW said it will put up the first of its highly anticipated X5 sport utility vehicles for auction on eBay October 29, the first time an automaker has used the Internet to launch an all-new model.The money raised in the auction on ebay will benefit the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the automaker said. [ - October 28]

Minutes after Payne Stewart's plane crashed into a South Dakota field Monday, killing everyone onboard, adoring fans and macabre collectors started bidding up prices for the pro's memorabilia. Online auction sites such as eBay, Yahoo! and were swamped. [ Techserver - October 26]

The SEC Wednesday said it settled charges against three men who illegally tried to sell stock on Internet auction site eBay. The agency said it was the first time it filed charges that were based on the sales of securities in an online auction. [ ZDNet - October 21] For Sale On e-Bay. The listing appears to be attracting bids far short of the $400,000 the current owners had hoped to extract from Intel themselves, and less even than the $150,000 allegedly bid by "another Chip maker." [ 7 - October 18 ] is set to go up for auction on eBay on Oct. 4. The minimum bid is expected to be $1 million, and all bidders must be prequalified. [ Internet News - October 1 ]

''For Sale: A Dying Human Body For Life - an AIDS victim's corpse.'' [ - September 29 ]

ebay itself offered at a mere $1.25 in one of its auctions [ CNet - September 24 ]

A Rembrandt painting at eBay's German partner [ Les News Net - September 24 ]. It's authenticity questioned by Stern Magazine [ Techserver - September 29 ] followed by an article in Libération, stating painting was in fact a Bramer [ Libération- October 18 ]

500 pounds of marijuana [ Cnet - September 23 ]

A painting by Monet (uncertified original) [ USA Today - September 21 ]

A serial killer's artwork [ Techserver - September 15 and September 17 ], a Houston-based site that provides product price comparisons, tried to auction nearly half of its equity for at least $10 million before eBay stopped the auction over questions of legality. (USA Today - September 10)

A healthy human kidney (USA Today - September 3)

A young man's virginity (Wichita Online September 11)

Used, dirty underwear (Wichita Online September 11)

Three unborn babies (USA Today - September 7)

A shareholder offered to sell a stock certificate for 1,300 Iridium (IRID) shares through eBay. The shareholder set a minimum bid of $6,500, which would value the shares at $5 each. (Wired News - August 20)

Following the high-priced team of network engineers who were auctioning themselves on eBay for more than US$3 million, a team of four techies offered their services for $400,000. (Wired News - April 30)

A 13-year-old boy with a modem and a yen for the finer things in life placed US$3.1 million worth of bids on eBay's online auction site. $24,500 for a red 1971 Corvette convertible, $500,000 for a Van Gogh painting, and $1.2 million for a medical office in Florida. (Wired News - April 29)

Acomplete team of 16 Internet service provider engineers, opening the bidding at $3.14 million. (Wired News - April 27)

Webzine draws $3 million eBay bid ( - April 22)

EBay's award for Coolest Shopping Site of the Year, won in late January, became a hot item after Web zine writer Todd Levin, who stepped up to accept the award in eBay's absence, put it up for auction on the website the following day. (Wired News - February 3)

Guns and rifles. (NY Times - January 18 and ) A missile, a bazooka, a Russian-made rocket launcher and other military weapons. (Wichita Online - September 11)

Baseballs that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa swatted into the record books in last year's race for the home-run crown will be auctioned online this week, in bidding that could reach US$1 million for McGwire's record-setting 70th home run of the season. On Monday, The New York Times reported that the fan who caught McGwire's 70th home-run ball already had been offered as much as $1 million for it. (Wired News January 4)

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