eBay, founded on 3 September 1995, turned 20 this week. Other than making everyone feel that little bit older, it’s also given us an opportunity to look back on the weirdest gems ever sold via the online marketplace. Here are 23 of the best…
Lowestoft rockers The Darkness hit the news when it was revealed Justin Hawkins had put some of his classic lycra jumpsuits on eBay. He made up to £450 per item and gave half the proceeds to charity.
Mogwai’s Martin Bulloch auctioned a mechanism very close to his heart in 2007, and all for a good cause: “Selling my old pacemaker may be seen by some as a bit of a macabre idea,” said the drummer, “but if it helps the British Heart Foundation and raises a bit of cash for their ongoing work then I am more than happy to contribute.”
If you’d ever wanted to live like Johnny Cash then you could have bought his actual house where his parents had lived when it went up for auction in 2008 for $1.4 million. That amount didn’t include delivery though.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an Aphex Twin blimp! If you thought the blimp was weird then you clearly didn’t check out the jerk chicken Aphex Twin ‘miracle’ plate that went up for sale on eBay. That’s right, someone ate jerk chicken and then – as if by magic – Aphex Twin’s emblem appeared. A miracle!
While on an Italian TV show in 2007, Noel Gallagher was presented with old friend Alessandro Del Piero’s football shirt, and the Azzurri legend appeared on the line to say hello. “eBay!” shouted Gallagher arousing much mirth in the studio. He probably hasn’t sold it on eBay, he was just having a laugh.
Moby famously licensed an unprecedented number of tracks from 1999’s ‘Play’ to advertising agencies, helping it shift £12 million in the process. Then in 2002, even Moby’s “eternal soul” was up for grabs, and was flogged for $42 on eBay.
In 2008, Snoop put his own shed up for auction in order to raise funds for the Snoop Youth Football League, which you might have guessed is sponsored by Snoop. “This shed has been his ‘Dogg’ sanctuary for years,” read the eBay listing, “many of hip-hop and Hollywood’s biggest stars have spent quality time with Snoop in his shed.”
You might want to skip this one if you’ve just had lunch. Thom Yorke’s nails mysteriously found their way on eBay when the Radiohead singer trimmed his toes ahead of a show. The dressing room was raided by an opportunist who retrieved the clippings from the bin and put them up for sale on the internet. People are lovely aren’t they?
Someone saw this lot coming. A crafty Stone Roses fan had the cheek to put bottled “air” from the first night of the Stone Roses’ Heaton Park gig on eBay, so fans who didn’t go might be able to grab a memento and literally grab a piece of the atmosphere. Here’s the surprise bit; the bidding exceeded £500.
In 2010 Lily Allen did her bit for Help for Haiti when she auctioned one of her trademark pink ball gowns on the internet auction site.
Britney Spears used to inspire the kind of devotion that saw (presumably very rich) fans bidding upwards of $1m for the hair she famously chopped off in 2007. eBay stepped in as the lot was in breach of policy, but her used pregnancy test kit later fetched $5,001.
Back when Justin Timberlake was still in NSync, the teen heartthrob left some french toast behind in a restaurant, only for some ne’erdowell to take it and auction it on eBay. What wasn’t good enough for Justin was snapped up by one stoopid NSync fan for $1,025.
A roll of EMI toilet roll that the Beatles complained was “too hard and shiny” (everyone’s a critic) nevertheless went up on eBay with a starting price of £40,000.
Justin Bieber’s hair sold for $40,668 on eBay in 2011. $40,668! Given that the average woman apparently spends $42,000 on haircuts in a lifetime (according to one vapid survey) only goes to show what a colossal act of folly that one purchase represents.
One Directioner Niall Horan was fed vegemite toast on Australian TV. Not to his favour, the semi-munched morsel was discarded and then went on eBay and fetched a staggering £65,000. And he isn’t even the famous one!
A Scarlett Johansson used tissue given to her by chat show host Jay Leno with the express intention of soiling (which she did, twice) became the unlikeliest of money spinners. The oily doily sold for $5,300 raising money for hunger charity USA Harvest.
Ever wish you had something to remember Ian Curtis by, like, say, his kitchen table? Too late, the four legged furniture piece with a flat horizontal surface that Ian sometimes ate toast off, sold on eBay for a whopping £8,400 in 2013. New Order and Deborah Curtis unsurprisingly distanced themselves from the bid.
Editors were one of the bands that auctioned strange memorabilia for Actionaid back in 2008, donating their stage backdrop. Other bands joined in too, including the Ting Tings and Duffy. Not ringing any bells? They were both pretty big at the time.
Regulars at legendary Manchester club the Hacienda with nothing to show for their nights out raving other than severe depleted serotonin, were buoyed in 2013 with news the original unwashed urinals from the superclub were up for grabs.
One-hit wonders Rednex were so desperate to be loved that they put themselves up on eBay in 2007. Imagine that, Rednex in the corner playing ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ forever and ever just for your delectation. Sounds like the ninth circle of hell.
You’d have to be gaga to fork out $13,000 for a discarded Lady Gaga acrylic nail, but that’s how much one fan paid up for the forfeited fingernail, seized upon by a canny floor manager after a performance, and whacked straight up on eBay.
William Shatner’s cover version of ‘Common People’ might have been horrendous, but not nearly as horrendous as one of his kidney stones. That didn’t stop someone forking out $25,000 for Captain Kirk’s “renal calculus”.
James Blunt’s addiction to eBay became so bad that he once actioned his sister. However, there was a story attached. Blunt’s sibling was in a sad state as she couldn’t get to a funeral in Ireland due to the planes being on strike. Blunt sought a ‘knight in shining armour’ to help her, and as luck would have it, someone stepped in with a helicopter.