When someone wants to get money for their old iPhone or a used textbook, eBay is the place to go. The multinational auction-style website lets users put their possessions up for auction or make bids on other sellers’ items, all with the simple click of a button. Founded in 1995, and based out of San Jose, California, eBay has grown into a multi billion dollar business that functions in over 30 countries worldwide.
Although most bids are pretty modest and go towards everyday items, there’s some that have taken eBay to a whole new level, selling for up to several million dollars. Check out which items earned the highest 10 bids in the history of eBay.
10) Ian Usher’s ‘Life’ – $309,292
Forty-four-year-old, Ian Usher posted his life for sale on eBay in 2008, and sold it for a final bid of $309,292. Usher took this unconventional way to start over fresh, getting rid of his house, car, jetski and even his job, along with all his other possessions. The Australian hit the breaking point after going through a divorce with his wife and wanted to get rid of his life as he knew it. After handing his life over to an unknown buyer, Usher walked off with the clothes on his back, his passport and wallet. He wrote on his website for the project, alife4sale.com, “I am still not sure whether this is inspired madness, complete foolishness, or just some sort of mid-life crisis.” Regardless of what it was, Usher’s decision put his life at the tenth highest sale on eBay of all time.
9) Shoeless Joe Jackson’s Baseball Bat – $577,610
A baseball player in the early 20th century, Shoeless Joe earned his nickname at a game in South Carolina, when his new shoes were giving him such bad blisters, he took them off and ran the bases in his stocking feet. He’s most well known, however, for the Black Sox scandal, in which he and the other White Sox players were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series for a bribe. Shoeless Joe made the news again in 2001, when his baseball bat, named ‘Black Betsy,’ was sold on eBay for $577,610. The 36 inch bat, which was made out of hickory and stained black with tobacco, was posted for sale by his nephew who must have needed the extra cash. The eBay sale of Black Betsy was not only one of the highest sales on eBay, but also the highest sold baseball bat in history.
8) Ferrari Enzo – $1 million
The Enzo Ferrari supercar is not only one of the coolest sport cars on the market, but also the rarest. With only 399 of them in existence, this hot red car is a coveted novelty for high speed adrenaline junkies with a thick wallet. So, when this Enzo Ferrari went up for sale on eBay in 2004, the bids got higher and higher. The winning bidder from Switzerland, won with just a $55 edge, for a total bid of $1 million. The eBay sale made this particular Enzo Ferrari the highest sale ever in Europe from an online auction site.
7) Honus Wagner Baseball Card – $1.1 million
Baseball must be popular with eBay users, because this baseball card of Pittsburgh Pirates’, Honus Wagner from the early 20th century, sold for a whooping $1.1 million. Shortstop Honus Wagner was inducted into the Hall of Fame, alongside Babe Ruth, after taking the Pirates to the World Series, twice. The American Tobacco Company began printing Wagner on the baseball cards they sold in cigarette packets, but Wagner himself protested the cards and forced them to stop production. Consequently, only 200 Wagner cards were distributed to the public, making it one of the rarest and most valuable baseball cards ever. So, when a Wagner card popped up on eBay in 2000, baseball enthusiast, Brian Seigel took the opportunity and snatched it up for $1.1 million.
6) The Town of Bridgeville, CA – $1.77 million
A car might seem like a rather large item to be sold online, but it’s nothing compared to this. The 83-acre town may be small with just 8 houses, a post office, a cafe and only 30 residents, but that didn’t stop the privately-owned town of Bridgeville, CA to be auctioned off on eBay. The Lapple family had purchased the town in 1973, but decided in 2002, it was time to move on. They advertised Bridgeville on eBay as a “private retreat, basking in the glory of the redwoods… with the potential for generating a large cash flow.” The final bid for the town was $1.77 million, and the eBay auction winner was planning on making over the town. However, he decided it was too much work and sold the town again, just a few years later.
5) House With a War-Proof Bunker – $2.1 million
Realtors Gregory Gibbons and Bruce Francisco bought up an old missile base solo, with the idea of converting it into an underground safe space, with an overground home on top. Located in the Adirondack Mountains in the upstate of New York, the project was started by Gibbons and Francisco in the wake of 9/11, so they thought a safe home would be in demand for a lot of wealthy families. Although they valued the finished house and bunker at $18 million, they sold it on eBay for just $2.1 million. With mountain views from every window in the upstairs home and an entire upscale living space in the bunker, the apocalypse-proof home fortunately has yet to prove its functionality.
4) The Town of Albert, TX – $2.5 million
In the shadow of Bridgeville’s sale, Albert, TX was put up for auction on eBay, in 2003. An insurance broker named Bobby Cave scooped up the town for only $216,000 and then resold it on eBay a few years later, for $2.5 million. Talk about flipping a town! With a population of five, Albert is known for its history, having been a stop on the Fredericksburg -Blanco stage route and later the President’s Ranch Trail. Cave worked to preserve that history and generate visitors by building a tavern where the general store had once been, along with other renovations.
3) Lunch with Warren Buffett – $2.6 million
Every year, business magnate Warren Buffett hosts a lunch that raises money for a San Francisco church whose mission is to feed the hungry. It’s usually one of the most expensive items on eBay but in 2010, it sold for even more than usual, when an anonymous bidder paid $2.6 million. Although the bid was also an extremely generous donation to charity, we hope that Buffett gave the winner some top-tier investment advice, so he or she could really get their money’s worth from the luncheon.
2) Gulfstream II – $4.9 million
In 2001, Tyler Jet, a business plane vendor, put one of its Gulfstream II airplanes up for auction on eBay. The luxurious private jet seats 12 and was featured on eBay’s ‘then-new aviation’ section. When a charter-based African company won the jet with a $4.9 million bid, the Gulfstream II became not only the most expensive sale on eBay, but also the highest sale to ever be made over the internet.
1) Gigayacht – $168 million
The most expensive item sold on eBay to date is a Frank Mulder designed Gigayacht, which auctioned off for an incredible $168 million, in 2006. The yacht was purchased by Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich who rose to fame and riches by owning the investment company, Millhouse LLC and the Chelsea Football Club. At 405 feet long, his new ginormous yacht includes two VIP suites, a children’s cabin, guest cabins, a gym, movie theater, spa, elevator and helicopter pad. We’re not sure why the yacht’s manufactures chose to sell it on eBay, but because of their decision and Abramovich’s bid, history was made.