Whether it’s your grandma’s coat or your son’s old toys, the chances are someone, somewhere, will buy it.

The online marketplace eBay is a great place to sell almost anything.

But if you want to get a reputation as a trusted seller, you need to invest time in it - not to mention putting aside money for posting the sold goods.

There's plenty of instances of weird, bizarre and eye-watering sales sums on the site.

Here are just 10:

Ian Usher sold his 'life’ for £192,000

English traveler and writer Ian Usher, from Barnard Castle, Durham placed a “life for sale” listing on eBay in 2008 following a rocky marriage that ended in divorce.

His life was subsequently bought by an unknown buyer.

The Durham native then described the move as an “inspired madness, complete foolishness, or just some sort of mid-life crisis.”


He reportedly used the money to make a “fresh start”.

Usher started - and completed - bucket list which took two years of traveling.

He published two books, 2008’s A Life Sold and 2013’s Paradise Delayed.

A baseball card sold for $1.1million

A 102-year-old baseball card, originally released in cigarette packs, shows ‘The Flying Dutchman’, star Honus Wagner.

It was expected to fetch $1.5million, but still made it into seven figures.

Only 200 Honus Wagner baseball cards were issued by the American Tobacco Company as Honus himself asked to halt the production of the cards because he was against smoking and did not want his fans to associate him with the firm.

Gigayacht sells for $168 million

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

The Gigayacht - designed by Frank Mulder - is not only the most expensive boat ever sold on eBay, it is also the most expensive item on the site.

The gargantuan vessel is 405 feet long and features two VIP suites, a children’s cabin, guest cabins, a gym, movie theater, spa, elevator and helicopter pad.

The buyer? Roman Abramovich.

Lunch with Warren Buffett sells for $2.6 million

Warren Buffett, one of the most successful billionaires on the planet, sold his lunch-time for $2.6 million back in 2010.

Mr Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

He is considered by some to be one of the most successful investors in the world, and as of March 2017 is the second wealthiest person in the United States with a total net worth of $78.7 billion.



Shoeless Joe Jackson’s Baseball Bat – $577,610

Joseph Jefferson Jackson nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American star outfielder who played Major League Baseball in the early 1900s.

He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his alleged association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series.

Since then, Jackson's guilt has been fiercely debated with new accounts claiming his innocence beckoning Major League Baseball to reconsider his banishment.

In 2001, Joe made the news again when his bat, named Black Betsy, was sold on eBay for more than $577,000.

Ferrari Enzo sells for $1 million

Only 399 Ferrari Enzo supercars were made, making it one of the rarest cars ever made.

In 2004, one was placed on auction on eBay.

The winner was a Swiss man, whose $1 million bid for the car was just $55 higher than the second highest bidder’s offer.

    A town sells for $1.77m

    Bridgeville, California was sold on the auction side 14 years ago.

    The town is an 83-acre property and consists of 8 houses, a post office, a cafe and only 30 residents.

      ... and another town sells for $2.5m

      Just a year previously, the small town of Albert, in Texas, sold for a whopping $2.5 million.

      The ghost town is 16 miles (25.7 km) southeast of Fredericksburg and 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the Blanco County line in southeastern Gillespie County, Texas, United States.

      The town was a stop on the Fredericksburg-Blanco stage route and in 1967 became a stop on the President's Ranch Trail.

        War-proof bunker reaches $2.1m

        In the aftermath of 9/11, realtors Gregory Gibbons and Bruce Francisco purchased a property in New York, where they constructed a luxurious house with an access to an underground bunker designed to be doomsday proof.

        Both men settled for a $2.1 million offer after they listed it on eBay.


        Gulfstream II sells $4.9 million

        Sold by Tyler Jets in 2001 to an Africa-based charter flights company, this jet is designed to seat 12 passengers in comfort and luxury.

        Source : birminghammail.co.uk

        eBay — the soup to nuts marketplace for new and used goods — has made another acquisition to build out its search and discovery technology for customers to find what they need among the 1 billion or so items that are listed on the site. The company today announced that it has acquired Corrigon, an Israel-based startup that has is a specialist in computer vision and visual search technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by eBay. Israeli newspaper The Marker is reporting a price of $30 million but our sources tell us the deal was for less than that amount.

        Corrigon has been around since 2008 and was cofounded by Avinoam Omer and Einav Itamar. It’s not clear how much the company had raised in funding. Omer himself is a repeat entrepreneur. He also founded machine learning company Zoomix, which was acquired by Microsoft.

        Corrigon’s speciality is searching and identifying specific objects within an image and matching that with other images or links to products. In the case of eBay, it will be used to match images to products. “Corrigon’s expertise and technology will help match the best images to their products so that shoppers can be confident that what they buy is exactly what they see,” eBay writes.

        Essentially this will mean that eBay can offer sellers an catalogue of images with better quality than what users will provide for a product when it gets listed. Similarly, a consumer can use the same feature to find the right product for sale on eBay.

        Corrigon’s site takes you through more detail for how its tech can be used. For example, in a large picture with multiple images, you can hover the pointer over different parts of an image and you get pop-up links to where you can buy that object, with Corrigon’s technology essentially automating that search and creating that link.

        eBay has been making a number of efforts to build out its search functionality with machine learning and big data capabilities. They include the acquisition of big data startup Expertmaker and SalesPredict, an AI company, both in May of this year.

        eBay has been working for years on making its platform more visual and smarter, and Corrigon fits into that strategy. eBay has, in fact, been offering elements of visual search since at least 2011, specifically in mobile apps, where users might be using a smartphone camera to identify an image of something they would like to buy.


        In 2013, the company also unveiled a redesigned, Pinterest-like interface, based around images, as part of a drive draw in a wider audience of consumers that would have been turned off by eBay’s old-fashioned, text-based approach. But moves like this require much more advanced tech to discover, search and interact with those images.

        eBay says that Corrigon’s tech will be used not only for image recognition, but also for classification and image enhancements “as part of its structured data initiative.”

        “As we continue to evolve the eBay shopping experience, Corrigon’s technology and expertise will help buyers find the best results when shopping on eBay through experiences that were not possible a year ago, before our investments in structured data,” said Amit Menipaz, Vice President and General Manager of Structured Data at eBay, in a statement.

        Categorized in Search Engine

        People have often referred to Google, Facebook and Twitter as cases where foreign tech companies are blocked in China. In reality, while Facebook and Twitter were indeed blocked, Google chose to withdraw because they didn’t want to comply with Chinese censorship regulations.

        It’s important to note that most foreign tech companies were not blocked, and companies like eBay, Amazon, Viadeo and, of course, Apple and Samsung all entered and competed in China.

        EBay was beaten by Alibaba more than a decade ago. Amazon entered China through the acquisition of a local company, Joyo, in 2004, but was never able to build a commanding position in China the way they did in the U.S. Viadeo withdrew in 2015 due to a lack of market traction mostly because of the entry of LinkedIn.

        On the other hand, Apple and Samsung have done well in China, despite increasing competition from the Chinese who are chipping off pieces of their pies. More recently, Uber China and Didi Chuxing reached a mutually beneficial deal, though some see it as Uber essentially surrendering the China market to Didi Chuxing.

        This all seems to beg the question: Can foreign tech companies win in China?

        Clearly, China’s regulatory regime regarding the internet, in particular social media, is far more restrictive than that of the U.S. and many other western countries in general. The “Great Firewall” has proven itself repeatedly to be a thorn in the side of foreign companies, and not all have been able to overcome this hurdle. Most have tried, but with varying degrees of success.

        It all comes down to the company’s mindset and willingness to adapt. Some firms decided they didn’t want to play in such a context, like Google, and withdrew their operations. Some want to play but got blocked, like Facebook, yet continue to lobby the government for access. Some were allowed to play but couldn’t quite get their act together (for whatever reason), like Amazon, Viadeo and perhaps even Airbnb. There was also Yihaodian, which was Walmart’s online business, but eventually Walmart sold it to JD.com in exchange for some of JD’s shares.

        China is not easy. It’s tough for everyone, no matter if one is foreign or not.

        But there are some who seem to “get it,” like LinkedIn (at least for now). They entered the China market in 2014 with a dedicated Chinese site, Lingying, and within two years grew their user base to 20 million subscribers and counting. How did they manage such a feat where several others failed? They adapted to the China context. Not only did they localize by conforming to restrictions on content, they partnered with local firms Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital to further understand the China market.

        LinkedIn also created local leadership by hiring a president for LinkedIn China, giving the team more autonomy to integrate and cater to local needs. Examples include collaborating with Tencent’s WeChat so users could link profiles, launching a Chinese business social networking app “Chitu” and planning to release a Chinese version of its Pulse news reader app.

        Another such example is Evernote. They, too, found success through a focus on meaningful localization. Not only did they hire locally, they employed localized marketing strategies by leveraging local social media like Weibo and WeChat, and had localized customer service, which supports real-time customer support on the mentioned platforms. They did thorough market research before entering in 2012, and looked to solve the “pain points” of the Chinese consumer, mainly security and privacy. Lastly, they had an easy-to-recall Chinese name (Yinxiang Biji) with a memorable pun. This strategy paid off; within the first year after launch they had 4 million users in China, and by 2015 their user base reached 17 million.

        The notion that lower-quality clones sprung up because of foreign tech companies being blocked is only partially right. One could argue that the major Chinese social websites of Baidu, Ren Ren, Sina Weibo and Youku Toudu are clones of Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, respectively. While the likes of Ren Ren weren’t able to replicate Facebook-like success in China, others have evolved beyond being clones to having their own unique, innovative ecosystems.


        One such example is WeChat. Though it was originally inspired by Kik, and had similar features to WhatsApp, it evolved from mere messaging to becoming an integral part of the Chinese connected lifestyle. WeChat users can now link their bank cards to WeChat Pay, make in-store payments, transfer money to peers, buy movie tickets, hail taxis, pay for utility bills and so on. In fact, the list is practically endless, and shows how WeChat’s business model has become so powerful, and has grown from being a simple messaging app like WhatsApp (which, incidentally is also not blocked in China, but cannot hope to compete on WeChat’s scale).

        Foreign tech players tend not to be as extensive in ecosystem building.

        Importantly, Chinese innovators are developing new intellectual capital. They are crafting innovative business models and reaching new frontiers of business strategy and organization. Prime examples include Alibaba and LeEco. Jack Ma has built Alibaba into a sprawling internet business through “multiple jumping” from one business area to another, while building its capabilities along the way through a combination of self-built and collaborative partnerships. This disrupted the conventional “core competence” approach that has ruled modern business for the past 30-odd years.

        LeEco is, broadly speaking, a “lifestyle” company, with a diverse ecosystem of infotainment content, smart devices and internet-connected mobility. Many commentators by now have pointed out that Chinese innovators are fast, agile and adaptive. However, these are merely phenomenological observations. At heart, the best and brightest of these innovators are deeply reflective on what the new frontiers of business are, focusing on “how can we get it right and do it well?”

        Of course, China’s market for tech companies has evolved significantly for over a decade and a half. When Alibaba was competing with eBay more than a decade ago, China’s tech market was pretty primitive. Alibaba merely used guerrilla warfare tactics based on its grit to defeat a major foreign player. Today, both the market and the players are much more sophisticated and their business approaches are much more refined. The leading Chinese innovators are digital ecosystem players building scale and creating customer stickiness through their entire ecosystem. Foreign tech players tend not to be as extensive in ecosystem building.

        To “win,” foreign tech companies need to adapt to the China context and deeply understand the key factors of success. Local leadership is critical and appropriate empowerment by the global headquarters to the local leadership to do the right things is essential. While for some, the market is not open or they are not welcome, for many, the opportunities are right there. China is not easy, but why should it be? It’s tough for everyone, no matter if one is foreign or not. And no one can be sustainably successful if they don’t observe, learn and adapt.

        LinkedIn China’s Chitu, for instance, is struggling to get market traction. Evernote, while achieving early success in China, seems to be facing some challenges for sustainable growth, mainly due to lack of premium paid users and growing competition from Chinese startups. In fact, drawing a line on “who’s Chinese and who’s not” is also somewhat artificial, given that Alibaba’s and Tencent’s largest respective shareholders are not Chinese, and some of LinkedIn China’s and Uber China’s key shareholders are Chinese. (Sequoia China, whose parent is a Silicon Valley-headquartered VC fund, has its operations led by Chinese venture capitalist Neil Shen, who has a deep understanding of the China context.)

        As China’s digital business grows, it’s going to provide more opportunities for many players. Who “gets it” and who doesn’t will certainly not only be a function of “being blocked or not,” but equally (or even more importantly) those who have the right mindset and approach to the China context (and for that matter, China for the world). To this end, it’s a real test of the leadership and capabilities of the companies, as well as the capital behind them.

        Source : https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/28/can-foreign-tech-companies-win-in-china/

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