Whether it's a stuffed frog playing the bongos or a person's soul you want, eBay probably has an auction for it. The giant online marketplace provides an essential service to the modern internet oriented community. Leading the surge of online shopping, eBay has been capitalizing on the growing demand for internet businesses providing users with the convenience of making purchases from the comfort of their own home. With approximately 90 million users offering a wide variety of goods, shoppers have access to an assortment of products that are otherwise unavailable for purchase through conventional means.

In Pictures: Top 5 Reasons Why People Go Bankrupt

The majority of eBay products are regular items such as books, electronics, antiques and sporting goods. However, odd items - like a jar filled with haunted sand - make an occasional appearance on the list of available purchases. (If you can predict what people will miss in 20 years, you can invest in it. Find out more in Contemplating Collectible Investments.)

Religion Items
Religious artifacts or at least artifacts resembling religious symbols are often listed on the marketplace.

Perhaps two of the most popular items sold are the Doritos Chip that looks like a Pope's hat and a piece of toast that resembles the Virgin Mary. Mrs. Duyer claimed that the burn marks on her decade old toast slice had a striking resemblance to Mary and were the cause of her lucky casino win streak. The purchase price for this item was an astonishing $28,000 while the Doritos chip sold for a measly $1,200.

Another food item, a pretzel, shaped like the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus was associated with a $10,600 price tag. A chicken breast shaped like Pope John Paul II recently sold for $232.50.

Supernatural Items
An interesting item found previously on eBay is the magical invisibility cloak. The advertisement for the article makes the following assertions: "Become Invisible! This is not a toy, magic trick or scam. No Lies! Become 100% invisible."

Because the presence of one's shadow defeats the purpose on invisibility, the sellers of this product even claim that your shadow become invisible.

This cloak can go hand in hand with the 18th century vampire killing kit, another artifact sold on eBay. For only $2,000 the buyer received a wooden hammer, holy water, holy soil, four stakes and other essential weapons. (You may not have to worry about vampires on Wall Street, but there are still things to fear. Find out more in Tales From Wall Street's Crypt.)

If you can't get the invisible cloak, maybe an imaginary friend available through the online auction will suffice. Jon Malipieman is "very friendly" individual, who enjoys bonfire smoke and is currently single. He, along with his a list of his likes and dislikes, was sold for over $3,000 and, although Jon is imaginary, the money paid for him is very real.

Celebrity Items
The fascination with celebrities is alive and well within the online market, with some buyers paying top dollar for pop culture memorabilia. Justin Timberlake's half eaten toast saw nearly 50 bids as the final buyer won the auction for a price that was over $3,000. Other noteworthy items within this category include a celebrity' hair and dirty socks. (Find out what happens when fame wears thin in From Celebrity To Working Stiff.)

Many savvy eBay users take the concept of "one man's garbage is another man's treasure" to the next level; in this case it is one woman's garbage. Someone quickly snapped up a piece of gum spat out by Britney Spears, only to sell it shortly afterwards for $263.

The concept of selling "garbage" extends beyond the possessions of the rich and famous, which for die-hard fans undoubtedly has sentimental value. One man, rather than emptying his computer's recycle bin, decided to auction off all of its mysterious content.

Virginity Sales
Natalie Dylan, Rosie Reid and Cary Copestakes are three women who sold their virginity to the highest bidder. Cary asked for an opening bid of $10,000 which would help her pay for her education. A business man won the auction, but simply gave her the money without following through on the purchase agreement.

Rose Reid found herself in a similar situation; overwhelmed with student loans, she decided to let others bid on her. An idea that started off as a joke, Rose decided to pursue the plan after seeing the online demand for her. eBay took down the auction after it already had over 2000 bids and a maximum offer standing at over 10,000 euros. Nonetheless, bidding continued on Ms. Reid's personal site.

eBay no longer allows people to sell their virginities through the auction website, pushing this very niche market to other available internet markets. The woman who went by the pseudonym Natalie Dylan announced on the Howard Stern Show that her virginity was up for sale. Natalie became a minor celebrity in the process, seeing bids in excess of $3.8 million, appearing on the Tyra Banks and receiving book and movie deal offers. (Sex or money, find out which is the bigger issue in The No.1 Reason Why Couples Fight.)

Miscellaneous Items
The list of ridiculous items offered through eBay extends far beyond the aforementioned selection. Other noteworthy products that people have tried selling, and in most circumstances sold, include: used McDonald's cheeseburger wrappers, pure Columbian cocaine (obviously taken down immediately by the site), the right to one's shadow (sold for $17), advertising space on one's body (sold for $37,375), a potato chip in the shape of Pac Man, a ghost in a jar (selling for slightly over $50,000) and a glove filled with flour. The sale of one's soul has become another popular eBay item.

Everything is on Sale
Unlike physical stores which sell specific products that cater to a certain niche of consumers, eBay provides variety that is beyond the typical selection found at a Wal-Mart or Best Buy. So next time you find an oddly shaped potato chip at the bottom of the bowl or a celebrity drops their dirty napkin and you can quickly pick it up, just remember, there's probably a buyer for those items somewhere out there.

If you're still feeling uninformed, check out last week's business highlights in Water Cooler Finance: Auto Hope, Bubbling Oil and Obamanomics.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    How Does Glamsquad Work and Make Money?

    Learn about what Glamsquad does and how it makes money, including why the rise of the "Uber culture" has made this new luxury beauty business so popular.
  2. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  3. Investing

    Top Websites to Start an Online Business

    The Internet offers nearly endless ideas and opportunities for new businesses. Here are some great resources to get your online business up and running quickly.
  4. Investing News

    Famous Celebrities Who Love Investing

    Celebrities have a bit of a bad reputation these days. These five celebrities, though, have used their fame and their money to invest successfully instead of spending it on looking good.
  5. Professionals

    The Top 5 Richest Restaurateurs

    The top five richest restaurateurs have proven that it is possible to not only turn a profit in the restaurant business but to become multi-millionaires!
  6. Professionals

    The Top Six Richest Supermodels

    Through excellent investing, brand management and high earnings, these six supermodels have cultivated multi-million dollar net worths.
  7. Economics

    Understanding Forward Integration

    Forward integration happens when a business takes over functions that were originally performed by its partners farther down the supply chain.
  8. Stock Analysis

    What Puts the Dollars in Priceline's Bottom Line?

    The Priceline Group is more successful than it may appear and is on track to enjoy tremendous profits down the road.
  9. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How Groupon Makes Money

    Find out how Groupon makes money, including a rundown of how Groupon works and what benefits it provides to the businesses it partners with.
  10. Personal Finance

    How Express Scripts Makes Money

    The pharmacy benefit manager claims to lower prescription drug costs for consumers, medical providers, and health insurance companies and makes a tidy profit along the way.
  1. Fast Fashion

    Definition of "fast fashion."
  2. Transaction Authentication Number ...

    A one-time code used in the processing of online transactions.
  3. Mail Or Telephone Order Merchandise ...

    A regulation that controls businesses that sell products over ...
  4. Online-To-Offline Commerce

    A business strategy that draws potential customers from online ...
  5. Card-Not-Present Fraud

    A type of credit card scam in which the customer does not physically ...
  6. Online Shoplifting

    The theft of goods from an Internet-based merchant.
  1. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What countries represent the largest portion of the global retail sector?

    The United States and China are the world's largest and second-largest retail markets, respectively, by total retail sales. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How has electronic retailing (e-tailing) changed the consumer discretionary goods ...

    Electronic retailing has changed the consumer discretionary goods sector by increasing price transparency and product information. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does stock evaluation of an electronic retailing (e-tailing) business differ ...

    Stock evaluations of electronic retailers differ from brick-and-mortar businesses in that e-tailers have higher growth rates. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who are Nordstrom's (JWN) main competitors?

    Nordstrom (JWN) is a high-end retail sales department store offering fashion, shoes and accessories for men, women and children. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What factors are the primary drivers of share prices in the internet sector?

    Economic conditions such as interest rates, unemployment and wage growth drive share prices in the Internet sector. This ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!