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. Retirement

    Why Some Celebs Say 'No Inheritance for My Kids'

    To some of the super rich, inherited wealth is not the ultimate gift, it's a burden. Here's how their children—as well as charities—stand to benefit.
  2. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Amazon Stock

    Find out which risks are most important to Amazon's shareholders. Learn which operational risks impact share prices and which financial risks affect investors.
  3. Investing

    Kevin O'Leary Biography

    Kevin O'Leary is a television personality, businessman and investor from Canada. A brash public personality with a net worth of roughly $300 million, he is considered to be the Canada’s answer ...
  4. Stock Analysis

    How Does Jet.com Work and Make Money?

    Learn how Jet.com is taking on retail giants Amazon, Walmart and Costco by promising to save customers an average of 10 to 15% on over 10 million items.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    7 Top-Earning Child Stars

    These seven top-earning child stars earned millions through different parts of the entertainment industry, including television, film and music.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    8 Top-Earning Country Singers

    These eight country singers have built careers singing about men and women who’ve done them wrong, and they’ve shared their heartache to the tune of millions of dollars.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    5 Ways to Make Money on Twitter

    Find out how people are making money online on Twitter, and get some ideas that can turn Twitter into a source of revenue for you or for your small business.
  8. Stock Analysis

    How Does Casper Work and Make Money?

    Learn how the startup Casper is delivering a good night's sleep directly to customers' homes for a fraction of the cost of the competition.
  9. Personal Finance

    8 Ways to Find Cheap Textbooks

    Textbooks are so expensive. What are the tricks to find cheaper books?
  10. Personal Finance

    Why Traditional Retailers Keep Struggling

    Here are some core reasons that the traditional retail industry is struggling today
  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

Hot Definitions
  1. Ex Works (EXW)

    An international trade term requiring the seller to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All ...
  2. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. LOIs are usually not legally binding in their entirety. ...
  3. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  4. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  5. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  6. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
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!