Two lives and a wombat: Australia's weirdest online sales

SYDNEY Fri Oct 9, 2009 9:37am BST

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - The lives of two men, a top tennis player's ponytail and a piece of cereal that looks like E.T. are among the strangest items Australians have bought and sold in the past decade, auction website eBay said Friday.

Fatso, a rather large wombat who became the unofficial mascot of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and the patch of turf from which the goal that made Australia win the 2005 football World Cup qualifier against Uruguay were also among the items auctioned off through the website, which this week celebrates 10 years in Australia.

"If the past 10 years have taught us anything, it's that nothing is too big, too small or too bizarre for eBay.com.au's legions of loyal fans," eBay's Sian Gipslis said in a statement.

"With an amazing 173 million items sold over the past 10 years, it's no surprise that things like famed Australian tennis player Pat Rafter's ponytail and a Perth gentleman's entire life have turned up for sale."

The most expensive item auctioned on eBay so far was the last Holden Monaro car made, which went for A$187,600 (106,000 pounds) with all proceeds going to the Leukaemia Foundation. The first item was an amplifier sold for A$76, the statement said.

The site said it was a popular way for Australians to make money, with 87 sellers each generating over A$1 million in sales last year. It also nearly became an avenue for revenge for one woman who put up for sale a pair of underpants she said belonged to her husband's mistress, but the sale was taken down by eBay.

Former world number one tennis player Pat Rafter's signature ponytail sold for A$2,025 in 2001, with the money going to a children's charity. Fatso was sold for A$84,000 a year earlier, also for charity.

A Perth man who decided to sell his entire life after splitting with is partner made A$399,300, while a Wollongong man who sold off his job, his repertoire of six jokes, his friends and potential lovers got A$7,500.

And that piece of cereal with more than a passing resemblance to famous Hollywood alien E.T.? The statement said it was sold for A$1,035 in December 2004.

EBay Australia is part of eBay Inc.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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