What do you get when you cross the Infobahn with a trailer park yard sale? eBay, where money-grubbing flotsam too lazy to haul its ass to Antiques Roadshow converges on a single Web site to auction worthless trinkets. Plastic Jesuses! Used tractors! Dirty socks! Face it -- these troglodytes will sell anything.

What is eBay?
Basically, Pierre Omidyar discovered people will bid on anything if it's displayed online. He was inspired by his wife, Pam, who said, "If I ever get a tracheotomy, I'm going to take a whole lot of Pez, so I can dispense it from my neck." No wait -- that was my friend Andy. Anyway, Pez figures into the story somehow. The point here is there are now lots of losers to fuck with. Why should Pierre Omidyar be the only one exploiting them?

Only psychologically maladjusted outcasts would attempt to sell this dross. Usually it's Web geeks with too much time on their hands: the online equivalent of bored drifters selling bad homemade crafts. (Think: the kind of self-indulgent creeps who go to Renaissance Faires in costume.) Stuck at go-nowhere jobs where the only perk is Web access, they visit eBay -- usually when someone else thinks they're working. And anything people get unreasonably sentimental about -- from old copies of Tiger Beat to '60s-era Barbie dolls -- becomes instant cash.

So how can you best benefit from an inattentive office manager somewhere in America unknowingly paying employees to sit in a cube and auction off the contents of their sock drawers? Sell them cheap crap you made in your own garage! Remember, they're not plastic heads ripped off one toy and glued onto another -- they're "Fantasy Pez Dispensers." You see how it works. Think of it as a swap meet where all the memorabilia started as half-assed arts-and-crafts projects. GI Joe in a pink tutu becomes "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ken." Start the bidding at $47.00.


Stupid things people have sold on eBay:

  • A box of macaroni and cheese
  • Pure, uncut cocaine
  • eBay's purloined Cool Site of the Year award
  • Maynard's virginity
  • Options on a film script
  • A "Bondage Barbie"

More things to sell on eBay:

  • Your witness protection program secret identity
  • Sir Elton John's knighthood
  • Those mini-shampoo bottles that you get in hotels
  • Your lunch

The electronic global village is now a giant thrift shop, scattered across the continent, where you get to be the junk-broker, the great capitalist-imperialist exploiting the unwashed masses -- those all-American suckers born every minute. The moral of this story? There are more chumps out there than there are stars over Iowa.

Bored yet? Good. It's time to get interactive. Type in words at random. Chances are someone, somewhere, is selling something stupid that matches it. Water bong! ("'Jesus is coming! Hide your bong' key ring.") Cleavage! ("Art Deco Cleavage Clip") Y2K! ("LATEX GLOVES-NEW IN BOX--LARGE** Y2K READY") Asshole! ("Kingdom Scum 'Golden Asshole Legacy' CD.") Just like the Web geeks, you can while away those lazy hours when you're supposed to be working by playing "Stump eBay." It's hours of stream-of-consciousness fun!


Actually buying things on eBay can be a losing proposition. As an MSNBC correspondent recently reported, the site's procedures allow shills to drive up the price. And on the buyer's side, shills can plant false high bids, to be retracted at the last minute, to drive out the competition. (Read: suckers.) There's an obvious lesson here. If you're looking for high-quality sellers, go to Sotheby's.

The sellers on eBay come in all kinds. There are people selling stuff they've stolen from their co-workers. (Telltale clue: The item's description contains the line, "before they notice it's missing.") Pranksters troll for losers stupid enough to bid on a pile of rocks -- and pay shipping and handling. And junior high school students sell various items from their sisters' laundry.

Here's how easy it is. GettingIt Editor-in-Chief R.U. Sirius used eBay to auction off his soul. "Warning, this soul may be slightly damaged due to extreme misuse," the description cautioned. "This soul may not be resold, traded or bartered without the express written consent of Major League Baseball." The asking price? $4.20. Word traveled across the Net, drawing enthusiastic responses from around the world. "SORRY BUT YOUR GAYASS ATEMPT AT A JOKE FAILED RUSIRIUS" read one comment. Others didn't agree. Within 24 hours, the bounty on RU's soul had risen to $6 million. Soon the price soared to $10 million ....

But the wages of sin led to disappointment. Sirius' soul was pulled from the auction block, labeled "inappropriate" by those capitalism-stifling bastards at eBay. "my soul is inappropriate?!!!!" R.U. sobbed. "damn, everything i do is always inappropriate. i'm going to cry..."

eBay sucks.

Lou Cabron is an asshole.