20 of the Most Expensive Items Ever Sold on eBay

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It’s been 20 years since Pierre Omidyar created what would become today’s eBay, and plenty of items have been auctioned off for huge prices over that time. From the finest luxury boats and cars to the rarest baseball bats and cards, here are 20 of the most expensive items to ever be sold through eBay across the world. 

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1. Gigayacht

Eleven years into its history in 2006, eBay set a single sale benchmark that’s yet to be topped: $85 million for a 50% deposit on a 405-foot pleasure boat designed by naval architect Frank Mulder – with the eventual $168 million transaction completed with Florida boat builders 4Yacht. Gigayacht’s perks include 10 multilevel VIP suites, a movie theater and a helicopter pad.    
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2. Gulfstream II Jet

Before Gigayacht became the Avatar of eBay sales; $4.9 million was the number to beat. In August 2001, using eBay’s then-new aviation category, Texas-based Tyler Jet sold a Gulfstream II to a charter aircraft company in Africa. The plane was one of just 258 G-II’s ever produced, and could seat 12 passengers in a luxurious interior. 
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3. Lunch with Warren Buffett

Warren Buffet earned the nickname “The Wizard of Omaha” for an extraordinary financial acumen that’s made him the world’s third-richest person. In 2012, eBay hosted what has become an annual opportunity to buy a private power lunch with Buffet at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York, garnering a winning bid of $3.4 million. The money went to San Francisco anti-poverty charity GLIDE.
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4. Action Comics #1

Superman’s first appearance in comics sold for 10 cents in 1938. In August 2014, New York’s Metropolis Comics and Collectibles won an eBay auction for a rare copy of that inaugural issue of Action Comics, with a bid of $3.2 million. Sold by Darren Adams, owner of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, the comic was rated as being in near-perfect condition, and is one of only 50 remaining unrestored original issues.
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5. Pratariccia, Italy

At the time of its 2012 auction on eBay, this small Tuscan village east of Florence had been largely abandoned for almost 50 years. Its 25 buildings on 20 overgrown acres sat at an elevation of around 2,400 feet. This wasn’t the first town to show up for sale on eBay, but it did go for the most, at $3.1 million. 

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6. Albert Einstein's Letter

When Albert Einstein wrote E=MC2, his Theory of Relativity was a revelation for physics. So when his handwritten thoughts on religion and the existence of God went up for auction on eBay in 2012, a winning $3 million bid (one of only two) quickly took home Einstein’s letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind. Written on January 3rd 1954, the letter came with its original envelope, bearing a stamp and postmark from Einstein’s then-home of Princeton, New Jersey.

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7. Missile Silo House

After the end of the Cold War, America had a glut of obsolete long-range Atlas-F missile launch silos. One of them was in the heart of upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains, and was converted into a luxury above-ground and below-ground home by developers Gregory Gibbons and Bruce Francisco. They auctioned the unusual residence through eBay in 2002, with an anonymous couple buying it for $2.1 million.

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8. Honus Wagner T206 Card

In 2000, the world’s most famous baseball card found a buyer on eBay, with $1.27 million (including a 15% buyer’s fee) paid by Brian Siegel. Rising to fame a decade earlier when it was co-purchased by hockey great Wayne Gretzky, the 1909 card is rare due to its original inclusion in packs of American Tobacco Company cigarettes, and Honus Wagner’s objection to his image being used to promote smoking; plus, only around 57 of his cards are confirmed to exist.  

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9. Enzo Ferrari

Only 399 Enzo Ferraris were ever produced. When the rare luxury sports car went up for auction on eBay in 2004, a winning bidder in Switzerland drove away with it for 540,000 Swiss Francs (over $1 million U.S.), breaking the record for most expensive sale among eBay’s European sites.

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10. Joe Jackson’s Bat

A stellar 13-year baseball career was cut short when “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was permanently banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. Among the bats he used to compile a career .356 batting average was a 48-ounce hickory stick he called “Black Betsy”. In 2001 it hit eBay, and was auctioned to Pennsylvania sports memorabilia collector Rob Mitchell for $577,000.

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11. Samuel Allsopp’s Arctic Ale

In 1852, Sir Edward Belcher embarked on an expedition to the Arctic, and the group approached English brewer Samuel Allsopp about providing them with beer that could withstand freezing temperatures at the top of the world. A surviving sealed bottle from that batch was sold on eBay in 2007 for $503,000, following 157 bids.

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12. Original Hollywood Sign

The original 9-letter hillside symbol of America’s film industry went up in 1923 as the 13-lettered “Hollywoodland”, was shortened in 1949 to “Hollywood”, and was replaced by a new version in 1978. In 2005, Dan Bliss sold the 50-foot tall letters of the iconic sign through an auction on eBay, where they went for $450,000.

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13. Zagami Martian Meteorite

At an age of 1.3 billion years, and having travelled some 140 million miles from its home on Mars, the largest chunk of the Zagami Meteorite hit Nigeria in October of 1962. In 2006, that chunk was auctioned off for $450,000, after years on display at Nigeria’s Kaduna Museum.

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14. Golf with Tiger Woods

2002 was a successful year on the links for Tiger Woods. He won his second straight Masters, second overall U.S. Open, and was named PGA Player of the Year for the fifth time. That same year, a winning bidder paid $425,000 to take along three friends for a round of golf at Isleworth Country Club with Woods, and auction proceeds going to the Tiger Woods Foundation’s youth programs.

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15. Prevost Parliament Le Mirage XL II

This luxury 2005 bus was auctioned off through eBay in September 2013 for $265,000. Its 45-foot length featured a queen-sized bed, washer/dryer, HD TVs with DVD players, a leather seat and sofa, and a state-of-the-art galley to keep riders fed on long cross-country road trips. 

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16. Barry Bonds' 715 Home Run Ball

The ball that pushed San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds past Babe Ruth for #2 on the all-time home run list was scooped up by Andrew Morbitzer while waiting to buy peanuts below AT&T Park’s centerfield bleachers. Two months later, he auctioned the ball on eBay to an unnamed winning bidder for $220,000.

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17. Grease Movie Hot Rod

“Hell’s Chariot” was the black 1949 Mercury driven by the leader of the Scorpions in the 1978 film, "Grease". It lost to Danny Zuko’s “Greased Lightning” during a race down the Los Angeles River, but its real world owner took home $180,000 after the auto was sold on eBay in February of 2014. Originally created by custom car maker Eddie Paul, the Mercury’s shell was fully restored to movie condition (complete with emblazoned flames) before sale.

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18. Princess Beatrice’s Wedding Hat

The wedding of England’s Price William to Kate Middleton was the social event of the year in 2011, with the royal family’s fashion choices televised worldwide. Princess Beatrice’s unique hat was created by Philip Treacy especially for the occasion, and was auctioned off that same year on eBay for 81,100 English pounds, with the money benefitting Unicef and Children in Crisis.

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19. World’s Largest Lunchbox Collection

In 2013, an eBay seller known only as “The Lunchbox Kid” put up over 675 vintage children’s food carriers for auction on eBay. The collection went for $1.7 million and was the product of 20 years of acquisitions, including rare foreign lunchboxes and signed items from as far back as the 1950s. 

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20. Nintendo World Championships Cartridge

The most popular video game system of the 1980s celebrated its huge slate of games in 1990 at a World Championship event where finalists were given special NES cartridges to take home with them. On 2014, one of them resurfaced and was auctioned through eBay for $99,900, after over 300 bids took it from a starting price of  $5,500.

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