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Website: eBay
"My house is filled with this crap
Shows up in bubble wrap
'Most every day
What I bought on eBay."

eBay, the web's Bazaar of the Bizarre. Although it acts primarily as an auction-based website, some sellers use "Buy It Now!" buttons allowing you to instantly purchase the item at "bargain" prices.

It can be a useful way of averting No Export for You, to Keep Circulating the Tapes. You cannot, however, sell people, live animals or weapons. We've tried.

eBay has now become a trope in itself, as the place where heroes can find their Plot Coupons.

Tropes on eBay:

  • Air Guitar: Yes, some really do get sold.
  • And Ninety Nine Cents: Common in Buy It Now listings, but quite obviously averted in auctions themselves.
  • Auction: The whole point of the site.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Some exhibitionist sellers delight in uploading nude pictures of themselves via reflections in metal objects they're selling on the site.
  • No Swastikas: "eBay does not allow listings or items that promote or glorify hatred, violence or racial intolerance, or items that promote organisations with such views." So, you'll have to sell your old World War 2 memorabilia somewhere else.
  • Rare Vehicles: eBay Motors' most useful feature is that sellers - and potential buyers - of a "unicorn" spec of a common car can put it in front of a national audience/find it in a national pool of vehicles. Ford Focus wagon with sunroof, manual and leather? Look here first.
  • Read the Fine Print: Some people like to sell boxes for gadgets with warnings like "PSP box, PSP not included". Despite this, people might still pay hundreds for it.
    • Another version is listing something for a cheap price, but charging huge amounts for shipping.
  • Serious Business: Seller Ratings. While maintaining a high rating is naturally beneficial for both the seller's reputation and the prospective buyers, some people go absolutely loony over the potential of losing a perfect rating.
    • Bidding wars can get rather fierce as well.
  • We Sell Everything: Almost everything, anyway. Why steal a traffic cone when you could buy one?
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Can happen if you browse eBay while drunk.
  • Young Entrepreneur: You can make a lot of money by selling.

eBay in media:

Film — Animated
  • In Finding Nemo the aquarium fish list where they came from. For the Starfish, that's eBay. Except that live animals aren't allowed to be sold on eBay.
  • In Toy Story 3, Hamm suggests to the group that they look up what they're going for on eBay, because, after all, Andy doesn't want them anymore.
    • In the Halloween short set after Toy Story 3, the hotel owner not only puts the toys on eBay but gets a hit almost instantly for a couple of the toys.

Film — Live Action

Literature
  • The Dresden Files: Villain Madrigal Raith has captured Harry Dresden and is planning to seek him to the highest bidder. Harry is perturbed by the entire notion, but becomes even more flummoxed when Madrigal says he will not accept payment through Pay Pal, realizing that the listing for his life is on eBay.
  • Joe Hill's novel Heart-Shaped Box is a curious example. The main character buys a ghost from what the book describes as "an online auction site, not eBay, but one of the wannabes".
  • Yellow Eyes has something of a Running Gag about how it's amazing what you can find on eBay, including an alien medical device used to build a physical body for an A.I. and a mate for a formerly hostile Posleen advising the humans after the war.
  • Shaman Bond, Eddie Drood's cover-persona from the Secret Histories novels, regularly explains away his possession of magical items a non-Drood usually wouldn't have access to by claiming he bought them on eBay.

Live-Action TV
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon sells a World of Warcraft item on eBay. Blizzard would have banned Sheldon and the buyer from Warcraft for doing this.
    • In another episode Leonard buys a time machine off eBay he assumed was a miniature prop. Turns out it was a full sized prop and he's out 800 bucks and makes Penny miss work as he tries and fails to get it up the stairwell.
  • Jay Leno used to do a segment on his show called "Stuff we found on eBay". He would present a collection of some of the most blood-stoppingly inane stuff on eBay at that time, and ask the audience if it got sold or not.
  • In the British panel game show Would I Lie to You?, panelists sometimes have a "Possession" which they must claim as their own (and convincingly argue that it really is theirs when it is not, or vice versa). A common justification is that this was a late-night drunken eBay purchase.

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alternative title(s): E Bay
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