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


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Tropes on eBay:

  • Auction: As mentioned above, much of the site's structure is built around this, though it's still possible to Avert this by buying from Buy It Now lists.
  • 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." This means, you'll have to sell your old World War II memorabilia somewhere else.
  • We Sell Everything: While weapons, drugs, and items that are pertinent to hate groups are not allowed on eBay, everything else is fair game; combine that with a large enough userbase and you get some really odd stuff put up to sale, right alongside the normal stuff. In fact, there is now even a browser game made by The Useless Web entirely dedicated to linking to said weird stuff on eBay.
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eBay in media:

FanFiction
  • eBay gets a brief mention in Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, where it’s said that after Dark kills Near, he plans to sell the rest of his bullets on there(Presumably, the author didn’t know that weapons are banned from sale on eBay).

Film — Animated

  • In Finding Nemo Dr. Sherman's aquarium fish each tell Nemo where they came from. Peach the starfish says she came from ebay, which is Artistic License because 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.
  • In Ralph Breaks the Internet, eBay is represented as an auction house and appears to be a major plot point.

Film — Live Action

  • Transformers: Sam intends to sell his great-grandfather's glasses on eBay. This alerts Bumblebee, and later that Decepticons, that Sam has the key to finding The Cube.

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.

Music

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "eBay" describes the singer's collection of unusual items he purchased from the auction site.

Video Games

  • Flight Rising alludes to it in the description of the Four-Eyed Phylactery item: "Someone in your lair picked up this 'haunted doll' as a gift in the easternmost bay of the realm." Doubles as a Shout-Out to Haunted Doll Watch, mentioned below.

Web Original

  • My Brother, My Brother and Me features a recurring bit called Haunted Doll Watch, in which Justin reads sale listings for allegedly haunted dolls posted online. More often than not, they came from eBay.

Webcomics

Western Animation


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