Monday, December 10, 2007

What Clinton, Bonds, Lohan Have In Common

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What Clinton, Bonds, Lohan Have In Common
Wendy Tanaka 12.08.07, 4:06 PM ET

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BURLINGAME, CALIF. - One man's meat is another man's poison. Or, thanks to eBay, one celebrity's detritus is somebody else's windfall.

EBay (nasdaq: EBAY - news - people ) has just released its list of the best-selling kitsch from the past year. There are some real winners: a patch of grass upon which starlet Lindsay Lohan's car skidded sold for a modest $10.50. Then there was the grilled cheese sandwich that is fast becoming the stuff of urban legend: According to the story, the sandwich was bopped when San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds whacked No. 756 out of the ballpark. Somebody apparently paid $30 to take home this American myth in the making.

But here's no myth: Literally millions of tchotchkes related to the likes of Paris Hilton, O. J. Simpson and Hillary Rodham Clinton sold on eBay this year.

A Paris Hilton-in-jail tribute doll sold for $46 on the online auction site. An O.J. Simpson rubber Halloween mask fetched $133.42. And who knew there was a Hillary Rodham Clinton Nutcracker doll? The nine-inch plastic doll "cracks the toughest nuts!" and has "stainless steel thighs!" according to the manufacturer. In one listing, a seller wrote: "Talk about functionality in a presidential candidate. Like her or not you have to admit she is one tough lady."

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay offered up sales statistics for eight pop culture categories, including Hollywood starlets, disgraced athletes, presidential candidates and tech gadgets.

EBay aficionados snapped up nearly 70,000 items related to Britney Spears, Hilton and Lohan this year. Starlets' branded lines of perfumes and colognes were the top sellers. More than 174,000 trading cards, T-shirts, caps and the like bearing the names or images of Barry Bonds and football player Michael Vick were sold.

Other big sellers were memorabilia and action figures based on characters in the hit movie Transformers and the Harry Potter franchise. All told, more than 787,000 such items were sold on the site.

In addition to Clinton's Nutcracker doll, campaign signs, buttons and other items connected to the presidential candidate sold briskly, as did similar items related to her competitor Barack Obama. More than 19,000 Clinton and Obama items were sold on eBay.

EBay also sold nearly 3 million iPods this year--the top-selling tech item--followed by a half-million items from Nintendo (other-otc: NTDOY - news - people ), including Wii game consoles and related items.

The great thing about eBay: There's always more. For those wracking their brains to find unusual items for the holidays, eBay is a wonder. A few Clinton Nutcrackers are still available.

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