The Bizarre World of Online Shopping

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Jesse L. graduated from a small business school in Indiana in May 2010. He blogs all across the internet and has a keen interest in social media, data visualization, and gadgets.

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Forty grand for some of Justin Bieber’s hair, or three bucks for the meaning of life? Really? Welcome to the wacky world of eBay.

With just a brief sojourn into this online shopping frontier, we can observe that there’s no telling what people will be willing to buy – or how much they’ll be willing to spend – when they sit down in front of their computers.

For example, someone spent some 5 million British pounds on eBay for a 340-year-old edition of Shakespeare’s “Pericles, Prince of Tyre”. How many undergrads have heard of that one?

But a lesser-known work of the Great Bard beats the heck out of some other things that people buy online. Moon real estate, for example, sells for $18.95 per acre. (I’m sure plenty of acres are still available.) Or perhaps Play-doh cologne or radioactive uranium in a tin is more your speed.


ridiculous purchases seem poised to increase as technology trends spur additional online shopping. Some 68 percent of people aged 31-44 already shop online. Not surprisingly, people’s access to the faster broadband internet rises along with personal income.

Mobile internet access will likely spur additional traffic for sites like eBay and About 60 percent of shoppers have used their smartphones to shop for gifts, while about half have used their smartphones to check store hours and locations. More than 30 percent of shoppers have received text messages with special offers, while nearly 35 percent have read product reviews and 26 percent have made online purchases. Whatever people are buying online, plenty of ecommerce specialists will be providing the fulfillment services behind the scenes.

So suffice it to say that many more potential customers could be on their way – whether you’re selling rare Shakespeare editions or crater-side plots of land on the moon.