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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

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Mikey / April 14, 2008 9:04 AM

I've shopped on eBay quite a bit over the years...

Two of the craziest/coolest things I've ever bid on?

A 2"x2" swatch of one of Bela Lugosi's black capes that he wore either onstage or in the theatrical version of Dracula that came from the estate of a famous science fiction writer (I lost)...

And an original and unused "Chicago Days" ticket to the Columbian Exposition Chicago World's Fair of 1893 (I won)...

tk / April 14, 2008 9:23 AM

An orange tabby cat Christmas tree ornament... made from dryer lint. Complete with a certificate of authenticity. Got it!

JasonB / April 14, 2008 10:28 AM

A retired Russian ambulance in Canada.

the second - a rare PRS guitar. Not as 'crazy' as the ambulance, although it's pricetag was outrageous.

Andrew / April 14, 2008 11:25 AM

I haven't bid on very crazy stuff, but I was surprised that my Christmas themed Converse All Stars (from 1993, with a jingle bell on a ribbon attached to the heel -- a very misguided gift from my mom) went for nearly full retail price. The guy who bought them was a teacher in Colorado, and seemed exceedingly excited about them.

fluffy / April 14, 2008 1:21 PM

A few years ago I bought 2 purses. They looked cute online but in reality, they were ugly.
I bid on a table loom once, but didn't get it.

katie / April 14, 2008 3:28 PM

I've been buying and selling crap (and I mean that in the nicest way) on ebay since I was a senior in high school, and don't have many horror stories. The weirdest thing I've ever bought - and also the only time I've ever gotten ripped off - was a set of bootleg tapes from a Mystery Science Theater 3000 convention! The guy sent me something totally different - twice. He was in Chicago and I offered to go to his house to get the right tapes. Surprise, surprise, no reply.

Spook / April 14, 2008 5:16 PM

I am addicted to eBay!
I’ purchased every thing from, two 1935 cast iron segregation law door signs, (one that reads “Colored Waiting Room", the other reads “We Serve Colored Carry out Only”), to five Moroccan Berber Tribe Kilims, hip-hop and old jazz c.d’s, out of print books, two antique wood crates, a vintage WPA poster, and a light bulb tube for a 1950 Grundig Shortwave Radio tube table radio my that my grandfather carried back from Germany after the war, that gives a whole new definition to "A Prairie Home Companion"

Sarah / April 14, 2008 7:55 PM

The craziest thing that I bought was a tea towel that has a dancing banana on it. The thing that makes it weird is that the banana is wearing spats, a monocle, and a floppy sun hat.

boomer / April 15, 2008 8:25 AM

Bid on (and won) a dozen Dean Martin brand golf balls, still in the original sleeves and box. That guy was so cool.

Brandy / April 15, 2008 9:05 AM

Heck, I love finding odd shit on eBay.

Two best wins:
A pair of dentures. I was going to make a doll with them. Have let to. I know that sounds creepy, but even creepier and more wonderful was that they arrived shipping in a Cool Whip type container duct taped.

Jello Fabric. Imagine an 60's era cherry Jello box flattened out and screen printed over and over again on cotton. Actually copywrited and official. Why? No idea.

Naz / April 15, 2008 10:43 AM

I do shop on eBay. Most of it is bike related gear -- vintage or hard to find items. I've also sold goods on eBay, again, bike related items where us bike-a-holics tend to manage to make a decent profit off obscure items.

It's a bit odd, watching the eBay market in that manner -- you can find a lot of old stuff that you might miss -- old shoes that you can't get but you love and so you go get a spare pair or something.

I've managed to sell some old shoes that way, due to collectors wanting it and even a few jeans.

As far as bidding on crazy items -- unless you think paying for a decades old, made-before-I-was-born bike part is odd, then yes.

Jasper / April 15, 2008 11:08 AM

A couple of autographed baseball... Willie Mays and Brooks Robinson. Not so crazy on the surface, until I received them and realized that it was the worst countefeiting job ever. Shaky hand-writing, etc. I mean, I know Willie and Brooks are old, but c'mon. I was half-surprised that Willie's last name wasn't spelled M-A-Z-E. But I have bought other stuff on eBay.

peta / April 15, 2008 4:31 PM

I shop from time to time, usually when I break something and need a replacement. But I recently bought an LP of "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" as a remembrance of my childhood.

corinna / April 15, 2008 6:50 PM

A box full of mixed gloves--I wanted something vintage to wear to the opera. I won, but unfortunately the only ones that fit were stretchy nylon, the cool leather ones with buttons were made for tiny ladies' hands.

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