Some auctions include the oddest of items from imported mice to a grilled cheese sandwich.
Online eBay has sold some of the strangest things. A man purchased what was advertised as a haunted rubber duck that could possess children for $107.50.
Another man auctioned off what he said was the meaning of life to eight people who cared. They each paid $3.26. A Nebraska web designer auctioned off the use of his forehead for ad space. He received $37,375 from a company that makes a remedy for snoring. A barbecue the size of a bus sold for US $350,000.
Local and rural auctioneers get their share of big time sales and oddities too. Some have sold entire farms at auction. Other have sold prize cows. We asked local auctioneers to name the strangest or most memorable thing they had sold at auction. Here are their entertaining answers.
The first farm I ever sold. It was up north of Lindsay in a town called Cameron. It was for an 80-year-old man. We ended up getting about $2,000 an acre more than the average in the area. I was 18 years old, and he was happy and I was happy.
Ab Carroll Auctions
An expensive cow. I’m kind of a cow guy. I sold a cow for $44,000. Jewett Inspiration Misty. It was probably 20 to 25 years ago. She was a high-genetic cow. She had two embryo baby calves that day, and we sold one for $9,000 and one for $5,000. It turned out she was popular as a mother of bulls.
Hugh Fawcett Auctions Inc.
I auctioned off a bag of coal. It was like old-school train coal. It was in Cornwall.
Chad Simmons Auctions
One of the things that we sold was an Indian motorcycle that sold very expensive. A collector Indian motorcycle that sold for very high dollars and it went to California.
Stewart James Jr.
James Auction Service
An old one-lunger hit-and-miss gas engine. It ended up in Park Ridge, Illinois. It was 1983. It was an estate sale for Cy Clark. The day of the sale, the gas engine brought $5,000 and it’s still in the gas engine book as the only one known. And that night, Mrs. Clark is sitting in a rocking chair, crying. And I think, ‘What have I done now?’ She looks up and says ‘You sold that engine for $5,000. When (my husband) came home, after paying $50 for that engine, I made him sleep on the couch.’
Dave A. Snider Auction Service
We had a guy who did an estate sale near Ottawa, and we had to sell the koi fish in a pond. There were probably 15 of them. I thought we’d have to give them away, but they brought in a lot of money, probably $300 or $400. Sold them right in the pond, and I told the guy, ‘you’ve got to look after getting them yourself.’ He had to catch them (with a net) after he bought them.”
Joynt Auction Company Ltd.
Smiths Falls, Ont.
Waste oil. Waste oil is oil that’s been let out of an engine that’s not much good. We sell new oils, but it’s not too often you can sell waste oil. There was a customer in Quebec who bought it. It was $40 or $50 for four or five gallons. I have no idea what he was going to use it for.
Preston Cull Auctions
A woolly mammoth tusk last fall. I think it was $6,500 and it was sold last year in a sale we had just outside of Brooklin (Ontario). You would never dream to sell something (prehistoric) like that.
Kevin Barker Auctions