eBay evicts '$5M family'

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OPTIONAL777, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. eBay evicts '$5M family'

    Online auction site takes down offer by family of four, saying it did not meet user guidelines.
    January 10, 2003: 3:15 PM EST
    By Andrew Stein, CNN/Money Staff Writer


    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Those looking for some additional company at home will have to find someone other than the Youngs after eBay removed the offer by the family of four to sell itself for a minimum bid of $5 million.

    While it was still posted, the auction page read, "if you are the highest bidder, you will receive the adoration from two congenial children with an affinity for heart-warming, homemade birthday cards and copiousness, candy-coated smiles for both family and legal benefactors. All that, plus my wife!" wrote Steve Young, a television writer who put his family on the block.

    Got $5 million? Buy the Youngs!
    Spokesman Kevin Pursglove confirmed Friday that eBay removed the Youngs' offer, saying it did not meet the firm's user guidelines, and the family would have to make a pretty strong case to have it reposted.

    But what made Young want to auction off his family in the first place?

    "In medieval times, artists had patrons that supported them and this is a similar thing," Young told CNN/Money. "We're basically saying, 'Wouldn't you like to be a part of this?'"

    Young said he has recently worked on a WB network program "Family Affair" and writes for the Writers Guild magazine, but the work environment has become "very dry."

    In the eBay posting, Young wrote that the family would have changed its last name to the winning bidder's and -- what may be important to note -- everything he wrote upon being purchased would have been credited to the buyer.

    "You can be an author without the drudgery of actually writing. Imagine the thrill of watching your name flow by hurriedly on television and film credits ... The feeling is priceless, or in this case just over $5 million."

    For those looking for just parts of the family, members were not offered separately, and children were included only until the age of 18. Regarding his wife, "can you say 'platonic'?" Young wrote.

    eBay does not allow the sale of humans or their parts, so any purchase would have been considered for services. eBay's Pursglove said the company has pulled past auctions by individuals where the services description was too ambiguous and delivery of services must be something the seller can provide.

    The family was put on the block Jan. 9.

    One bid for the Youngs appeared on the site Friday morning but was retracted several minutes later. The eBay spokesman said it was possible that the would-be buyer retracted the bid and the exact details of the transaction depended on the arrangement between buyer and seller.

    The Youngs' auction page received 10,964 page views by midday Friday, according to the eBay (EBAY: Research, Estimates) counter.