Would you buy a piece of cardboard on eBay for €250k?

7 Nov 2012

The piece of cardboard up for sale on eBay for charity. Image via eBay UK user mrbottlesfriend's online auction

A piece of cardboard cut in the shape of the iPhone 5 attracted more than 100 bids at a price of £200,000 (€250,000) on eBay before the online auction site pulled the plug on the sale, but it’s now back up on the site.

The piece of ‘wireless’ cardboard on the eBay UK site had been described as “a piece of cardboard (shaped a bit like an iPhone 5) — used” with no specs whatsoever. No display. No camera. No apps. No video recording. No phoning or texting capabilities. No internet connection.

CNET reported that 4chan, the image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images, had been behind the auction, which had only been up for a few hours before eBay took it offline.

This morning, however, the auction is back online, under the title ‘REVISED ORIGINAL A piece of cardboard (shaped a bit like a popular phone) – USED’, and at the moment has 13 bids and a price of £16 (€20).

Mashable reported that eBay UK user mrbottlesfriend posted the original auction as a fundraiser for a charity, and the revised auction also indicates mrbottlesfriend as the seller.

“All money raised from this auction will go towards a challenge (trekking along the Great Wall of China),” the post reads.

“I am undertaking for the Charity Dig Deep which is a UK registered charity that helps communities in Kenya improve access to clean water, sanitation and renewable energy.”

Other eBay users perhaps hoping to sell cardboard pieces for hundreds of thousands of euros, pounds and dollars have live auctions on eBay at the moment. Potential buyers can choose from other cardboard pieces shaped like the iPhone 5, cardboard cut into the form of an iPhone 4, a Samsung Galaxy S III, and even an iPad mini.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic