The public response to the woman who “sold” herself on eBay has been mixed. Should we admire her intrepidity or feel sorry for her?
Most people turn to Match or Tinder to find love but single mum Lois Curtis from West Sussex decided to take a different approach: the 49-year-old listed herself for sale on eBay in the hope of finding her dream guy.
However she took the advert down when bidding — from men all over the world, including Australia and Puerto Rico — reached £205 in less than 24 hours and the media ran with the story.
Curtis’ description of herself read: “Has been used but in pretty good condition. Good bodywork and sense of fun, just bored with the same old thing. Cooks and cleans, no warranty… fuses have been known to blow.” She also specified “collection only” and “no returns.”
She told MailOnline: “I want to go live in Greece, it’s always been a dream. So my friend Apostolos, who lives over there, said ‘put yourself on eBay and I will share the link.’ He has loads of friends so we just thought we would see what happened and see whether anyone was interested, just for a bit of fun. I was hoping for a nice Greek, rugged, gorgeous guy — the sort all women want. A few dates, that sort of thing.”
Even after Curtis took down her advert she was inundated with emails from men who still wanted to bid for her. She hasn’t revealed whether any of them were from Greece.
At first, this might all seem like a bit of a laugh. But what does putting yourself “for sale” to the highest bidder say about a person’s self-worth? And what about the men who bid for a woman? Are they having a laugh? Do they genuinely want to find love? Or are their motives more sinister?
It’s not the first time someone has used eBay to sell something other than unwanted designer handbags and old baby clothes.
In 2008 American woman Deven Trabosh listed herself for sale on the bidding site with the listing title, “Marry a Princess Lost in America.” The 42-year-old single mum tried — and failed — to sell herself and her South Florida home for $500,000.
In 2012 38-year-old Deborah Bowen used eBay to market herself, not for romance but for employment. After struggling to find steady work following redundancy, Bowen tried to entice prospective employers with the ad: “For sale — a willing and able permanent or temporary employee” and a starting bid of £0.01.
There was a media storm over a Brazilian student’s sale of her virginity on eBay in 2012. As part of Australian filmmaker Justin Sisely’s controversial documentary Virgins Wanted, Catarina Migliorini promised to sleep with the highest bidder, who was a Japanese man going under the name of “Natsu,” who beat 14 other men with his pledge of $780,000.
In response to accusations of prostitution, Migliorini told the New York Daily News: “I saw this as a business. I have the opportunity to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it. If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer. The auction is just business, I’m a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area.”
She insisted that she planned to put the bulk of the money into a non-governmental organisation to help build modern homes in her impoverished town of Santa Catarina.
However, things didn’t go to plan. Speaking to press a year after the auction, Migliorini said she never received her share of the money, didn’t have sex with “Natsu” and was “mislead” by Sisely.
We don’t think we’ll be reading about an eBay wedding any time soon.