T.O. man sells exclusive access to his thoughts on eBay
Flowers adorn the eBay logo outside of eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Friday, April 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Published Wednesday, September 5, 2012 10:48PM EDT
A Toronto man is selling the exclusive rights to his thoughts, ideas and opinions for one full month on eBay with bids starting at US$2,000.
The post is no hoax, insists the 31-year-old marketing manager who spoke to CTVNews.ca on the condition of anonymity.
The man goes by the online username “thinkingman” on eBay, but says he will reveal his identity to the winning bidder.
Thinkingman says he was inspired to try this “social experiment” in a culture where everyone is obsessed with technology that they don’t interact with each other very much.
“People are guarded these days,” says the man. “They wear iPods, they have tablets, they have their computers. They’re out, but they’re really with their own thoughts. I feel that they only share, I mean, the very basic things that they might be thinking.”
If someone wins the bid, the man promises to set up a direct phone number where the buyer can contact him at any time, to ask any question or talk about any topic.
Due to a new eBay policy introduced at the end of August, which bans “intangible items,” the man will then write down those thoughts and mail them to the buyer at the end of the month.
There is also the potential for no winner if bids don’t reach a satisfactory level, he says.
“I’m offering someone unrestricted access to any thought that I might have,” the downtown dweller says. “I think that’s what might make it so interesting to buy. I think it doesn’t come available a lot. I haven’t found any more for sale.”
He also vows to be honest with his opinions.
“If they want to know anything, from what I think of vegetables to what I think of terrorism, they can ask me, and I’ll provide whatever opinion or thought I have at the time,” he says.
The winning bidder gets more than just phone access and a thought bundle in the mail. According to the listing on eBay, he or she will get 10 pictures of thinkingman and his family (he is married with one son) and at least one in-person visit, should the winning bidder desire.
He or she will also get: “Exclusive personal and commercial use to my thoughts for one Month (sic),” reads the post.
“They can put them in a book, they can make my thoughts into a movie, they could use it for marketing, whatever they choose,” says the man.
According to the eBay post, the winning bidder also gets “Exclusive access to first purchase my thoughts for another Month (sic) on an ongoing basis.”
Of course, there is a bit of fine print to consider.
The thought access period expires 30 days after purchase, there is a daily eight-hour period where thinkingman will be inaccessible (“If I’m a thinking guy, I have to have my eight hours of sleep,” he says) and the purchase is final.
This is the third time the man has put his thoughts up for sale on eBay.
He tried in early August, but that eBay post had about 50 views and no bids.
A second attempt was removed by eBay staff because it contravened the website’s posting policies.
As of publishing, thinkingman had yet to receive a penny for his thoughts. In fact, he’s received no bids at all.
The auction ends Friday, Sept. 7.