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Thu May 3 2007 14:40:34

The Market for Human Skulls on eBay

By: Ina Steiner

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Michelle Waldorf of eSeller Street sent me to a link to a Fox News TV segment about a man in Chicago who sells human skulls and mannequins on eBay. Apparently a buyer was pretty freaked out when he went to pick up a mannequin and saw the seller boiling a human skull in a pot on his stove. He called police, who are investigating the matter.

According to the news report, you can sell human skulls if it's for medical purposes. And sure enough, Michelle checked her company's tool (pay-as-you-go eBay market research), and discovered that in Category 4064 (Science, Medical Medicine, Dentistry Other Items"Collectibles > Science, Medical > Medicine, Dentistry > Other Items), there is demand for such items.

Over the last 30 days, there were 106 listings in the category, selling for a total of $37,198 total revenue, with a 94 percent success rate. The average selling price was $371.98.

Kinda creepy.

Comments (3) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for The Market for Human Skulls on eBay   The Market for Human Skulls on eBay

by: Bruce

Sat May 5 18:22:30 2007

I just wonder; Where and just how does he obtain his merchandise? Are there Skull and Bone wholesalers out there or possibly, Skull and Bone Fulfillment houses?

Perminate Link for The Market for Human Skulls on eBay   The Market for Human Skulls on eBay

by: Obeah

Mon May 7 13:43:23 2007

Twenty years ago, this was a perfectly legal and above-board trade in the United States.  Yes, there were wholesalers, and there were plenty of retail supply houses. Kilgore International, Ward's Scientific, Carolina Biology Supply, and Clay Adams are not exactly mom-n-pop shops, now are they?  These outfits sold to doctors, dentists, and educators all over the U.S. But when India stopped exporting human bones in the mid-1980s, the trade gradually dried up. Today's trade in bones comes mainly from China, although the government doesn't like to talk about it. My point is, there is nothing underhanded about this; importing bones has been legal for decades and should remain legal. What's underhanded is sensation-seeking journalists claiming that a skull was found boiling in a pot.

Also, a correction: If 106 items were sold on eBay for a total of $37,198, doesn't that make the average sale price $350.92, not $371.98?

Perminate Link for The Market for Human Skulls on eBay   The Market for Human Skulls on eBay

by: Obeah

Mon May 7 13:47:30 2007

a followup to my own post: I see that it was 106 listings, not 106 sales, so I suppose the original estimate was valid. Whoops.

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