Life for Sale

A Perth based man, Ian Usher is currently making headlines around the world. A UK born Australian Resident who emigrated Down Under six years ago, he is currently selling his enitre life to the highest bidder on Ebay.

Everything is included in the sale, from his home, jet ski and job to his CD collection and an ‘introduction’ to his friends. A detailed breakdown of everything (including the kitchen sink) that comes as part of the package and the reasons behind his hair brain scheme are there for the world to see on his promotional ‘Buy My Life’ website.

Now, I’ve always been a massive fan of Ebay.

I’ve gone through phases, particularly before moving to Perth, of selling countless unwanted things around our house. I have often got so caught up in the buzz, that if certain high value items hadn’t been bolted down, they would have been auctioned off, parceled up and posted before my husband had even noticed they were missing. A great way to supplement your income – I even paid for our air tickets over here with money raised from selling our old junk and surplus winter coats (the later being a mistake that haunted me throughout a cold, wet and miserable winter here in sunny Perth).

Yet in all my listing days, no matter how carried away I became, I would never have even thought or considered the possibility of selling my life or my history. Yet that is exactly what Usher is in the process of doing.

After a messy breakup (I can only presume it was incredibly messy, as most people seek ‘breakup’ comfort in a gym membership or a hair salon), this man has decided that any memory of life in Perth with his ex wife is too painful to live with. He has decided he would rather walk away in search of new beginings, with just the clothes on his back, his passport and a wad of cash in tow.

Over the last few days, no doubt due to the massive amount of media exposure, the bids shot up from AU $1 to a staggering AU $2,000,000. Having hoped to raise AU $500,000, Usher was no doubt sitting back rubbing his hands with glee and polishing his passport ready for the Great Escape.

After following the story, my first thoughts, and no doubt those of any other vaguely sane person with an iota of common sense, would be that the chances of him actually achieving this figure would be highly unlikely.

First and foremost, Australia is not a country that you can just waltz into at will and just set up home, regardless of whether you won an Ebay bid or not. There are countless personal, age and work criteria to meet, a complicated point system and metre high piles or paperwork that first need to be accessed, approved and accepted, before you even get within sniffing distance of your nearest Australian Embassy. So therefore it stands to logic that the only legitimate bidders would be an existing Australian resident or citizen or someone already in the final stages of having their visa approved.

Having lived In Perth for a year now and seen what’s around, I can categorically say that anyone coming over with $2 million burning a hole in their pocket would definitely not be interested in buying that house. The fact that it comes with a motorbike, a set of saucepans and a 2 week trial job selling carpets still wouldn’t make it a bargain in any sense of the word. For $2 million you would expect views of the ocean or the Swan River, not of a main road and bushland.

When I looked at the site today to see how he was faring, I can’t say I was surprised to see that with 4 days to go, the bids have now dropped back down to a more realistic AU $370,100.00. A drop caused by the countless ‘non genuine’ high bids that had been placed and then quickly retracted.

Personally, I would never want to have the sum of my life so publicly valued, especially if that sum came in at less than I had anticipated. But who knows. Maybe by Sunday the bids will be back up and Usher will be off to the airport in a taxi and having the last laugh. The likelihood is however that someone will walk away with a cheap investment property and the contents of his house and garage will end up right back there on Ebay again, probably raising more money than he sold them for in the first place.

If nothing else, Usher will certainly have had his 15 minutes of fame. He will also no doubt milk this fame into a small fortune, through countless TV interviews, a book, a film deal and a possible stint on Big Brother…

It seems he will also set a precedent for further copy cat ‘Buy my Life’ sales. Even now, running along side his Ebay ad is another -this time for a life in South Australia. The fact that this other ‘life’ is currently beating him in the bidding war might just prove to add the final insult to injury.

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