For sale on eBay: One man's life

Australian to auction off his home, job and lifestyle, and then start over; high bid is nearly $300,000

At some point in your life, didn't you just want to chuck it all -- house, car, job, even your friends -- and start over?

Of course, after a while, you realise how silly that all sounds and settle back into your familiar existence.

No so with 44-year-old Australian Ian Usher.

After a painful, failed marriage that lasted five years, Usher, originally from Darlington, England, decided to sell everything he owns -- a three-bedroom house, car, motorbike, and some things he didn't own -- his lifestyle, job and friends - and walk out the door of his home in Perth and never look back.

And where better to auction off your life than on eBay?

Usher said everything in his life reminds him of the woman he was with for more than 12 years. Living alone in the house they built, surrounded by objects that remind him of the time they spent together, was too much to bear, he said.

So, after a year of living alone in the house, Usher said he decided it was time to move on. But he had to figure out what to do with his house, furniture, car and his life. He considered selling things off one at a time in the local newspaper, putting everything in storage, or giving his property to his friends.

But none of those options seemed quite right, he said. Then he remembered an idea his friend, Bruce, had many years ago back in Darlington.

Bruce was tired of his life as a motor vehicle sign writer, and he told Usher he was going to sell his life, his house, his business, his lifestyle, everything. Since that was before the Internet took off, Usher said Bruce's plan was to advertise his life for sale in the Sunday newspapers. But after realising how time consuming and expensive that idea was, he let it drop.

Earlier this year, Usher said his friend's idea popped back into his head. "That's it. That's what I need to do. I'm going to sell my life," Usher said.

When the auction is over at noon Australian Western Standard Time on Sunday and payment details have been completed, Usher said he plans to walk out of his house for the final time with just the clothes on his back, his wallet and his passport, and head for the airport. Once there, he'll book the first available flight and see where life takes him.

A spokesperson for eBay Australia could not be reached for comment.

Usher said his boss at a Perth rug store has agreed to offer the buyer a two-week trial at the store. If it works out, that person could end up with his old job, Usher said. His friends have offered to show the buyer Usher's life around Perth. And who knows, they just might hit it off, Usher said.

Bidding for Usher's life began at $1 on June 22, and despite a few fake bids - one that was more than $2 million - bidding as of today is at $300,100. Bidders are required to pre-register before they can place a bid. Usher said he's hoping to get about $500,000 for his life. So far 24 people have placed bids, and Bidder53 is the current high bidder. Usher said at some point he plans to make his way back to England to visit his mother, who has taken his plan in stride.

"Mum's pretty used to some of my harebrained schemes and wild adventures," he said. "I sky dive and do some adventurous stuff and she's just like, 'Oh, whatever. Good luck, luv. I hope you do well.'"

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Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
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