Were it an election, Sarah Palin would have been declared the winner by a landslide. But in this case, art did not imitate life.
A one-of-a-kind Cabbage Patch doll in the likeness of Palin sold for $19,000 on eBay Tuesdayjust hours before the real-life Palin lost her bid for Vice President of the United States. The namesake doll of her presidential running mate, John McCain, sold for $6,000.
Meanwhile, a doll fashioned after President-elect Barack Obama fetched $8,400. The Cabbage Patch version of Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, drew bids up to $3,550.
Interestingly, all four dolls were won by the same buyer.
"It was a lot of fun up to the last five minutes," says winning bidder John Danieli, chief executive of technology staffing firm The Computer Merchant Ltd., Norwell, Mass. "And then it was like buying and selling on Wall Street."
"I probably am a bit out of my head for doing this," he laughs. "But I figure, whatever the price, it was worth it."
Danieli was moved by the fact that 100 percent of the auction's proceeds would be donated to Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an organization that collects and distributes toys to needy children at Christmastime. As a former Marine and a major supporter of children's causes, Danieli says he had no reservations about bidding thousands of dollars for a few dolls.
In fact, he hopes to have them re-auctioned to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "All of the candidates talked about improving health care for children, so I have a challenge out to all four of them to sign the dolls," Danieli says. "My intent is to turn them over to St. Jude's and let them re-auction them, hopefully for even more money."
"So I'm not keeping themand no, I'm not playing with them," he laughs.
Danieli says he was a little surprised the Palin doll was bid up so high, while the Biden doll sold for a relatively low price. But he chalked it up to the media's personality parade throughout the presidential campaign.
The auction results stood in stark contrast to those of the election. Dollar for dollar, the McCain and Palin auctions outmatched the Obama-Biden camp by more than two to one. In terms of numbers of bids, the Republican contenders surpassed their Democratic rivals by a 25-bid margin.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.