Beth Cherkowsky usually sells Depression glass, and china and pottery from that era, but during October and the months leading to it she focused on bras.
The 12-year eBay and Bonanzle seller wasn't changing her business model; she made the temporary shift to help raise funds for breast cancer research through "Bling My Bra" charity auctions.
Taking inspiration from Platinum seller 3rdPowerOutlet, who organized similar auctions last year and raised more than $3,000, Cherkowsky got several of her friends to decorate and donate 39 bras to auction off on eBay. The campaign kicked off Sept. 24, with the first bra selling for $41, and runs through the end of October. Several of the auctions extend into November. All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation through eBay's Giving Works.
Cherkowsky describes the undergarments as "theme" or "fantasy" art bras embellished with beads, flowers, feathers, autumn leaves, shells and other decorations. In all, 20 volunteers created the bras to help combat the second biggest killer of women in the U.S.
"Art bras are lovely confections—well, sometimes they are comical, or sexy or just fun! Many of these are actually wearable art but with a little glue or a couple of quick stitches they can become wall art, too," Cherkowsky says in her blog. "Whether you want to mount and frame them, or wear [them] for sunbathing or Halloween—these are fantastic."
Bras were donated and created by "unaffiliated" volunteers, Cherkowsky says. "When I say 'unaffiliated,' I mean they are doing it because they believe in the cause, not because the boss said so," she says on her blog.
eBay CEO John Donahoe and eBay Radio host Jim Griffith helped the cause by autographing a few of the bras that went up for sale.
Other sellers donated other items to be auctioned off and help raise money as well. Auctiva EDU contributor Janelle Elms, for example, donated her instructional CD "Profitable Keyword Training with Janelle Elms" to be put up for auction.
Click here to see the "bling" bras currently listed on eBay.
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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.