Taking Care Of Bidness

The story of Paul from S Club 7 selling his Brit Awards on eBay – and getting a cool quarter million for his troubles – has really caught the imagination of the public. But he’s not the first celeb to try to hawk stuff on eBay to make ends meet. Hell, he’s not even the first member of S Club 7 to do it. There’s a thriving marketplace for celebrity tat – often run by the celebs themselves.

It’s a tricky position to be in, being a dormant celeb. Not famous enough to bring in the big bucks for a personal appearance; too famous to be able to apply for a normal job on civvy street. You basically have to hope that you strike a good enough deal appearing in panto in December that you can coast by until Freshers’ Week gigs kick off the following September.

But what if the call never comes? What if the years roll by, your savings deplete, the royalty cheques get smaller, and you find yourself doing supermarket openings for petrol money and per diems? You still have bills to pay. You still have to put food on the table. How are you supposed to make money?

The preferred method of the unsentimental celeb (the type who collected a ton of memorabilia in their heyday) is to sign up for eBay with a pseudonymous account and then auction off whatever old shit they can stick their signature on – and maybe skim an extra quid or two in surplus postage charges.

Paul Cattermole is the latest in a long line of former stars who have been taking to the internet to flog their wares. Here’s a couple of the others.

Jo from S Club

Wherever did Paul get the idea to hawk his old SC7 stuff for some cash? Probably from S Club stalwart, Jo O’Meara.

After tanking her reality TV prospects after getting embroiled in the Celebrity Big Brother race row of 2007 (and S Club 3 never really taking off, despite many attempts to launch) Jo’s official Twitter account suddenly became very interested in all the S Club memorabilia that was available on eBay. Jo would frequently direct her followers to check out various bits of bric-a-brac that were up for auction – often featuring signed pictures of Jo herself.

Vanity searching on eBay? We wouldn’t put it past any celeb to do that – but there was something unusual about the lots she was finding. They weren’t listed under ‘josclubofficial’ or ‘omearamemories’ or anything. They were all being sold by ‘lennyboy831’

Obviously anyone who had signed up to play Words With Friends with Jo back in 2011 would have been wise to the username…

…but as for the rest of us? We had to scour “Lenny”‘s transaction history to confirm our suspicions.

Then, last August, she finally came clean to everyone.

Lenny is the name of her son – which accounts for the Lenny and Boy portions of the moniker. But 831? It’s not immediately clear. Jo was born on April 29th. Lenny was born on May 12th. So it’s neither one’s birthday.

831 is unlikely to be just a random sequence however, because it’s not the only internet account she uses it for…

(FYI: She’s talking about her cat…)

Abz from 5ive

Not only is Paul not the first member of S Club 7 to sell stuff on eBay, he isn’t the first pop star to try to flog a Brit Award either.

Abz from 5ive tried the same thing in 2015, suggesting people “take advantage of my poverty and grab this rare opportunity to own a bit of pop history!!” so that he could buy top soil and some gardening tools for his farm.

The amounts bid for it quickly reached £1.1 million.

A visibly stunned Abz was trotted around on the publicity circuit, interviewed about how it felt to be selling an old award he had been using as a doorstop for a seven-figure sum – only to have the dream cruelly snatched from him at the last minute by eBay’s fraud squad.

The auction was deleted, Abz never got his million quid payout – and the watching world moved on.

Abz has since changed his user name from ‘abzonthefarm’ to ‘lovefarmwales‘ (his stage surname being ‘Love’; the farm being in Carmarthenshire, Wales) and he has nothing listed for sale at the moment.

That said, there is a rather interesting looking placeholder in the lovefarmwales “Collections” sub category.

Looks like Abz is potentially looking into releasing a line of… dog jumpers.

Katie Price

Despite her many book deals, branding partnerships and perfume ranges, Katie Price has struggled a bit with her finances in recent years (down, in large part, to her rather expensive litigation habit with former friends and lovers).

Pricey was one of the early adopters of celebrity eBay shilling, and has been selling items of clothing from her extensive wardrobe for years now.

Unfortunately, in shifting so much stock over the years, she has somewhat debased the currency of her clothing. Items in her last clear-out would routinely go to the first bidder, with people getting full outfits – all previously owned and worn by Pricey herself – for the sorts of sums they’d go for in any regular high-street charity shop.

She still knows how to pull out the big guns when the occasion calls for it. Two years ago, in January 2016, she put one of her wedding dresses up for sale.

Tabloids at the time made a point of the fact that she had put the dress on sale a few days after her third wedding anniversary to Kieran Hayler – suggesting that it was maybe a big fuck you to her former husband, Alex Reid.

The actual reason? The previous month she had settled a huge court case with her other former husband Peter Andre and her former manager Claire Powell – and didn’t have the cash on hand to cough up for all her costs.

Luckily, the dress ended up going for over a grand

Lauren Harries

What if your career doesn’t really lend itself all that well to memorabilia? Singers have gold discs; actors have film scripts; athletes have their sweat rags. But if you’re a media personality, what then? You could potentially auction off your ID pass for the This Morning studio, but would that really bring in a useful sum? You could sell signed 3x5s, but they’re not very unique.

So what then? What can a media personality sell on eBay?

Simple. Their own art.

Rather than try to profit off a bunch of old tat she’d touched, used, or otherwise come into contact with, Lauren Harries instead created new and original works of art for her eBay customers.

Now, there’s always the risk that people are trying to scam you with this sort of thing. Trying to pass off someone else’s work as their own, and simply adding their name to it to bump up the price.

No such worries with Lauren Harries. There’s absolutely no way this isn’t hers.

Not only that, Lauren would also pop in a separate, handwritten note to each package, thanking customers for being patrons of her art.

All in all, a real class act.

Unlike someone else we could care to mention…

Rolf Harris

Obviously, the disgraced sex criminal Rolf Harris is no longer selling his once-revered art through any official or reputable dealers anymore, but his paintings did continue to change hands on eBay throughout his prison sentence.

Anyone who invested in a Rolf Harris painting pre-Yewtree will have seen the price drop significantly after he was arrested, charged and convicted of multiple counts of indecent assault. Most fell instantly by about 90% – but now that the dust has settled a little, some are still going for as much as a grand a pop on eBay (enough to buy you a wardrobe’s worth of Katie Price cast-offs)


However, if the eBay listings are accurate (and to not violate eBay’s terms of service, they need to be) it seems there are some “Brand New” Rolf Harris paintings that were added to the site in November 2017 – being sold by user sc3005. November 2017 is six months since Rolf was released from prison.

Has he taken up the paints again and started selling his work through the backchannel of eBay? The titles of his recent output certainly have a bit of a ‘post-prison’ vibe to them…

How is sc3005 getting their hands on so many Harris originals, including some (extremely flattering) self-portraits?

Who knows? Maybe Rolf will reveal himself on Twitter in due course…