A PRACTICAL joke landed Brighouse engineer Paul Pattinson in hot water with mighty online retailer ebay.
Describing Paul as ‘a part-worn human, in need of a good home’, the ebay notice sought bids for the 45-year-old employee at Flow Technology Ltd.
Within days hundreds of people had viewed the item and more than 35 had put in bids, the highest being for £82. But on Tuesday ebay removed the item, only 24 hours before the bidding was due to close, because it breached the online company’s rules.
One of Paul’s colleagues, David Clark, decided to put his friend up for sale as a practical joke to see how many bids he would attract. Paul, it was said, ‘required exercising three times a day’ and his moving parts ‘needed oiling with Newcastle Brown’.
David said: “A few weeks ago I managed to sell one trainer on ebay after my dog decided to eat the other. I couldn’t believe it.
“That made us think that it might be possible to sell any old piece of tat so we decided to put Paul on the site and advertised him as a part-worn human.”
The item proved to be very popular and was soon attracting responses from Germany asking about international shipping.
In four days the item was viewed 765 times and was being watched by 35 bidders.
David said: “This is an incredible number for any item on ebay. We just couldn’t believe the interest it was getting. At first it was just people from work who were bidding but then it started going worldwide. “I had to switch my phone off because I was getting emails all day. It was then that we decided to change it into a fundraising effort for Overgate Hospice in Elland.
“We included a comment on the item saying that for ethical reasons people couldn’t actually buy Paul and that, providing the highest bidder was okay with it, we were going to donate the money to the hospice.”
Paul, who gave his full consent to the sale, said: “It is a shame that ebay decided to remove the item but we will make up whatever the highest bid was and donate the money to charity.”