Now that the Red Sox "curse" has been reversed by the team's World Series victory, the document that personifies that curse -- the original 1919-dated contract to sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000 -- is up for auction on eBay. The booty includes a signed letter from Ty Cobb that testifies to Ruth's greatest strengths as a pitcher and weakness as a drinker. At the time I authored this entry, the highest bid for the contract was $470,100. As far as I can tell, eBay has a total grip on the online auction market. If you have something to sell, eBay is the place to do it because that's where all the buyers are. If you want to buy something, you can't not look on eBay because that's where all the sellers are. eBay's grip however has not deterred competitors from trying to nose in on its dominance. Recently, Overstock.com managed to attract the business of Steven Williams who was looking to sell Barry Bonds' 700th home-run ball. Though it's not clear what Overstock did to win Williams' business away from eBay, you can bet that any online auctioneer that manages to recruit sellers of high-value novelty items like these is somehow sweetening the deal for the seller. Sellers typically have to give auctioneers a cut of the final sale price, which, in the case of the Barry Bonds baseball, was $804,129.
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