Do you need money after an expensive holiday season? Know any celebs? Well, you could be sitting on a goldmine. Everything they touch seems to have value and in a world of obsessive fans, even the things celebs dump in the trash have massive resale potential.
Fans and collectors aren’t afraid to bring out the big bucks when it comes to celebrity memorabilia. Some of the most expensive items ever sold include the red shoes worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, which fetched an impressive $666,000.00 and the motor racing suit worn by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans which sold for a jaw-dropping $984,000.00. Remember James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from the movie Goldfinger? In 2010 this movie prop was purchased by an avid fan for $6.41 million. Wonder if it came with a working ejector seat at that price?
But surely not everything a celeb comes in contact with has value? Well, that just depends on how famous you are! It’s not just anyone who can raise big bucks with their trash. As you’ll see from the list below, even things that are brimming with the gross factor, like used tissues and gum, can be valuable depending on who they belonged to first.
15. Niall Horan’s Half-Eaten Toast ($100,000)
Vegemite (also sometimes known as Marmite) is a salty vegetarian spread for bread but it’s not a taste that everyone enjoys. Niall Horan (One Direction)– who always seems to be eating something– sampled the spread on some toast during an Australian morning TV show but he didn’t think much of the flavor and didn’t finish it.
Instead of pitching it in the bin like normal people, the show, Morning Sunrise, decided to auction off the leftovers in order to raise money for a local charity Youngcare. Fans were falling over themselves to try and get their hands on the half-chewed toast and an eBay bidding war ensued. It seems insane but at least it was for a good cause.
14. John Lennon’s Tooth ($31,000)
The story of how John Lennon’s tooth ended up for sale is just as strange as the person who put down a big wad of cash to own it. The legendary Beatles frontman lost one of his molars during the 60s and gave the tooth to his housekeeper, to keep as a memento because she was a massive fan. It may seem disgusting but this gesture was well intended, John obviously realized that because of his fame it would be valuable.
The housekeeper passed the tooth on to her daughter, who decided to put it up for sale rather than keep it in the family. In 2011, the tooth was sold for a handsome amount to a Canadian dentist. Apparently, he wants to use it to clone the long dead star. We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried…
13. Brad And Angie’s Exhaled Air ($530)
Celebrities are used to meeting all sorts of people on the red carpet but even superstars like Angie and Brad must have been surprised to find a fan waiting, not with questions or autograph requests but with a glass jar instead. As the stars breezed past the fan at the opening of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, he opened the jar to capture the air around them. That’s not even the weirdest part of the story– the man then went on to auction the jar of air on eBay in 2010. He described it as Brad and Angie’s expired breath and what do you know, someone purchased it. It’s one of the cheapest items on our list and that’s not surprising when you consider it’s just thin air!
12. William Shatner’s Kidney Stone ($25,000)
The next one is not for the faint of heart. Here’s the question: how much would you pay for the privilege of owning someone’s kidney stone? A little stuck for an answer? We’re not surprised; we can hardly see people lining up for something like this but don’t underestimate the pull of a celeb name.
One afternoon on the set of Boston Legal, Star Trek star William Shatner complained of severe abdominal pain before he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors discovered he had a bad case of kidney stones and operated to remove them. One disturbingly large kidney stone was kept and auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity, a Christian charity that builds houses for the poor.
11. Britney’s Used Gum And Pregnancy Test ($14,000 + $5,001)
Imagine being so famous that people literally rummage through your trash… it’s actually pretty gross, not to mention sad. And Britney Spears is that famous– no wonder she eventually shaved off all her hair under the strain!
A few of the less sanitary used items of Britney’s to find their way onto the internet are a pregnancy test (which tested positive) and a wad of pre-chewed chewing gum. The pregnancy test was retrieved out of a hotel dustbin when Britney was still with Kevin Federline and bought by an online casino. The gum fetched almost three times as much when it went up for sale in 2004. Quite a few pieces of gum have since turned up but none have fetched a considerable bid seeing as how they are unauthenticated.
Britney’s Positive Pregnancy Test: $5,001.00
10. Scarlett’s Used Tissue ($5,300)
In 2008 Scarlett Johansson made an appearance on The Tonight Show even though she was sick with a cold she caught from co-worker Samuel L. Jackson. After grabbing a tissue and blowing her famous nose just once, she sealed the crumpled tissue in a plastic bag. And why would you save a used tissue? For charity of course! Scarlett generously donated the proceeds of the sale to USA Harvest, a charity group that collects food from hotels and schools to feed people in need.
It’s kind of strange to think that somewhere out there, possibly in a little glass case, is a crumpled up tissue with a weird mixture of Scarlett’s and Samuel’s germs. Even stranger is the fact that someone paid good money for it. Let’s hope it’s in that glass case, what else would you do with it?
9. Justin Bieber’s Hair ($40,668)
We all know that pre-teen fans are some of the craziest out there. They are willing to snatch up anything related to a celebrity and Justin Bieber fans have been known to drop huge amounts of cash on Justin memorabilia. One of the more unusual collectibles to go up for sale was a few strands of the pop star’s famous blonde hair. The money raised from this sale was donated to an animal rescue foundation.
Other notable celebrity hair sales include strands of John Lennon’s hair which were sold in 2007 for $48,000 and locks of Elvis Presley’s hair which fetched an astonishing $115,000.00 in 2002. Guess someone really wanted a piece of the King for themselves. Even a locket of Abraham Lincoln’s hair ended up on auction in 2012 where someone paid a cool $39,000.00 for it.
8. Michael Jackson’s Worn Undies ($1,000,000)
Just a few months after his death in June 2008, an unusual piece of Michael Jackson memorabilia went up for auction and while you may be thinking “who could want these?” the bidding soon escalated well past the point of insanity. The underpants in question, a white pair of Calvin Kleins with a 28-inch waist, are believed to have been among the evidence collected by authorities in 2003 when Jackson faced child molestation charges. It’s believed that they were used to obtain a DNA sample from the star who was later acquitted of all charges.
A few other noteworthy pieces of Michael Jackson collectibles include his famous rhinestone glove which once sold for $212,000.00 and his marriage certificate (with Lisa Presley) which fetched $70,800.00.
7. Jennifer Lawrence’s Sweaty Sports Bra ($3,175)
Celeb memorabilia can be even more valuable when it has also appeared in a movie… but a sweaty bra? Could anyone really be interested in that? It’s not exactly sexy. But if it’s been on Jennifer Lawrence’s body then it seems to be a whole different story.
After filming Silver Linings Playbook where Jennifer plays Tiffany Maxwell, a depressed widow, the sports bra and blue sweatshirt that she wore in the movie went up for auction on eBay. They were eventually sold as a set to one lucky fan but let’s just be honest here– it was probably pretty manky by the time it arrived and it’s not like you can wash it without reducing the value. Ew, hope it was worth that stack of cash.
6. Justin Timberlake’s Breakfast Leftovers ($1,025)
While appearing on a morning radio show back in the early 2000s, Justin Timberlake nibbled on a few slices of French toast but wasn’t quite able to finish the last one. Instead of throwing the half-eaten food away, a gutsy DJ from the station decided to auction it off instead. And Justin’s fans responded in kind.
In no time at all a 19-year-old fan, obviously besotted with the pop star, arrived at the radio station with the winning bid and in return was presented with the partially eaten slice of French toast. The money raised from the auction was donated to one of J.T.’s favorite charities. Wonder what the fan did with it?
5. Willie Nelson’s Pigtails ($37,000)
People seem to be obsessed with buying celeb hair– it’s a little concerning! I mean, what do you do with it once you own it? Actually, that isn’t worth thinking about. At least with this item– Willie Nelson’s iconic braided pigtails– you could frame and hang them on a wall. But one thing is for sure, they won’t come cheap.
The braids were cut in the 1980s when Willie’s hair was still red and given to Waylon Jennings (who was close to the star) in 1983 at a party thrown by Johnny Cash to celebrate Jennings’ sobriety. They went on sale along with 2000 other items at an auction of the late outlaw country singer in 2012 and were secured by an unnamed buyer.
4. Ozzie’s Old Lamp ($2,500)
In 2007 Julien’s Auctions, an auction house that specializes in celebrity and entertainment auctions, showcased the “Osbourne Collection”– 500 plus items all related in some way to the original Prince of Darkness and his famous family. Included in the auction were clothes, wigs, and household items. Ozzie’s famous red robe that he wore for this family’s hit reality series opened at $400 while his three pairs of his trademark wire-trimmed glasses started at $1000 each on reserve.
Lot #68 was a little more macabre: a Charles Korschann inspired bronze lamp base (shade not included). The reason that this item is disturbing is because it was cursed, according to the catalog— believed to have been the case of a damaging fire in the Osbourne’s home in 2006.
3. J.D. Salinger’s Toilet ($1,000,000)
J.D. Salinger, the author famous for the controversial book Catcher in the Rye, died in 2010 and soon afterward pieces of memorabilia from his home started to appear on eBay. One of these items, sold by a Rick Kohl, was none other than the writer’s private commode. Yup, a plain white toilet.
J.D. was an extremely private person, almost a recluse, who very rarely appeared in public especially in the later years of his life. We’ve got no doubt that the toilet was the place where he thought a lot and maybe even had writing ideas but you have to admit, a used toilet is really just a used toilet, isn’t it? But judging from the price it fetched someone really, really wanted it anyway.
2. Wil Wheaton’s Ping Pong Ball ($1,135)
Combining celebrity power and the force of social media (in this case Twitter) Wil Wheaton managed to sell a damaged ping pong ball on eBay for an incredible amount of cash. How did he do it? By drumming up interest of course, and using his creativity.
Wheaton, famous for his role in Star Trek, gave the ball a name, Silas, and spun an elaborate story about how Silas had been teased by his fellow ping pong balls for being a loner. The internet lapped up every word and when it was time to find Silas a new home the bids came in furiously. Considering you can do literally nothing with this item and it’s worth less than the price of shipping, this is probably one of the craziest entries on this list.
1. Gary Coleman’s Pants ($500)
Gary Coleman was a childhood star famous for his small stature and his role as Arnold Jackson in Diff’rent Strokes. Sadly he struggled financially in later life which made getting treatment for his congenital autoimmune kidney disease difficult. So difficult, in fact, that various autographed items from the actor’s personal collection had to be auctioned off to help pay for his daily dialysis treatments.
One of these items was a pair of his signed navy blue Gap Kids sweatpants which raised an incredible $400,000.00 but sadly these bids were found to be fraudulent. In the end, the pants were purchased by Jimmy Kimmel, but it’s unclear what has happened to them since Coleman’s death in 2010 at the age of just 42.
Gary Coleman’s Sweatpants: $500.00