By now you've probably heard about the growing trend in auctioning off forehead space through online auctioneer eBay
Listen. Unless this Nebraskan happens to be Berkshire Hathaway's
Even before the auction was over I saw countless copycat auctions, with most of these prospective human billboards drawing a mere pittance (if any interest at all).
I'm a fan of eBay, yes, even after its recent watered-down financial outlook. That's why this phenomenon is amusing until one starts taking a long-term view of the situation. See, eBay has been known to crack down on selling potential hate crime material like Nazi paraphernalia, and it's quick to shut down any auctions for organs that don't play music. The only body parts that eBay wants to sell trade in its popular eBay Motors category.
That's why eBay is in a pickle. If it lets these forehead rentals run rampant on the site it will be a distraction, yet it's not as though the company has any sound basis for putting an end to the practice. While last year's auction for a grilled cheese sandwich bearing a likeness to the Virgin Mary spawned a good deal of copycats, eBay was able to snip those coattails right away. This time most of the clones have every intention of legitimacy.
eBay isn't the only popular online destination offering auctions. Yahoo!
If things keeps up, that snore prevention remedy may prove to be moot as nervous investors lose sleep over eBay's headache of a dilemma.
Would you be willing to loan out your forehead for a temporary tattoo ad? What would be your asking price? Can the trend hurt eBay in the long run? All this and more -- in the eBay discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user, though his forehead is not for sale. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its stage of defiance.