March 16, 2006 -- -- People buy and sell just about everything on eBay -- sometimes offering up something as valuable as themselves.
The latest bizarre episode in the eBay universe is potentially one of the saddest. A Cleveland woman posted an ad asking someone to provide a home for her and her children so that they could escape what the woman described as an abusive husband.
"This relationship can be what you want it to be," the ad read. "It can be casual or friendlier which could lead into marriage if we see fit whatever would benefit my children and of course you and me."
In response to a barrage of angry e-mails, the woman tried to explain herself in another posting.
"I am strictly looking for a decent, loving and kind man who can give us love and a nice home and take us away from all this turmoil," the woman said. "I am a wonderful person and mom, I know this seems unusual to post an ad like this but it is better then the bar scene."
The auction Web site pulled the posting, saying it went against its policy.
"It is a violation of our prohibited services policy ... which includes no virtual relationships," said Catherine England, a company spokeswoman. "We have the policy in place to protect our community members. EBay strives to have a clean and transparent marketplace."
Auctions for Prom Dates and Ghosts
This wasn't the first attempt at selling a person on the Internet's largest auction site.
EBay agreed this week to pull another controversial ad off its Web site. The ad offered the friendship of a 16-year-old Houston girl to the highest bidder.
In March 2005, Stu Hemesath reportedly took Rachel Kay to her senior prom in Cedar Falls, Iowa, after Rachel had placed the winning bid for Stu on eBay for $29.95. The price didn't cover the limo and flowers.
And in December 2004, a 6-year-old boy in Hobart, Ind., apparently asked his mother to sell his grandfather's ghost on eBay. The boy, Collin Anderson, had reportedly been afraid the ghost might return someday to cause him trouble.