SHANGHAI, Nov. 11 – Hundreds of millions of Chinese used their smartphones to snap up online bargains Saturday on “Double 11”, the country’s annual e-commerce shopping spree. Also known as “Singles Day”, China’s version of “Black Friday” saw billions of dollars in orders for the usual items such as food, furniture and electronics.
But if a new pair of socks seems a bit boring, a range of more unusual items can be had in China’s thriving online marketplaces.
Unwanted Boeing 747s ($18.5 mn)
Finding a place to park it might be a problem, but anyone with at least 123 million yuan ($18.5 million) to spare might fancy snapping up their very own Boeing 747 cargo plane, three of which will be up for online auction on from November 20 on Taobao.com, the main platform of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The planes used to belong to now-defunct Jade Cargo International, whose assets are being sold off by a court in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen after the planes previously failed to find a buyer.
Flatulence in a bottle ($3)
This glass bottle with a cork stopper costs 20-59 yuan and is supposedly full of human gas that will make you feel like “a goddess”. Unclear what the purpose is, or even if it is genuine. But one seller calls it “beautifying” for the skin and another says it will help keep you awake, a bit like a morning coffee. So far two websites selling the item have made one sale between them.
Bark for ‘strong’ men ($27)
Going for a promotional price of 178 yuan — originally 490 yuan — are packets of cabinda bark extract, which is thought by some to have an aphrodisiac effect for men. Dip it in hot water, a bit like a tea bag, soak for 15 minutes and drink. Then wait for the result. Each portion is good for use on three occasions. “Herbal energy — rekindle happiness, make men strong and enjoy a sense of achievement,” boast the sellers.
Trump, Kim Jong-Un masks ($3)
Ever wanted to be President Donald Trump for the day? Or North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un? Now you can be, sort of, with latex masks that cover the whole head and face and look vaguely like the two men in question, though Trump might take issue with the very yellow hair and eyebrows. Costing at least 20 yuan, wannabe world leaders can also buy versions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and former US president Barack Obama. Dead Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is another option if the mood takes you. Chinese President Xi Jinping is not available.
Eyebrow stamp ($4.50)
The drive for self-improvement can lead down all sorts of odd avenues, and this plastic device is one of them. Costing as little as 30 yuan, you dip the eyebrow-shaped contraption into a powder that boasts different shades of brown/grey, then stamp it on your face in the appropriate spot. If the standard arched eyebrow is a little boring, you can make it straighter. No need to fear embarrassment in sudden rainstorms: the powder is water proof.
(Copyright AFP, received through National News Agency)