October 29, 2014

Top 10 most expensive online purchases

Last month I spoke about payment innovation in retail at the Retail Week Technology and ECommerce summit. I was there to talk about our decision to accept Bitcoin at PrivateFly, but I had a lot of interesting discussions about ECommerce in general – and how far its come in the last 10 to 20 years.

I was asked, several times, as I often am: “Do people really book private jets online?”. There seems to be a fascination with the idea of consumers making such a high value online transaction.

And of course the answer is a resounding yes – people do book private jets online. And in steadily increasing numbers, whether on their pc, laptop, tablet or phone. In fact, one of our most expensive app purchases was a $500,000 flight on a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) for a multi-leg business trip around Europe.

But while booking a private jet flight online is a higher value transaction than most, it’s not the highest out there by any means. In fact, others are spending millions in just one click.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of ten of the most expensive items you can buy (or have already been bought) online, from the most luxurious to the totally obscure.

A JET – $40 MILLION

Back in 1999, billionaire Mark Cuban purchased a Gulfstream V jet online for a cool $40 million. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest ECommerce transaction ever at the time. In 2001, another Gulfstream II aircraft was sold online for $4.9 million.

A YACHT – $140 MILLION

Mark Cuban’s record was broken in 2005 when a Mulder Design yacht sold on eBay for $140 million. The 405-foot yacht is fitted out with a helipad, a cinema room, a gym, 10 suites and 8 guest cabins.

A TOWN – $2.5 MILLION

An eBay member called Bobby Cave bought the entire town of Albert, Texas on the online auction site for $216,000, put in $500,000 of improvements and then ultimately sold it to another eBay member for $2.5 million!

A BUSINESS LUNCH – $2.6 MILLION

Berkshire Hathaway CEO and founder of NetJets, Warren Buffett, offered his time over a business lunch for charity. An anonymous bidder won the auction with an online bid for $2.6 million. (Interesting that you can buy lunch with him online, but you can’t yet book your NetJets flight online…)

A SANDWICH – $28,000

Even the humble sandwich can change hands for staggeringly large sums. In 2004, a grilled sandwich was sold for $28,000 on eBay. The sandwich contained an image of the Virgin Mary.

A BASEBALL CARD – $1.265 MILLION

A baseball trading card from 1909 bearing Honus Wagner, one of the most famous baseball plays in major league history, sold for $1.265 million on eBay in 2010.

A PAINTING – $25.9 MILLION

Via Amazon you can buy a $25 million piece of art – we wonder if that also includes free next day shipping.

A SPORTS CAR – $1 MILLION

Back in 2002, an Enzo Ferrari sports car sold on eBay for just under $1 million. Then, the price tag of this rare sports car (only 399 were produced) set a record for the most expensive item ever auctioned online in Europe.

MISSILE BASE – $2.1 MILLION

Back in 2002, eBay auctioned off a missile base that had formerly belonged to the Federal Government. The base, designed to withstand a nuclear hit, was sold to the highest bidder for $2.1 million.

JEANS – $60,000

An original pair of Levi Strauss & Co 501 jeans, 115 years old, were sold to an anonymous collector for $60,000 through eBay in 2005. There are said to be only two or three complete pairs of authentic pre-1900 Levi’s 501 jeans in existence.

You can book your next private jet flight online with our flight search. Or contact our 24-hour Flight Team on +44 1747 642 777.

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