From a negative test commemorated in a bag of air, to a rock found on a lockdown stroll, and even lunch with Dr Ashley Bloomfield: Trade Me's top Marketplace listings of 2020 were inspired by COVID-19, according to the buy and sell platform.
Spokesperson Millie Silvester says wider events and current news were often reflected in Trade Me's top auctions and last year was no exception.
“Obviously, much of 2020 was dominated by COVID-19 and so were our top auctions, with all five of our most popular listings of the year related to the pandemic in some way," she says.
“While we reckon New Zealand's team of five million did a damn good job banding together last year, it was tough, and we loved seeing Kiwis coming together on Trade Me to raise money for charities, help each other out, and have a much-needed laugh.
Silvester says a COVID-19-free bag of air took out the top spot as the most viewed auction on Trade Me in 2020.
“In August, a Hamilton student celebrated his negative COVID-19 test by breathing into a ziplock bag and popping it up for sale onsite," she says.
“The auction - and its roaring Q-A - took New Zealand by storm, garnering a heap of media attention and fetching a whopping 210,086 views.
After five days onsite, Silvester says Trade Me contacted the seller and together they made the decision to withdraw the listing.
“We love seeing Kiwis taking current events and turning them into something fun for others to enjoy but ultimately our priority is ensuring all of our members have a great experience onsite.
“Our team was actively monitoring the listing and when it became apparent that some bidders were not genuine, we made the call to remove it from our site. At the time we removed the auction, the leading bid was $101,200," she says.
In second place was a ‘leprechaun turd' found by a Christchurch father and son on a walk during level 4 lockdown. “We know Kiwis love a good story, and this auction delivered that and more.
“The charming listing description was written in the words of eight-year-old Pacey and told the tale of how he found the rock and came to list it onsite. It was an instant hit, fetching 157,275 views and selling for $274," Silvester says
Taking out the third most-viewed spot was Dan Carter's test jersey, listed to support his local rugby club, Southbridge, after COVID-19 brought the season to a halt.
“We know many community sports clubs took a big hit during the lockdown, so it was wonderful to see Kiwis get in behind this great cause with the listing reaching 129,357 views and selling for $21,300
Silvester says both the fourth and fifth most popular auctions featured Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.
“Dr Bloomfield was widely commended for his outstanding service last year, so it is fitting that he featured not once, but twice on the list.
A superhero-themed sketch of Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern by Auckland artist Jason Hoyt took out fourth place, receiving 105,744 views and selling for $6,350.
In fifth place, a Cancer Society fundraiser auction gave the top bidder a chance to have lunch with Bloomfield at Parliament.
“The listing fetched 87,645 views and we were thrilled to see the top bid reach $13,350 for the worthy cause.
“The impressive selling price of both the sketch and the lunch date are a testament to New Zealand's love for Bloomfield and the leadership he showed over a pretty rocky few months," says Silvester.
She adds the rest of the list was rounded out by a "Potentially" Nuclear Fusion Reactor, a homemade excavator bed, a cursed printer nicknamed Satan, the last of McDonald's Szechuan sauce, and the chance to ride in a McLaren.