One of the unexpected side-effects of COVID-19? The number of online auctions has skyrocketed. In fact, eBay has reported that their first quarter active buyers reached 174 million, which reflects two percent growth over their prior year quarter. Auction houses are turning to the internet as a means of staying afloat. What’s more – many of these auctions are for a good cause.
While first-responders and essential workers have been doing their part to support relief efforts, collectors have had many opportunities to make a contribution. Collectible items are being auctioned off across the country to raise money for a variety of charities and organizations.
Take a look at the ways that athletes, brands, and other organizations have been helping to support these efforts.
Sports Memorabilia Being Sold to Benefit COVID-19 Efforts
Athletes and collectors have been donating items to be auctioned for the COVID-19 relief efforts. Notably, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress has been auctioning off his personal collection of memorabilia on eBay. This includes thousands of exclusive items from his long career.
Derek Jeter did his part to help with relief efforts when he participated in the All-In Challenge. The All-In Challenge is an online fundraising platform where athletes, actors, and musicians can donate items or experiences to raise money for various charities that provide food for those in need. Jeter donated his 2014-All-Star game Yankees jersey for auction, which sold for $55,000.
Also participating in the All-In Challenge was Tom Brady, who auctioned off a few collectible items, plus an experience. The highest bidder would attend his first game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with three friends. After the game, there was the choice between a private dinner or private workout with Tom himself. Finally, they would also take home his first game-worn Jersey and cleats. The bidding closed at a whopping $800,000.
Another incredible high-ticket collectible up for auction in this challenge is Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl LI Championship Ring, which has surpassed $1,000,000 and will be up for auction until May 21. Another star-studded auction that took place through May 3 was the COVID-19 Charity Auction hosted by CollectibleXchange. Famous athletes (and collectors) donated items to be auctioned off in support of the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. This auction included a variety of items, such as autographed basketballs, footballs, jerseys, and more. Some athletes even auctioned off a meet and greet.
The generosity during this time has extended beyond famous athletes – Boston Red Sox beat writer Chris Cotillo decided to use his newfound spare time to help out. He began auctioning off his baseball card collection on Twitter – where he has over 40,000 followers. Rather than accept money for himself, the purchase price for these items was a donation to charity. In the end, he sold over 350 items for a total of over $57,000 for charity.
Movies, TV, and Art Memorabilia Being Auctioned
Sports memorabilia isn’t the only thing being auctioned. A24 hosted several separate auctions, on April 22, April 27, May 4, and May 11, to benefit relief efforts. These auctions sold items from various movies and television shows, including Euphoria, Hereditary, Eighth Grade, Midsommar, Uncut Gems, and The Lighthouse.
Even the art world has gotten in on this trend! From May 3 until May 19, Venice Art Walk launched an online art auction that included works by artist Ed Ruscha, Incubus singer Brandon Boyd, and celebrity photographer Sid Avery. This auction benefitted the COVID-19 response of Venice Family Clinic, a community healthcare center in Los Angeles.
Mattel Creates Toys to Honor Frontline Workers
Recently launched by Mattel is collection of action figures and Little People Community Champions called #ThankYouHeroes. This set of 16 figurines includes doctors, nurses, EMTs, and delivery drivers of various genders and skin colors. Until May 31, these can be preordered for $20 apiece, with $15 from each purchase being donated in support of #FirstRespondersFirst, which provides essential items to frontline health care workers and their families. It’s great to see that the world of collectibles is supporting the response to COVID-19 in such a variety of ways.