eBay is a household word, and experienced sellers and buyers know that just about anything can sell on the world's largest online marketplace. But why do people sell "well worn socks" on eBay? Even more disturbing, why would someone buy preowned well-worn socks? Anyone familiar with eBay knows there is a dark side, but the well-worn sock trade is an underground market many people don't even know exists.
The well-worn used sock and shoe industry is growing on eBay as people get more creative with their time and more desperate for money. Speculation is that those with a foot fetish can purchase all the well-worn socks they desire in an anonymous setting without judgement or ridicule. There are also plenty of people willing to provide the well-worn socks on a regular basis. A recent search on eBay shows 239 active listings for well worn socks, and 598 completed listings over the last 30 days.
Sale prices range from $102 on a lot of 34 lost and found ballet shoes and tights, to $3.99 with free shipping for a pair of bright yellow worn socks "broken in by cowgirl." Most listings allude to a young girl having worn the socks, but others mention boys and men. Other keywords in titles include stinky, worn out, smelly, athletic, gym, and a variety of different sports to satisfy the buyer's fantasy. Some sellers have even gone to the trouble to short videos of them modeling the socks and posted the videos on YouTube to drive traffic to their listings.
Why does eBay allow this? Technically, well-worn socks are allowed under the eBay Used Clothing Policy, which states that used items can be sold as long as the seller states is has been used, and there is "no inappropriate content in the listing or any indication that the item has been worn as underwear." So well-worn socks slide through on a technicality.
Gone are the days of selling Tickle Me Elmo and Pez dispensers on eBay. (Well, those are still there, too.) But if you think you have to travel far and wide to find inventory to sell on eBay, think again. The answer may be on your laundry room floor, or on your own feet.