From wigs to weird, Sarah Palin items surge online

Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:06pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - From Sarah Palin's trademark Kazuo Kawasaki glasses, to gun-toting action figures and a large pumpkin carved with her face, the newcomer in the U.S. election campaign has sparked a rush of online novelties.

Other shoppers are rushing to copy the style of the Republican party's vice-presidential candidate ahead of the November 4 vote.

Figures show online sales of items related to Palin, the governor of Alaska and self-described "hockey mom", have shot up over fivefold, overtaking sales of the election's three male contenders, and prompting a far wider range of merchandise.

Demand may be muted for a $125 pumpkin hand-carved with Palin's face, but Palin wigs for $75 could be more appealing while a hockey puck featuring her photo, the U.S. flag and reading "Hockey Moms for Sarah Palin" is proving popular at $15.

A piece of uneaten toast titled "Sarah Palin on my toast! A sign? You be the judge," was up for sale on the online auction site eBay, with 24 bids and one unbelievable offer of $7,100.

Karen Bard, an eBay spokeswoman, said the number of Palin related items has surged since Republican John McCain on August 29 named Palin, 44, as his running mate.

"The day after McCain popped the big question to Palin, 105 Palin items were listed on eBay. With the momentum from the Republican National Convention, Palin items took off peaking at 554 listing in one day," Bard said.

She said over the past 30 days on eBay, over 4,000 Palin items have sold for an average of $5.61, with the highest item, an autographed photo of mother-of-five Palin, getting $499.99.

A quick check found 1,500 items related to Palin for sale on eBay, outnumbering 298 for Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden, while Democrat Barack Obama had 4,500 items to his name and McCain 1,750.   Continued...

<p>Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin autographs a sign for a supporter after a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, September 18, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Mally</p>