Continuing to prove the rule that you can find literally anything you could ever want on Taobao, Michael Jackson’s famed Neverland Valley Ranch went up for auction on the Chinese online shopping platform on Tuesday.
The 2,700-acre California estate, which was modeled by Jackson after the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan as the ideal home for a boy who never wants to grow up and has tons of cash to spare, was listed at the low, low price of 500 million yuan (US$79 million).
44,000 people viewed the listing and around 400 people set up alerts for bids, but unfortunately no one actually made a bid in the auction that lasted for just one day in the lead up to the shopping frenzy that is Singles’ Day in China.
Some say that China’s super rich, who have been known to make some frivolous purchases in the past, were actually scared off, not by the starting price, but by the bad vibes associated with the place considering the early and dramatic death of the King of Pop.
Perhaps they also did their research and found out that the estate has changed much since Jackson used to reside there. The Washington Post reports that the famous amusement park is no more and depressingly you will find just one animal at the once vibrant zoo, a lone llama. The place has even changed its name to the banal Sycamore Valley Ranch.
Still, it boasts 22 buildings, a 50-seat movie theater, a swimming pool, a basketball court, a tennis court and a magic stage. Jackson paid just US$19.5 million for the ranch back in 1987 and resided there for 15 interesting years. In 2008, the real estate firm Colony Capital bought out the late King of Pop’s US$23 million mortgage.
The firm listed the Sycamore Valley Ranch for sale at US$100 million earlier this year, but got no buyers.
Rather than just relying on selling fake English-language certifications for 1 yuan, Taobao has set up an auction branch that seems to be making a name for itself by listing expensive properties, including islands in Fiji, castles in Italy and chateaus in France. In July, a $258 million property in Portugal featuring 1,500 villas and apartments sold on the site.
You may have missed out on buying Neverland, but Taobao still has of other priceless items to choose from, including university graduates, “imperial yellow” dining sets, significant others mourners and Michael Jackson’s glove.