|Stratford Northwestern Secondary School teacher Keith Edwards holds a shoe donated by pop star Justin Bieber in an online auction to benefit the school’s radio broadcasting station. (Scott Wishart/QMI Agency)
STRATFORD, Ont. – Bidders got a lot of mileage out of Justin Bieber’s shoe, but the coveted footwear will stay put for now.
The eBay auction for one of Bieber's shoes will start over after the winning $5,500 bid reportedly came from a fan using her mother’s account without permission.
The pair of signed and worn purple Nikes were donated by the Canadian pop star to his alma mater, Stratford Northwestern Secondary School, to raise money for a broadcast booth and equipment at the school.
“We’re going to do a relaunch of the whole thing,” teacher Keith Edwards said on Monday. “I think there was a little too much excitement by people who can’t financially back their excitement.”
Students and teachers decided to put the one shoe up on eBay two weeks ago. It peaked at $12,400, but by the time the auction closed Friday, the highest bid was just $5,500. Unfortunately, that bid, too, wouldn’t come through.
The popular auction site told the school it could either give the shoe to the next highest bidder, or start again.
Edwards said the school chose the latter option, because it wasn’t fair to potential bidders who may have been shut out when the bids were falsely inflated.
Representatives from eBay will be dropping by the school to make a presentation and help set up the sale.
The online auction company recommends not-for-profit organizations contact eBay before listing any high-profile items so a pre-approved bidders' list can be set up ahead of time, said Kevin Wolsley, spokesperson for eBay Canada.
“If the school wants to relist, we will partner with them so they’re set up from the get go. We didn’t know about the (first) listing until it had already started, so we were playing catch-up,” Wolsley said.
Edwards said eBay has agreed to waive its fees and will also waive restrictions that kept the first sale from going international the first time around.
The next auction will launch March 23 and run for seven days.
“Hopefully, the second time is the charm,” Edwards said.
The school is hanging onto the other shoe and will decide in the coming weeks what to do with it.