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Perth man auctions his life on internet -

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Perth man auctions his life on internet

The World Today - Tuesday, 18 March , 2008 12:50:00

Reporter: Barbara Miller

ELEANOR HALL: He's 44, single, owns a house complete with spa and goes ski-diving and jet-skiing.

But Ian Usher wasn't looking for a potential partner when he put this information on the net. He
was looking for someone to take over his life.

The Perth resident wants a new start after his marriage break-up and is offering his house, his
job, his lifestyle and friends to the highest bidder in an online auction.

Barbara Miller has the story.

BARBARA MILLER: A wallet and a passport. That's all Ian Usher says he wants to keep of his life in

He came to Australia from England in 2001, a year after getting married. The couple bought a house,
made friends, found work and enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle. But when the relationship ended Mr
Usher decided it was time to give it all up.

He's offering his furnished home, car, motorbike, jet ski and introductions to his friends to the
highest bidder in an online auction.

IAN USHER: The home was something that we were building together and all the furniture in there was
stuff that we bought together in the last home we had, so there is a lot of memories attached to it
and sort of, that's in front of me on a daily basis.

So I thought, well, if I'm selling the house, how do I sell the stuff. Do I sell one piece at a
time in the paper? Do I send it to an auction house or what do I do?

And then I was just hit with this idea, why not put it all together in one auction.

BARBARA MILLER: What about your friends in Perth? What do you think of being asked to entertain a
stranger as a new friend if someone were to buy your life?

IAN USHER: Well, there's mixed reactions from people but quite a few people have said, "yup that's
great to me. I'll be introduced to the new person and see how we get on" so its just, I guess,
people are prepared to say "welcome to Perth". Maybe they could become friends, maybe they don't
but there is that offer and opportunity to ask people.

BARBARA MILLER: Ian Usher is also offering his job in a rug store for sale. His employer, Jenny
Jones has agreed to give the successful bidder a try-out in the store:

JENNY JONES: Ian worked for us for a number of years and he became like family. He is such a
gorgeous man and when he came with this concept because we had seen him go through a break-up of
marriage and pain and bits and pieces, I just thought it was really exciting. I thought, good on

He's really moving ahead and just something on the edge and exciting and we thought why not give it
a go. That's Australia, give something a go!

BARBARA MILLER: Ian Usher has a website detailing his offer, which he says will go live on eBay in
several months time.

There have been previous cases of people trying to sell parts of their lives on eBay.

There was the philosophy student from Wollongong who offered his phone number, friends, six jokes
and a training course on his life.

There was the American student who offered his soul, a move eBay objected to, calling off the

But a company spokeswoman Sian Kennedy says she thinks there'd be no objections to Ian Usher's

SIAN KENNEDY: I think the point around someone trying to sell their soul is that you can't sell
something that's not actually yours to sell so people perhaps objected to it on a philosophical
nature but we don't have a problem with him selling the constituent parts of his life because he is
selling real tangible items like kettles and sky diving kits and items like that so there are
tangible items that he actually offering to sell so we wouldn't actually have a problem with him
selling it.

BARBARA MILLER: David Mellor an Associate Professor of Psychology at Deakin University says selling
your life on the internet sounds a little unusual.

DAVID MELLOR: Without knowing this person or the circumstances surrounding his situation directly,
I think it sounds like an unusual approach to dealing with the relationship break-up.

BARBARA MILLER: Why's that? Wouldn't it be normal to want to run away from things?

DAVID MELLOR: Well, that may be the case but most people who experience separations tend to use
those kind of possessions and friendships and relationships to maintain their identity.

For a person to be disposing of all those things, sounds to be giving up their identity in one way.

BARBARA MILLER: But Ian Usher says he gets bored easily and says he's ready to move on. Though he's
not entirely sure yet of where to.

IAN USHER: Plans would be to travel a bit. There are a lot of places in the world I haven't seen
yet. I also want to go back through the UK and visit my mum and see her.

BARBARA MILLER: What does your mum make of this idea?

IAN USHER: She's used to the odd things that I do. You know, she just sort of takes it all in her
stride. It's like water off a ducks back to her.

ELEANOR HALL: Part of a new internet trend in relationship therapy. Ian Usher from Perth ending
that report by Barbara Miller.