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3/20/2006
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Town To Be Auctioned On eBay (Again)

Bruce Krall, who bought a California community two years ago, will re-auction the town on eBay next month.

An Orange County, California financial advisor is putting the town of Bridgeville, Calif., back on the eBay Inc. auction block nearly two years after buying it for $700,000.

Bruce Krall of Cohen Financial plans to re-auction the Humboldt County community on eBay next month. The auction will open online April 4 with a minimum bid of $1.75 million, more than twice what he paid for the 83-acre property about 40 miles southwest of Eureka. The bidding will be closed after 30 days.

Krall decided to re-auction the property on eBay because it received worldwide attention the first time. "I've never sold anything on eBay, but my wife has," he said.

Online auction agency Kompolt, which manages actions for high profile charity events, will pre-qualify bidders. "They've managed auctions to sell Elton John's piano or Jay Leno's motorcycle," Krall said. "They know all the rules and how to pre-qualify bidders," he added.

After purchasing the property, Krall poured nearly as much money to restore the town as the purchase price. "The town was in unbelievable terrible condition from houses pilled high to the ceiling with garbage to dilapidated buildings falling down," he said. "We fixed a lot of building and the septic tank."

Bridgeville, which dates to the early 1900s, includes houses, a post office, cemetery, cabins, and more. In total, the town has about 10 businesses and 38 employees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The town became the first to be auctioned on eBay in December 2002. The property received nearly 250 bids. Bidding started at $5,000 and closed at $1,777,877. But the deal fell through and the property went back on eBay. Krall bought the property in 2004.

He intended to turn the property into a retreat, "but plans have changed and we're unable to leave southern California at this time," said Krall.

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