The Olympics haven't even started yet and people can already begin bidding for Games memorabilia.
Over 200 million things related to the upcoming sporting event will be put on the auction block. That includes everything from light bulbs to sporting equipment and even Yao Ming's extra long bed that he'll sleep in at the Olympic Village.
"We will highlight items (like Yao's bed) for bidders," said Xiong Yan, president of the China Beijing Equity Exchange yesterday. The Beijing Olympic Games organizer (BOCOG) has authorized the exchange to sell the items after the Olympics and Paralympics.
"Obviously, the bidding will be hot. People will be looking for memorabilia," Xiong said.
I've seen some of the furniture in the Olympic Village and they are really your standard dorm closets and bedside tables. However, I guess if Yao did sit on a particular chair that might be neat to have.
But how would you know it was his chair and not another basketball player's?
And how would these athletes feel about the BOCOG profiting from the online auction already happening?
Xiong is quick to say this is not the first time Games organizers are auctioning off memorabilia. But this will definitely the biggest sale in Games history under the hammer.
Olympics organizers are also even talking about auctioning off land where temporary venues are now.
While people can bid online now, the actual auction won't happen until after the Olympics and Paralympics are over.
What's interesting is that the BOCOG hasn't disclosed what the money from the sales will be used for.
While it's kind of crass to bid for a piece of Olympics memorabilia when the event hasn't even started yet, it's great to know the BOCOG has an entrepreneurial spirit that is following the mantra of striking the iron while it's hot.