Now you can take one of the pigs home without getting arrested. The eBay auction site opened on Nov. 1 to sell more than 140 of the porkers to the highest bidder.
Betsy Neyer, the Big Pig Gig's director of marketing, says there are two reasons the majority of the auctioned pigs have been placed online. First, it takes 2-4 minutes to auction an object live, even with the auctioneer speaking quickly. With 66 hogs on the block, that becomes a 3-4 hour event.
Additionally, interest from outside Cincinnati suggests that making the pigs more broadly available is a good idea. "We think the pigs have a national audience," Neyer says.
ArtWorks used two other factors to determine which pigs go to which auction. If a pig has local ties (such as "Eden Pork") then it is likely to be auctioned at the live event. Pigs that have wide appeal (such as "Elvis Pigsly") are sold online. But don't assume this is across the board. Some local pigs, including "Sow-ciety for the Preservation of Music Hall," "When We Win the Super Bowl" and "Covington Retriever" are online.
Sponsors are the second factor. Some sponsors did not donate their pigs for auction, and some requested their squealers be sold online. Neyer says online auction requests were easier to fulfill than live auction requests.
So how much is this hog going to cost you? Bids begin at $1,500 for all pigs. Bidders have to check eBay for minimum increases and other regulations. Fifty percent of the profits from the auctions (both live and online) will go to ArtWorks; the other half go to a charity chosen by the sponsor.
Can you seriously put a price tag on a the pigs who have lined our streets? Over the next two weeks we'll see what hog futures are costing. ©