Student sold on eBay

Student sold on eBay

Amid the antiques, entertainment systems and vintage jerseys cluttering eBay, one unusual item stood out: Northeastern student Josh Minney.

Minney and recent graduate Smith Anderson spent the past two months traveling the world. The pair visited three continents and 17 countries and had what Anderson called “truly an epic adventure.”

The trip was characterized by last-minute transit plans, nights in train stations and credit card problems. During his three-day stay in Italy, middler undecided major Minney realized he had not saved enough money for a flight back across the Atlantic.

He then posted himself on eBay offering a weeks worth of labor for a flight home. Psychic, Darlene Anderson, who has no relation to Smith, was the lucky bidder.

“We were sitting on the balcony in Rome,” he said in an interview from his cousin’s home in England. “And that’s when I posted myself on eBay.

Under the title “Help! I’m Stuck In Europe,” Minney offered personal labor in exchange for a plane ticket back to America. In the listing, he wrote a brief summary of his journey and a list of possible services, like hedge trimming, story telling and washing cars, that he could supply.

Minney was surprised by the attention his posting received.

“Two hundred people had checked it in the first six hours. Two hours later, 1,500 people had viewed it,” he said. “I couldn’t believe this thing was taking off.”

Darlene, 54, a resident of Quincy works as a psychic at Regina Russell’s Tea Room, a family-owned business that provides services like tarot card reading, psychic phone services and tea leaf readings.

Darlene, who spent $935.01 on Minney, said she bought his ticket home because she could relate to his predicament.

“I’ve been in the same situation before. I was stuck in Ireland. My mom finally bailed me out,” she said. “And no, there was no eBay involved in that.”

Minney, who arrived back in Boston was greeted Monday by Darlene, who held a sign that read “Josh Minney Welcome Back to the USA.”

Minney is currently living with Darlene in Quincy and started work yesterday.

Minney will serve as a host at Darlene’s Regina Russell’s Tea Room, providing customers with drinks and asking them what reading they would like.

Darlene said she would also give him a chance to try doing readings if he was interested.

“This boy has some talents. He’s reiki-trained too, so he’s got good qualifications for this kind of work,” she said. “I’m going to test him on it.”

Minney flew out of Glasgow International Airport and arrived at Logan Airport at about 8 pm. He spent the last days of his trip with his cousin, in the English village of Leicestre.

“It’s nice to have a little bit of time to relax and gather myself before I fly back home and work as a psychic,” he said, while his cousin’s baby, Cody, cried beside him.

Smith and Minney began their trip separately. The former left for Japan May 30 and was joined by Minney six days later. With the exception of Morroco, none of their destinations were planned beforehand. The lack of planning led Minney to run out of money without a plane ticket home, he said.

Smith, who flew home July 23, said he was not able to help Minney buy a ticket because he did not have enough extra money. Still, he said he was confident that he could have gained enough support from friends at home if the eBay plan was not successful.

“We kind of wanted to see if we could do it on our own first,” he said.

Minney said his parents were unable to offer assistance.

“My father said, ‘You got yourself into this mess, now get yourself out,” he said. “And my mother just didn’t have the money.”

Maureen Minney, 52, supported her son by spreading awareness of his cause through her Newport, Calif., neighborhood. She said she contacted neighbors, people from her work at the Island Hotel and friends in the travel business.

When she heard about Josh’s eBay posting, she said she was excited about the idea but worried about who the winning bidder would be. After a conversation with Darlene, Maureen expressed her reassurance and said she was praying for the best.

“Josh is a positive thinker and good things come to him,” she said. “I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Josh, who returns to classes this fall, said he plans to write a book about his 59-day trip. For now, students can read about the journey on, a blog updated by Smith and Minney.

Despite getting stranded in Europe without enough money for a plane ticket, Minney said the “best plan was to have no plan.”

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