We all know that anything Justin Bieber touches is a potential goldmine, whether it's a DVD, t-shirt, or unofficial "love doll." But now it looks like anything that was vaguely in the vicinity of Justin Bieber can see its market value skyrocket. Like, for example, a jar of dirt.
Yes, it seems an eBay listing for a jar of "100% Real Soil" from Stratford, Ont., is asking for a starting price of $39.99 in U.S. dollars. The seller claims to live close to Bieber's hometown,"collected [the dirt] personally with love," and decorated the jar with a glittery, baby blue "J." Calling it a "one of a kind collectors item" and "a piece of music history," Thats Ridonculus somehow decided that over $40 was a reasonable price for a small sample of dirt collected from the town that Bieber once called home. Just to be clear: the dirt isn't from Bieber's former home, from his old school or his old busking locale. It's just from somewhere in Stratford, a town of over 30,000 people.
But this isn't the first time Stratford has capitalized on Bieber's fame. The city itself has created a Justin Bieber-specific tourist map to guide Beliebers through the town's highlights, including the community centre where he placed third in the Stratford Idol contest when he was 12, the Stratford skate park where Justin would relax with friends, and eateries like Scoopers, Madelyn's Diner, Subway, Swiss Chalet, and Boston Pizza (supposedly some of Bieber's favourite spots). The town is undoubtedly enjoying the extra traffic from Bieber's legions of fans.
"Justin's a great ambassador for us," said Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson said in a video interview for The Globe and Mail, adding that the town has seen an impressive boost in day tourists in town just to see the house where he grew up. Meanwhile, Bieber's impromptu busking sessions on the steps of one of the town's several theatres surely haven't hurt ticket sales at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and the 18-year-old singer has also returned to the town to help local businesses run fundraisers for local charities, including signing a car to raise money for his old skatepark.
It seems Stratford isn't letting the world forget just who held a benefit concert to buy Bieber his first set of drums when he was eight years old -- an act of benevolence that definitely seems to be paying off in the long run.