The untimely demise of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin is a boon — for Internet bounty hunters selling his memorabilia.
"It's a pretty incredible jump," said eBay spokesman Dean Jutilla.
The big-ticket items included an autographed photo of Irwin that went for more than $7,500 and a poster of the 'gator-baiter that cost someone $2,000.
A week before the Australian naturalist's death last Monday, there were barely a dozen Irwin items bought on the Internet auction site, according to the company's tracking numbers. Between June 10 and Sept. 2, there were a total of 234 items sold.
"And the average selling price was right around $10," said Jutilla.
But on the Monday when Irwin's death was reported in the United States, the number of items sold leaped to 1,865. On Tuesday, there were 1,363, and the numbers fluctuated in the high hundreds for the rest of the week.
The day after Irwin died, the average price for his signed posters and other kitsch leapt to more than $32.
The total sales from Sunday, Sept. 3, to Thursday, Sept. 7, was a whopping $120,000 — dwarfing the $257 sold from Sunday, Aug. 27 to Thursday, Aug. 31, the week before Irwin was killed by a stingray.
The legendary crocodile hunter was jabbed by the barbed tail of the normally placid beast while filming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
The news stunned the world and made Irwin the most-discussed person on the Web in the days following, according to the ACNielsen ratings.
"It's not unusual to see an off-line event have a direct correlating spike on eBay shortly after it happens," said Jutilla.
Another event with an Irwin-sized impact on the site was Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scoring 81 points in one night in January, Jutilla said.
"We saw his items the day that it happened jump to over 500 sold, from 200 the day before," he said. "It more than doubled from the previous day."