LOS ANGELES – Is there really gold in Paris Hilton's garbage, or is it just a shaggy dog story? A pair of enterprising scavengers from the Web site HollywoodStarTrash.com were stunned to learn Wednesday that the empty gourmet dog food can they had plundered from Hilton's trash had launched an eBay bidding war reaching $1.5 million.
"I'm definitely skeptical," said one of the HollywoodStarTrash guys, who declined to give his full name for fear of jeopardizing his day job.
Although he noted the top bidder's eBay profile shows the person has gotten no complaints from sellers, he said he has asked the Web site to check on the bid's legitimacy and pull it if it's fake.
"I'd hate to get that eBay bill and then nobody pays," he laughed.
EBay spokeswoman Kim Rubey said the online auction site is investigating.
"We do like to remind all the buyers that any bid is a binding contract to enter into an agreement with the seller, and we do have rules against bids that are not legitimate and we will take action against a joke bid," she said.
Hilton has famously and frequently been spotted toting her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell.
HollywoodStarTrash put three other Hilton items for sale on eBay: a used toothbrush, an autographed postcard and a fan letter to the reality TV star. The highest bid for those was $285 for the toothbrush. Bidding closes Sunday.
At least one person who has found gold in Hilton's trash is Daryl Abrams, president and CEO of Party Animal Inc., the West Hollywood business that markets Party Animal organic gourmet dog food.
"We have received a ton of Internet orders," Abrams said. "The last 24 hours have been the most amount of orders that we've had."
Party Animal, which goes for as much as $2.99 per can, can be found in about 150 stores in Southern California and about 40 in New York, Abrams said. It can also be bought through the company's Web site.
Abrams said Hilton, one of his best customers, buys it by the case.
"They are the most well-taken-care-of dogs," he said of her pets.