Ian Usher

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Ian Usher
Ian Usher and Richard Branson May 2009 Goal 46.JPG
Usher (left) meeting Richard Branson in 2009, fulfilling one of his goals
Born (1963-07-25) 25 July 1963 (age 55)
Durham, England
Known forSelling life on eBay, writing

Ian Usher (born 25 July 1963) is an English traveller, author and public speaker. He is best known for his 2008 "life for sale" listing on eBay[1] following divorce from his wife, Laura.[2]

Early life[edit]

Usher grew up in Barnard Castle, Co Durham, England and attended the Barnard Castle School.

Following school, he lived on a kibbutz in Israel and travelled through Europe. He gained a Bed teaching degree in Outdoor Education at Liverpool Polytechnic in 1985.[3][4]


Ian Usher at his home in Perth, Western Australia, just before the sale of his "entire life" on eBay in June 2008.

He worked with British Rail as a Youth Leadership and Teamwork Counselor before opening Scarborough Jet Skiing on England's north east coast with his partner, Bruce Jones.

In 2001 he moved to Australia where he worked in sales, marketing and management.[3]

In 2008, after the break up of his marriage, Usher listed his "life for sale" on eBay. He gained world wide notoriety.[5][6] The final price ended up at $399,300.

His stated goal for the eBay auction was a "fresh start," so, following the sale, he travelled across the globe in pursuit of a series of 100 goals, which were achieved in 100 weeks. His two-year "bucket list" ended in New York City in the crown of the Statue of Liberty on 4 July 2010.[7][8]

He has since presented inspirational talks for companies in both the USA and Europe. In November 2013, he spoke to an audience of 900 at the VolksTheater at TEDxVienna.[9][10] The talk, "A Life Unlimited", can be viewed online.[11]


He wrote two books, 2008's A Life Sold[12] and 2013's Paradise Delayed.[13] In A Life Sold, he documented two years of travel. The movie rights were purchased by Walt Disney Pictures, which commissioned the a project called Life for Sale.[14] It was scheduled to be produced by Andrew Panay.[15] Paradise Delayed is about living on a remote Panamanian island in the Caribbean,[16][17] where Usher wrote about the challenges faced in developing an off-grid lifestyle.


  1. ^ "Bidding begins on 'entire life'". BBC News UK. 22 June 2008.
  2. ^ "Divorced Man Sells His Life on eBay". ABC TV News – Good Morning America. ABC TV News. 20 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Ian Usher – Author Biography". Amazon.com. November 2008.
  4. ^ "Agency Staff" (11 April 2012). "The man who sold his life buys his own Caribbean island and falls in love again". The Mirror (UK).
  5. ^ "Bidding begins on 'entire life'". BBC News. 22 June 2008.
  6. ^ Wikinews:Man auctions his life on eBay, is disappointed at sale price
  7. ^ "Cheese Rolling as a Goal". CNN. 26 May 2009.
  8. ^ Karin Stanton (18 January 2009). "Man with a lot of goals visits Big Island". Hawaii 24/7.
    Josie Ensor (8 February 2009). "One Year On: The man who sold his life". The Sunday Times (UK).
    "Cheese Rolling as a Goal". CNN. 26 May 2009.
    Antonia Hoyle (9 May 2010). "I've tried 100 ways to fix my broken heart but now I admit defeat". The Daily Mail (UK).
    "Ian Usher is achieving 100 ambiitions after wife Laura left him but he's still heart broken". The Daily Telegraph (AU). 10 May 2010.
    Brett Ackroyd (16 April 2012). "What's on Ian Usher's Bucket List?". Cheapflights Blog.
  9. ^ IanUsher.com. "Ian Usher – Speaker".
  10. ^ TEDxVienna. "TEDxVienna – Sell a life: at what price?".
  11. ^ "A Life Unlimited". Retrieved 11 December 2013 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ A Life Sold – What ever happened to that guy who sold his whole life on eBay?. Google Books. 4 November 2008. ISBN 0980865301.
  13. ^ Paradise Delayed - The Pitfalls and Pleasures (Mainly the Pitfalls) of Caribbean Island Life in the Beautiful Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Google Books. 7 April 2013. ISBN 098086531X.
  14. ^ Felicity Morse (11 April 2011). "Life on eBay: Divorced Ian Usher Bounces Back As Disney Buys Rights To Make His Story A Movie". HuffPost.
  15. ^ Mike Fleming Jr (18 June 2012). "Disney Pays Seven Figures For Scott Rosenberg Pitch". Deadline.com. Rosenberg recently did a rewrite for Disney's Life For Sale, which Andrew Panay is producing.
  16. ^ Hannah Roberts (10 April 2012). "That'll show her: The man who sold everything on eBay after wife left him buys own Caribbean island AND finds love again". The Daily Mail (UK).
  17. ^ David Jones (13 April 2012). "So what REALLY happened to the man who auctioned his life on eBay after his wife left him?". The Daily Mail (UK).

External links[edit]