“Celebrities have all this stuff they never use,” says Lance Bass, or in his case, three warehouses in Orlando full of clothes, mechanical bulls and lighting equipment from touring with his world-famous band ‘NSYNC years ago. Figuring out what to do with everything didn’t take too long: The solution was as simple as having a yard sale.
“I try to be green as much as I can, so to me, second hand is just the best way to buy,” says Bass—who grew up with summer after summer of yard sales in his Mississippi hometown—“especially from celebrities that only wear a dress one time.” The SiriusXM radio host’s latest venture is FamousYardSale.com, an online platform where celebrities can directly auction off items for their charities. Right now, you can peruse “yard sales” from Julianne Moore, Janet Jackson, Ellen Degeneres and Jake Gyllenhaal. There’s jewelry from Beverly Hills Housewife Lisa Vanderpump. And before Whitney Houston passed, she donated the shoes from her “I’m Your Baby Tonight” music video. Even those in the market for everyday items—say, a toaster—are in the right place. Along Came a Spider actress Monica Potter just moved and is giving hers away.
“I announced it yesterday, and I’ve had so many celebrities call me saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I have so much stuff I’ve got to get rid of.’ ”
The site handles everything: The item is picked up, photographed and put on the site. When it’s sold, the check goes straight to the charity. “It’s really hard to fund raise,” as Bass knows. “By the time you throw that event or party, you pay pretty much everything that you raise in proceeds for the charity, so I wanted to create something that had no overhead whatsoever,” he says. “I just wanted to create something really simple and easy.”
Bass is also producing a new series around the celebrity yard sale concept airing on Lifetime called Celebrity Home Raiders to auction off big-ticket items from stars like Gene Simmons and David Hasselhoff (who donates his KITT car). But what’s not as easy, as Bass discovered when Access Hollywood Live’s Kit Hoover raided his own home for a future episode, is giving up some of the memories.
“She was trying to get me to give away an MTV award—a Moon Man. And I have a football helmet from the Super Bowl in Tampa when we performed the Half-Time Show with Aerosmith, and I got everyone to sign it—Aerosmith, Nelly, Britney Spears, all of us and Mary J. Blige. There’s no way I could have parted with that. There’s too many memories behind those days.”
If you want dibs on his grand piano, though, tune in a few weeks from now.
Check out FamousYardSale.com and watch Celebrity Home Raiders on Lifetime, premiering on March 6.
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