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Online girlfriends sell love to dateless

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eBay Incorporated

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- Need a girlfriend but want none of the hassle of actually spending time together? You better act fast if you want to find her on eBay.

A crop of crafty eBay entrepreneurs are offering "imaginary girlfriend" services to the highest bidder, staying just ahead of the Web auctioneer's efforts to ban such listings, which it now deems inappropriate.

The latest bid, with nearly six days to go, is $11.50.

EBay started pulling the "imaginary girlfriend" listings, which have run the gamut from the very naughty to the mostly nice, late last month.

The company had initially allowed the imaginary girlfriend listings -- which had numbered in the low hundreds -- then decided that they had crossed the line "into something that was clearly inappropriate," said eBay spokesman Hani Durzy.

The overall theme of previous listings went something like this: sexy college student seeking money for books will, for one month, write you frequent e-mails and send pictures and perfumed letters you can show to family, friends and ex-girlfriends. In most cases, personal contact was strictly prohibited. "This in NO WAY makes me your real girlfriend," one lister cautioned.

One young blonde from the Midwest sold her girl-next-door looks as more believable that her competitors.

On the fringes, however, were the more overtly sexual listings that prompted eBay to step in.

On Tuesday, one such listing remained on the site. In it, a pair of Las Vegas-based women calling themselves Leilani and Bianca promised, upon proof of payment, a month-long relationship that "can be anything you want it to be."

The duo, which billed themselves as "sexy and exotic Asian girls," each promised to send one e-mail per week, a handwritten, perfume-scented letter, a sexy garment (new or worn), sexy photos and "passionate and unconditional love."

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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