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Webzine draws $3 million eBay bid

When Andy Wang put his Impression Webzine up for sale on eBay, he intended it as a joke.

When Andy Wang put his Impression Webzine up for sale on eBay, he intended it as a joke, but after someone offered the $3 million minimum bid, the joke suddenly turned on Wang.

But Wang might still get the last laugh.

"I didn't think this stunt was going to be turned around on us, but it's being turned around on us for $3 million," Wang said.

Wang, 23, launched Impression in August, using money from a fellowship.

The magazine has no full-time staff--many are students at the University of Missouri's journalism school, where Wang, Impression's editor in chief, works as a visiting professional. The site is hosted on the journalism school's servers, Wang said.

Wang got the idea to spoof eBay when he heard that another company had sold its defunct Web site for $17,000 on the online auction site. After hearing about that sale and others that stretched credibility, he decided to put up his own too-good-to-be-true deal.

On Friday, Wang set up an auction for Impression on eBay. He purposefully set the minimum bid at $3 million, thinking no one would bid on the site. But by 7 p.m. PT, Wang already had three bids.

"This is starting to scare me," Wang said. "There's at least a somewhat average chance that one of these is real."

Wang said he wasn't sure what he would do if one of the bids turns out to be legitimate. He said he would talk with the bidder to get a feel for what they wanted to do with the site.

But Wang expressed some reservations about parting with his creation.

"I'm 23. This may be my only chance to do a startup," Wang said, adding, "It's been a lot of fun so far."