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End of World Sale: Everything Must Go by May 21!

Friday, 20 May 2011 | 1:13 PM ET

May 21 is the new doomsday and everyone is preparing in their own special way: Believers are out spreading the word: "Judgment Day Is May 21: The Rapture Is Coming!", one web site squeals. Some atheists are planning a picnic. (Hey, the park should be empty that day!) And now, some entrepreneurial types are offering to buy your stuff.

May 21, 2011 Judgement Day
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
May 21, 2011 Judgement Day

From coast to coast, Craigslist is peppered with ads from clever posters offering to buy the belongings of believers, allowing the devout to face Judgment Day unencumbered by pesky things like boats, electronics, their homes — and even Fido and Mittens.

Do a search for “May 21,” “end of the world” and “@craigslist.org,” and it turns up nearly 100,000 results.

One poster from East Modesto, Calif., wrote: “If you are one of the people who believe the world is going to end on May 21 of this year, and you need some quick cash to put things in order before the big day, I will buy your stuff.”

The poster (who's a lawyer, by the way) comes clean about the motive for the offer: “In the interest of full disclosure, I am trying to make money. I will only pay a deeply discounted price for whatever it is you may be trying to part with. Also, I do not personally believe the world is going to end on May 21. If I am right, I would be able to make a slight profit reselling your goods. If I am wrong, well.... you know the rest.”

He says he hasn't gotten too many takers yet — "Only a few people desperate for rent money responded to offer me regularly priced stuff," he said.

(That's all right. They may change as the end DRAWS NEAR.)

A poster from North Salem, NYwrites, “Are you attending the rapture on May 21st, 2011? I expect to be left behind when it happens, so if you aren't going to need your worldly possessions; be they money, cars, canned food, durable goods, etc; I would gladly take them off of your hands.” And, recognizing that time is of the essence, the poster, who cast a net through much of the tri-state area, said, “I'm willing to travel for said goods.”

Photo: cafepress.com

One poster from Hoboken, NJ, decided to capitalize on the end of the world in a different way, branding their yard sale as “The End of All Gates Sale.” Appealing to the nonbelievers among us, they’re selling more than 100 items, including two bikes, a bike rack, a microwave, two subwoofers, a “Guitar Hero” guitar and a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner.

Hey, look, if this really is the end, I want to rock it out like it’s 1999 while my dinner is heating itself and a robot cleans my house.

And of course, should we all survive, there's one last buck to be made — survivor gear!

Of course, there's the "I Survived Judgment Day! and All I Got Is This Lousy T-Shirt" shirt for $25. Plus, there's the "2011 Rapture Survivor" mug ($15), the "Darn, I Slept Through Judgment Day" baby onesie ($15) and my personal favorite, the "If you can read this, we're both sinners. 5-21-11," available in shirt, mug or thong ($15-25).

This is gonna be the best — and most profitable — end of the world EVER!


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  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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