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Small businesses that pulled outrageous publicity stunts

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Half.com is an online seller of new and used goods founded in 1999 and purchased in 2000 by eBay. Unlike its parent company, Half.com is not the place to outbid others for rare collectibles, but rather a place to buy goods outright at fixed prices.

In order to attract attention during its pre-eBay days, the company paid the city of Halfway, Ore. $100,000 to change its name to Half.com for one year. It also donated 20 new computers to the city to sweeten the deal for its 362 citizens.

George Diebold | The Image Bank | Getty Images