Many mint money from Jackson's death

Los Angeles, July 3 (IANS) Scammers are out to cash in on the death of the King of Pop Michael Jackson.

Immediately after his death last week, the Michael Jackson memorabilia went online.

The number of ebay listings of Jackson memorabilia jumped from 400 just before his death to about 20,000 a day after his death.

Today, visit ebay and you will find endless listings of Jackson memorabilia - from 'Rest in peace' T-shirts to hats to old concert programmes to a special edition of Time magazine on him to domain names.

A domain name michaeljacksonglobaltributes.com has been listed for $9,999,999.00.

And a 1982 original album of "Thriller" has been listed with an opening bid of $100,000.

Indeed, business owners and consumers are turning Michael Jackson merchandise into big profit, says smartmoney.com.

It tells how Moorea Wolfe, the co-owner of Clarity of Vision, a yoga and loungewear clothing line in Los Angeles, and her business partner, Sijun Wesson, quickly began designing T-shirts commemorating the late singer with his picture and the phrase, "Long live the King" after hearing the news of his death.

"By 8 p.m., they had 400 shirts printed up, and by 8.30 p.m., they were en route to Hollywood Boulevard, where mourners had gathered to honour and celebrate Jackson," says the website.

"We sold all 400 shirts for $10 each," Wolfe is quoted as saying.

"We are going to keep making more shirts... And when the next thing comes around we will probably do something else," she says.

Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles, which features collections of Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, sold a Jackson album "Goin' Back to Indiana" for $33,750. The album featured all the Jackson siblings and was signed by them.

"That album would typically sell for $2,000 to $3,000," Darren Julien, principal of Julien's Auctions, is quoted as saying.

"We don't notice recessions in the world of celebrity memorabilia," he says.

Jackson biographies are also set to flood the market, smartmoney says.

With slander and libel laws not any hindrance after his death, it says the floodgates for Jackson books could be opened soon.

"I just had a meeting with my editor at Harpers. Already, people are putting out proposals about Michael Jackson third-party biographies," smartmoney quotes Michael Largo, who has authored three books on celebrity deaths, as saying.

"You can pretty much say whatever you want because you're no longer under the auspices of slander and libel laws," he says.

Even the celebrity-impersonator circuit will also get a big boost after the King of Pop's demise, smartmoney adds.

It quotes Joshua Gair, founder of Impact Entertainment Services, a talent-booking firm in Florida, as saying that after Jackson's death, he received 100 to 150 emails inquiring about having a Jackson impersonator appear at an event.

"Before (Jackson's) death, we did the occasional impersonation of him; he wasn't super popular. But now, we are finding that people want to celebrate his life. Everyone has their ups and downs in show biz, but overall they'll be remembered for what they were good at," Gair is quoted as saying.

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