When Gerrard Simmons realised how many times a day his pregnant fiancee was asked, "When is the baby due?" his entrepreneurial instinct kicked in. He figured she may as well get paid for the attention she was drawing.
So Julz Thomson's considerable seven-months-pregnant "bump" went up for auction on the web.
"Gerrard asked me if I ever get tired of answering that question," Julz said.
"I guess that's how it is when you're pregnant. That's the question most-often asked. I get stopped by people in supermarkets, in the street, anywhere."
Gerrard, an area manager in the health and beauty industry, then suggested: "What say we auction off your bump as advertising space?"
The Green Bay, Auckland, couple listed their offer on trademe.co.nz with a five-day auction scheduled to finish just after 6pm last Saturday.
The listing featured a photograph of Julz holding a piece of paper across her tummy that read: "Logo".
The notice explained: "Your logo or advert will be placed on a T-shirt that you will supply which I will wear 24/7 on my 7 1/2-month pregnant bump, until baby is born. Baby is due March 18."
The bidding went 30 minutes past its deadline and closed at $255.
Throughout the five-day web event visitors to the site posted comments and requests, including one from a motelier in the Bay of Plenty who said he wanted Julz' T-shirt to read: "I got this way at Ol Alfie's motel, Mt Maunganui."
Another auction-watcher suggested a bakery could advertise with words about "more buns in ovens".
Many comments were from other pregnant women congratulating Julz on the enterprising idea.
"Some said I was exploiting my baby but the money will go towards a few extras to spoil him when he is born."
The auction winner was Lawrence Rauketi, who set up his customs broking business in Auckland six months ago.
He obtains customs clearance for people moving their belongings in and out of the country, and his Mailman Solutions already uses the catchphrase "The Mailman always delivers".
"It's a bargain for daily advertising until the middle of March," says Mr Rauketi.
Julz and her two young sons met Gerrard 18 months ago when they answered an advertisement. He was selling a television set.