Tuesday, January 23, 2007


With large capital letters like this, who can possibly resist?

Caveat Emptor are the words of the day, when the shopping and internet savvy know how to sniff rhetoric right away, while the fool and his or her money go in opposite directions.

This enterprising eBay seller is auctioning off a PlayStation 3 video game console with 60 GB hard drive for the whopping price of $1995.00. It's a little high, especially when compared to the MSRP of $599.
You have to admire the eBay seller's restraint, especially when you consider that when these first hit the streets in November, some were going as high as $2300 USD. And yes, most on-line retailers are sold out (Future Shop, Best Buy, possibly Electronics Boutique), but considering that it's been almost two months, couldn't they just let it rest? Like, just a little? I mean, heck, they didn't even include games or an HDMI cable (or any other accessories for that matter).

When I mean "rhetoric," I'm referring to their tactic of using a charity to persuade the reader to follow the course of action (that is, pony up $1995 on a video game console). Following the links to the charity who is supposed to be benefiting from this auction, it indicates that they are a non-profit organization.

But, considering that they're only receiving 10% of the total proceeds ($199.50), that means that the seller is still netting a profit of around $1000 (even if shipping happens to be over $100).

This sort of undermines the whole charity angle, considering that somebody will most likely making money off of this (but it definitely isn't Sony...allegedly, the manufacturing costs of one PS3 is $840.35). But, since there's also the option of "Or Best Offer," any enterprising and savvy consumer may opt to lowball the auction in the hopes of getting it.

And then I found this auction for a PS3 with a 60GB drive. $20,000. Twenty-frickin'-thousand dollars. According to the story he has attached to the auction, he's going to use the money to go back to school. I'm sorry, but I really don't have a lot of sympathy for greed, especially when he says up front: "I bought this Playstation 3 60GB off ebay about three weeks ago, in the hopes of selling it on ebay for more than I paid."

No comments: