Join 3,379 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


eBay
November 15, 2001 9:55 AM   Subscribe

eBay scum take advantage of xbox launch. Check out this and this auction. Do these people have no ethics?
posted by milnak (62 comments total)

 
Working 9 to 5 at a job we hate so we can make money to buy things we don't need.
posted by trioperative at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2001


I don't understand. Isn't the x-box going to retail for $300? One auction closed at $407, the other at $366. That's really not a huge profit margin. What's the problem?
posted by starvingartist at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2001


Damned American Capitalists!
posted by eyeballkid at 9:57 AM on November 15, 2001


Actually, it looks like the first auction was just selling _a link_ to a website where you could preorder the X-Box (I've seen this before on Ebay with people selling links to places where you could supposedly order digital cameras for cheap), whereas the second link was an auction for just the display box (which is made abundantly clear within it). I think that if you're on Ebay, you'd better know what you're doing, because just like in real life, there are a lot of people who would like to help you part with your money, whether it's ethical or not.
posted by almostcool at 10:00 AM on November 15, 2001


I could see the problem if it were Britney Spears tickets that parents were stealing their parents' money to buy.
posted by trioperative at 10:00 AM on November 15, 2001


hmm. I recall this sort of thing happening when the ps2 was launched. Did any of those auctions actually stand? meanwhile, i'm sure it should be easy enough for the bid winners to back out.

but how bout that xbox? looks pretty cool, eh?...

i still think i want to build a MAMEbox instead.

i just need to find a really cheap miniminicase.
posted by fishfucker at 10:01 AM on November 15, 2001


If people want to pay more than retail via eBay, I say let 'em - it doesn't necessarily mean the seller is "scum." I have sold some rare CDs [not bootlegged or CDRs] on eBay, and someone bid $50 for one I paid $20 for. Heck, if the guy wanted it that bad, why is that a problem? Should I have taken only costs to cover the item + shipping and sent him the rest of his money back?
posted by sbgrove at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2001


Scum and Capitalist are not mutually exclusive.
posted by Vek at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2001


I don't understand. Isn't the x-box going to retail for $300? One auction closed at $407, the other at $366. That's really not a huge profit margin. What's the problem?

Missing the point.

Read the fine print on the second item. It's not an Xbox, but an Xbox box -- i.e., someone is paying $366 for a cardboard box.

As for the first item, it offers a link in the description. If you bid, you will be given the same link, but still have to pay. Someone is paying $407 for that.

Neither winner appears to have read the fine print: one is getting a cardboard box, the other is getting a publicly available link.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:05 AM on November 15, 2001


sbgrove, you're not getting it. the auctions were NOT for the xbox itself, but for a *link to purchase* the xbox and a *display box that at one time, but no longer, held* the xbox.
posted by o2b at 10:05 AM on November 15, 2001


ok, I should have read the auctions first. You're right, that sucks. I'm stupid.
posted by starvingartist at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2001


I feel sorry for the suckers who bid on those auctions, but anyone who is stupid enough to bid gets everything they deserve.
posted by crunchland at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2001


HA HA HA HA, I take my Damned Capitalists comments back. That is just hysterical.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2001


Auctions of this sort have been around for a while, now. Every time some eagerly-anticipated product release happens, some enterprising soul figures a way to sell the box for it or a link to it.

Caveat Emptor.

If you are going to buy something online, read ALL of the associated text. Especially on Ebay.
posted by websavvy at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2001


> Neither winner appears to have read the fine print

...and probably could not complete this famous quotation: there's a s_____ born every minute. Or this one: a f___ and his m____ are soon p_____.
posted by jfuller at 10:11 AM on November 15, 2001


Starvingartist: Obviously, you aren't the only one that doesn't read the text of auctions. Then again, you think you'd be more observant if you were bidding a few hundred dollars on an item.

Can these really be considered misleading? The descriptions on both items were abundantly clear.
posted by waxpancake at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2001


starvingartist - me too. o2b reminds me to read the fine print. Yeah, these sellers are dirty tricksters. Ugh.
posted by sbgrove at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2001


No ethics -- pfft. My heart, like yours obviously, bleeds.

The 20-odd people who couldn't take the time to read two sentences that were very clear in what exactly was being sold deserve to be taken to the cleaners over and over again. It's just too bad that the bidders didn't use real names, or I would be financially molesting them too without a shred of guilt.

Both of these "sales" explicitly stated that an X-Box system was not being sold. As always, the idiots couldn't be bothered to read it (or can't read it) and, as a result, can just shut up and pay -- not that they actually will.

Perhaps a little bit of modern Darwinism would get humanity out of the rut of (at best) mediocity that it is currently stuck in.
posted by Electric Jesus at 10:13 AM on November 15, 2001


If someone wanted to buy an empty box from me for $366.00 I'd sell it to them in a heartbeat. Why should the seller protect anyone from their own stupidity (unless they are selling something dangerous), especially if it's written so clearly. The seller isn't hiding anything.

Once again for the really thick headed out there, this is just the box, the system is not inside.
posted by MJoachim at 10:14 AM on November 15, 2001


better then letting saddam buy them all.

come on, the one selling the box makes it clear three and times and jokes about people not getting it. it's not like the fine print is actually 4 point font or anything.
posted by whoshotwho at 10:16 AM on November 15, 2001


Yeah, the box seller seems legit. Check out his profile, he's got no negative comments (doesn't mean a while lot, but still - he's got some reputation). The link person, to my mind, is an out-and-out fraud, having created an ID just for this purpose (no comments on his/her profile).
posted by mjane at 10:17 AM on November 15, 2001


Are these even hard to find? Not that I want one, but I don't see the mad rush to the stores on the news like with the PS2 launch.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:18 AM on November 15, 2001


the thread earlier this year about auctions for empty Playstation 2 boxes.
posted by gluechunk at 10:19 AM on November 15, 2001


there's a s_____ born every minute. Or this one: a f___ and his m____ are soon p_____.

I'm getting an untoward amount of joy from filling all those blanks with the same string. Thanks, jfuller.
posted by gleuschk at 10:21 AM on November 15, 2001


Is anyone auctioning any Toy Yodas too?

I expect the auctions to be taken down... although I agree, it's pretty clearly stated and whoever buys them deserve what they get. Though the titles are a bit misleading and obviously designed to sucker someone in.
posted by mkn at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2001


What's a "mucker"?
posted by etc. at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2001


If you're looking to find a real "X" box on ebay, you can get it here.
posted by kaefer at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2001


Caveat emptor. Morons deserve what they get.
posted by barkingmoose at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2001


Doesn't anybody here read Fark? Scroll down to the e-bay logos.
posted by Carol Anne at 10:50 AM on November 15, 2001


personally, i don't think ebay shouldn't allow people to "sell" links. i've always found them annoying and a waste of time, but then again "buyer beware" pretty much sums it up.

the second auction also reads, "Once again for the really thick headed out there, this is just the box, the system is not inside. " and the real bitch of it is, they're charging $7 to ship an empty box. ouch.

apparently, the bidder's head is about as empty as the box (s)he just paid $366 for.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:51 AM on November 15, 2001


I can't believe people would pay $.05 for this stuff!
At first I was just angry that people would be that "Scummy" but then I read the fine print and saw that they do spell it out pretty plainly. One seller actually says "For the thick headed" and re-explains himself.
Damn, I outta try and sell empty boxes and links instead of working for a living!
posted by aacheson at 10:52 AM on November 15, 2001


Oops, Jerseygirl and I were posting at the same time. Sorry I repeated the same information!
posted by aacheson at 10:53 AM on November 15, 2001


mcwetbox and others...

uh...the seller of the second item makes it over-abundantly clear what he's selling. And really, that's NOT the "fine print"...it's the description of the actual item. If people are dumb enough to want to buy it then let them.

Move on people...there's no crime here.

sheesh.
posted by xochi at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2001


Good for them for taking advantage of nerds who give in to a big marketing blitz.

Does anyone know if I can auction off A Life on eBay? I think the same nerds would pay good money for one.
posted by bondcliff at 10:59 AM on November 15, 2001


I can't believe people would pay $.05 for this stuff!

eBay's new motto.
posted by thewittyname at 11:02 AM on November 15, 2001


Good for them for taking advantage of nerds who give in to a big marketing blitz.

They're not taking advantage of nerds, they are taking advantage of morons.
posted by mkn at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2001


It's an AUCTION. People CHOOSE THE PRICE. No moral problems there.
posted by glenwood at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2001


What's a "mucker"?
One who mucks.
posted by gazingus at 11:23 AM on November 15, 2001


As my father always says... "there are penalties for being stupid, you know?"
this appears to be one of them.
posted by srw12 at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2001


Caveat empor, indeed. But...

(1) even if I technically give the seller all the information, is it morally right to intentionally set out to deceive them? How would we respond to a dicey door-to-door salesman selling old pensioners financial services, home improvements, etc. that they don't really want and can't afford?

(2) okay, the second seller made it very obvious, in the title and description, that he was just selling a box. That's fine -- some people collect these things, after all. But the first guy was selling a link. Obviously out to trick people. And, I think, possibly against eBay's rules.
posted by chrismear at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2001


I think it's shitty and dishonest and I wouldn't do it. That's all.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:52 AM on November 15, 2001


I dunno.. the whole box thing is wacky...
Viewing his other auctions shows he hasa second box on auction : the feedback on this bidder's list (bottom) suggests that negative feedback isn't taking on his profile.
Finally, he was bidding out an X-box system - with box - but he closed the bidding himself. The price may have been right, if it was a system sold with pack-in games... but for simply the system itself, it's doubling the price of the hardware. 'First Bid Gets It' essentially is there to lasso the first boob who didn't see the loophole.

I dunno... if it's not bunco, it's his first cousin.
posted by Perigee at 11:57 AM on November 15, 2001


I tell you what, for half the winning bids I'll email them the sad truth,,, actually I'm gonna do it for free, I trade on Ebay, and it's a good thing 90% of the time, It's just a few scumbags who make it look bad for everyone...
posted by danger at 12:05 PM on November 15, 2001


Having fun on eBay is one thing, but this is intentionally deceiving. The way the first seller insists that "A bid is a legal binding contract, and you are expected to pay if you bid" makes it clear that he damn well knows this is shady.

Still, I'm chuckling.
posted by muckster at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2001


a fool and his money are soon parted ...
posted by aenemated at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2001


That's "...are soon puckered"
posted by gleuschk at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2001


oh come ON - do we want to take the points off their pencils so they don't poke their eyes out too? Stupid is as stupid does.
posted by TheChump at 1:14 PM on November 15, 2001


I don't know,
I have been an avid ebayer for about two years, and I got ripped off for the first time in Sept. I bought a Digital Camera for about $500.00 and got completely taken for every penny by a company called FRINGESALES, who now go under CEOTOYS. Nothing to do with X-Box, just a warning to be really really careful on ebay.
posted by Quartermass at 1:44 PM on November 15, 2001


apparently, selling just the box is big business.

and hey look, an xbox picture for sale.

and they all seem to have the same description...
posted by jerseygirl at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2001


Does anyone know if I can auction off A Life on eBay?

Sure, it's been done: www.allmylifeforsale.com
posted by barkingmoose at 3:06 PM on November 15, 2001


Why get it on eBay?

Everyone in the audience on the Rosie O'Donnell show today is going to get a free xBox, thanks to Bill Gates. He made a brief appearance and announced everyone was getting one. Damn.

Wait a sec. Oh hell. Why was I watching the Rosie O'Donnell show? This work from home life is getting downright sick.
posted by nix at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2001


Oh, this is rich!

Damn, if I wasn't concerned about protecting my feedback level (which I have slavishly laboured for and nurtured), I'd be tempted for a piece of this pie.

Some people need to have their money surgically removed from them. Heh heh heh.
posted by tpoh.org at 3:29 PM on November 15, 2001


ethics? there is no such thing. this is, after all, america. land of the free, home of the fleeced. you get the money, you don't get caught, it's buyer beware, you're a brilliant entrepreneur. these fucks will make CEO one day, mark my words. they are nothing less than friggin' true life american heros.
posted by quonsar at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2001


"...Britney Spears tickets that parents were stealing their parents' money to buy."

Man, I can't decide if this is a thinko or a comment on teenage pregnancy or on dirty old men or what. It works so well for all of them.
posted by joaquim at 4:14 PM on November 15, 2001


"Having fun on eBay is one thing, but this is intentionally deceiving."

I dunno, "You are bidding on a brand new Microsoft Xbox box, it does not contain the system, this is just the box" sounds pretty clear to me. Especially since he said it more than once.
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:37 PM on November 15, 2001


kaefer: did you notice on that auction for a "real" X-box what it said in the footnotes?

*Note this is an auction not for a microsoft xbox ,it was professionally made by me. hmm guess the name is some type of coincidence.

gotta be careful ...
posted by mschmidt at 4:45 PM on November 15, 2001


Did you ever think that to some people, a link to buy an Xbox may be worth the bidding price? Information can be sold and traded, just like anything else.

There are many categories on Egay where stuff is sold at a hefty premium over the going retail price. So what? This is capitalism. Capitalism breeds ingenuity. Lazy and ignorant people loose.
posted by Witold at 8:54 AM on November 16, 2001


Have you guys ever considered that this could be someone's Grandma (even yours), who wants to try out this thing called ebay and buy an xbox for her grandson?

You morons with your deep 'buyer beware' quotes... Please get out of your holes and get a life.
posted by eas98 at 12:07 PM on November 16, 2001


We try not to call each other morons on MeFi, eas98.

People tend to listen more to what you're saying when you're pleasant.

Just an idea.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:29 PM on November 16, 2001


"Have you guys ever considered that this could be someone's Grandma (even yours)"

I have. Have you considerted that this could be a serial killer, a child molestor, the inventor of the popup ad or even Michael Bolton?

The existence (and frailty) of someone's grandmother does not mean that we need to totally reinvent our world to suit her.
posted by websavvy at 12:48 PM on November 16, 2001


...unless i really am michael bolton.
posted by quonsar at 7:47 AM on November 17, 2001


Since I don't have an eBay account, it shows up on the first auction (for the box) that if I log in and claim to be the "Not a registered user", then I could instantly be the one to pay the $300+ for the box. Is that how it works, or am I thinking too dense?
posted by GirlFriday at 3:50 PM on December 30, 2001


« Older pyRads...  |  The stuff from which Myth is m... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments