Not surprisingly, the combination of extremely limited supplies of Playstation 3s and eBay proved to be quite a volatile mix. How else would you explain gems like the guy who sold an empty, promotional PS3 box for a whopping $1,100? Moreover, there were 22 bids, and the winner even jumped the gun to leave positive feedback (auction #260054534684).
Another take on the matter was auction #160053311905, where some enterprising fella registered the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” and put it up on the block for $199. Just the email address, nothing else. There were six bids with the winner raking home the prize for a bargain $265. But hey, at least shipping was free.
Of course, the pendulum swings both ways. In auction #280050635902, the winning bid for a PS3 60 Gb was – drumroll please — $9.95. No, it wasn’t the classic $2,000 shipping scam, just $50 S&H. Inexplicably, it appears the seller chose to end the auction early for a fraction of the sticker price. So what’s the deal? Why didn’t the seller wait for the $1,250 buy-it-now price?
Could it be that maybe, just maybe, the seller received an email where a buyer offered to send him a money order for the $1,250, perhaps a little more even, except he wouldn’t have to pay eBay the full commission? Money orders are good as gold, so why not play along and save a few bucks?
Except, of course, when the bank calls back a few days later and informs the guy he’s been pwned. To everyone’s great surprise, the money order was fake and he has to repay the full $1,250 or have an unpleasant chat down at the police station. Either way, the guy spent a night out in the rain not to mention a couple hundred bucks for nothing.
Or perhaps I’m all wrong and the buyer really was happy flipping a brand-new PS3 at a heavy loss. How should I know? But I do know what takes the cake. Auction #160053877347 sold not even a box or an email address, but the contact information to a friend who had a PS3 and just might be willing to sell his system “if the price was right.” As humor columnist Dave Barry would have said, I am not making this up. It got 20 bids and scored $1,100 for a name and, I’m guessing, a phone number to someone’s voicemail.