Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

People who quote eBay in their ads

(0bviously an adaptation of the awesome shirt.woot tee that you can get here)

I am talking about people who post For Sale ads on places like Craigslist or even your local newspaper. The only ads that I really look at regular are ads for pinball machines so that is what I will be using as an example, but I am sure it applies to all products.

Some people like to put things like "Only $(insert semi-ridiculous amount here). This item sells for $(insert completely ridiculous amount here) on eBay."

Here is one real life example (ad contact info removed to protect the retarded):

This is a vintage mechanical pinball machine.A great addition to your game
room. Works and functions fine just out of maintenance and new rubber ring
sets installed. You can view model at: http://www.pinballrebel.com/game/pins/gin/gin_pinball.htm (by the way, not his actual machine nor his website)
Call for details-402-xxx-xxxx asking $350 or best offer need it gone
>>>>>sells for $1200 on ebay!!! wont last

***This week's update it is "$300 firm" and "serious inquiries only!"

First off, let me say that this ad has been appearing on craigslist for about a month now. Originally, it was for $900...but of course it still sold for $1200 on eBay and won't last long. I guess my definition of long is different.

Secondly, you are taking a 75% pay cut. Why don't you just put it on eBay? I presume that this is because of the hassle of eBay or some other excuse you have. If you really had a problem with eBay, you know you can take it to most auction companies and have them list it...usually only charge 10% of sale price plus listing fees. You would make $1000...of course, if this machine really sold for $1200.

OK, let's do 10 minutes research: 1974 Chicago Coin Gin

  • 5.7 rating at Internet Pinball Database - not great, but not horrible - I think the word is that it is a mediocre machine at best.
  • A one player game? Who want to always play by themselves?
  • Chicago Coin? Not really a premiere company like Gottlieb, Bally, or Williams (ha ha Gottlieb-Premiere that's an inside joke for the pin people out there). Per wikipedia: "Chicago Coin was often seen as not being as innovative as rivals Gottlieb, Williams, and Bally. Additionally, CC pinball tables were often seen as being inferior in quality to their more popular rivals.
  • Mr Pinball Classifieds lists physical auction results - the only Gin they have in their auction database sold for $200 in Dec of 2006.
  • Oh, I bet you didn't know that Boston Pinball has been keeping track of all eBay pinball machines sales for 3+ years (42 months of data, last updated in May 2009). Ouch, 4 Gin pinball machines sold in almost 4 years with a max sell price of $406 and an average of $327.

So where did this $1200 come from? I know there are many pinball machines that do sell in the $1200 range on eBay...this is not one of them. You can not lump all machines into one category. Like everything else there are differences in make, model, and condition. You wouldn't try selling your Kia Rio for $50,000 because you saw a Mercedes sell for that.

I wish this was the only example but about 10 percent of pinball ads seem to try this shady tactic.

Stop being stupid and trying to mislead people...obviously no one is falling for it.

End Hate

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