Playstation 3: The eBay Experience

Dave Zatz —  November 18, 2006 — 9 Comments

My buddy Alexi was camped out at the Walmart for 36 hours after which he scored a Playstation 3 bundle. At the end of the ordeal, he listed his item on ebay with a starting bid of 99 cents and a “Buy It Now” option of $2800. I bet him a week of lunches he wouldn’t sell it for more than $1230. Well, I might have been wrong… His auction closed last night at $1375 and he posted his menu. By my calculations he might have made ~$10/hour over those 36 hours for sleeping in a folding chair and weathering a day of rain and thunderstorms: $1375 – $750 PS3 & Accessories, $125 to move ahead in line, estimated eBay & PayPal & shipping fees = ~$350.

Was it worth it? Well, we’ll never know… His winning bidder backed out, saying he won the auction by accident. I feel bad for my buddy, but I’m not surprised how this played out on ebay — I’ve experienced this several times myself and list most things via Buy It Now to save myself the hassle. True, a winning bid is a contract but who’s going to enforce it and at what cost?

Alexi is debating his options at this point. The ebay market has been flooded with thousands of listings and prices are dropping, so he’s considering either working a local deal through Craigslist or actually playing (!) the PS3 for a few weeks until it gets closer to the holiday and then giving ebay another shot.

For all you doubters out there, Alexi and I have had probably half a dozen lunch or gadget bets like this over the last few months and he’s lost every single one. Why would this be any different? Time to get started on my menu!

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9 responses to Playstation 3: The eBay Experience

  1. Ha! I have an interested party on Craigslist! Looks like lunch is on Dave, after all!

    — Martinez KELLY wrote:

    > Okay seller,calculate the shiping to nigeria and
    > tell me. i will pay you.
    > Thanks
    > —– Original Message —–
    > From: “Mike Hernandez”
    > To: “Martinez KELLY”
    > Subject: Re: Sony PS3 Playstation 3 w/ 3 games,
    > extra controllers
    > $1600 obo – $1600
    > Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 06:10:11 -0800 (PST)
    > This item is for local pickup only. Would you prefer that I
    > ship the item to Nigeria?
    > > Note: forwarded message attached.
    > > > From: “Martinez KELLY”
    > > Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 07:48:13 -0500
    > > Subject: Sony PS3 Playstation 3 w/ 3 games,
    > extra
    > > controllers $1600 obo – $1600
    > >
    > > Seller…
    > >
    > > I view your item on recycler home and i will
    > like to know if still
    > > available for sell. and you have to calculate
    > the shipping cost with the
    > > item together.i will like to make the payment
    > money order…kindly inform
    > > me if u really interested in this kind of
    > > transaction and mail me back ur
    > > full info witch is ur full name and address with
    > > ur telephone and fax…

  2. Sorry for your friend but I can’t feel sorry for him. Maybe this round of console launches will put an end to this kind of thing. Just let someone buy it that wants it.

  3. Smart thinking, Matt! Maybe this round of console launches will put an end to that crazy little thing called capitalism!
    What are those nutjobs thinking?

  4. Matt: It sure would be nice if I could get the Wii tomorrow for my own personal use, but the odds are pretty low.

    Alexi: I’ll give you $100 (plus the cost of the Wii and extra controller) if you camp out tonight and get me one. You can use my folding chair again and I’ll even let you play the Nintendo.

  5. I would definitely recommend Craigslist over eBay. It’s local, no shipping and you can actually meet to complete the transaction. I snagged a PS3 20gb with game for 700 (canadian) and sold it for 1400 on craigslist.

  6. a guy i work with just tried to sell a pda on ebay and a guy from nigeria offered to buy it, it was a total scam, he wouldn’t let the auction run its course and kept claiming he sent paypal payment but the money never came through. tell your friend to be wary of the nigerian buyer!

  7. Oh he knows that thing is a scam, he just likes playing along by taking the bait. As he proved camping out 36 hours for the PS3, he’s got plenty of time on his hands. Maybe I should recruit him to blog for me — how about a comparison of his new PS3 versus his 360 versus his modded Xbox Classic? I bet dollar for dollar, the original Xbox running XBMC wins.

  8. I suspect getting a Wii won’t be all that hard. Nintendo tends to not do silly things like launch with way too few units but I’ll see when I go try and find one.

  9. Alexi:

    Buy a nice padded folding chair for $24.99 and charge Dave $200 for doing his errands.

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