David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook
davidcook

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Separating fools and their money ...

While at the gym, there's usually a cable TV music channel showing on the many screens in the room. Among the ads I've seen there recently, this stands out (as yet another clever way to separate people and their money) :

The ad is promoting a "reverse bidding auction". The idea is that the lowest unique bid they receive wins the auction (usually for the latest electronic gadgets - phones, music players, TVs). Bids are made by SMS, and (of course), cost money (I've never been close enough to the screen to read the fine print which reveals the actual amount; let's assume it's at least 50p). The ads always mention past winners and the amazing prices they paid for their prizes, e.g. 88p for some CD player gadget. So, this implies that every amount from 1p to 87p had at least two people bidding it. At 50p per bid they got a minimum of £87 from the bidders, but you can be sure that a) lots of bid amounts got more than two bids (I'm betting on at least 20 on 1p), and b) lots of people bid higher than 88p too. With enough gullible people watching (e.g. the mostly-teenage audience of the music channels) they must be making piles of money from it.
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