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March 6, 2009

i like these alot

posted personals :: for some reason this made me think of a fun absurdist recursion project I will never do :: have an ebay auction in which the winner receives all the money from the bidding. Sell it as a self sacrificing act : "I am not kidding...the highest bidder will receive every penny of the final bid...could be thousands of dollars!!!"

(yes - it means the buyer would make nothing...and in fact would lose money on the transaction fee)


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Comments (13)

I can't think of any way to enforce it, but it would be awesome to have a rolling ebay auction where the winner of each bid gets all of the money from the previous auctions plus their own bid. They get to keep it for a week, and then they have to pony it all up for the next auction. Over time it could grow to be a huge amount of money. You couldn't really do anything with the money, except maybe impress your friends with the size of your bank account for that one week.

Posted by: Hyperbolic Dan at March 6, 2009 3:26 PM

I like it. You would have to have the money really change hands via PayPal or whatever. Maybe swapping IOUs would suffice.
Buyer collects? Cash only?

Posted by: Matt Petty at March 6, 2009 3:45 PM

very clever.

Posted by: Greg at March 6, 2009 4:10 PM

The problem with the recursive ebay ideas is that the seller would be the only person responsible for ponying up the cash.

Posted by: Seth at March 6, 2009 6:03 PM

Maybe incorporate shipping and handling costs. Haha.

Posted by: Alyssa at March 6, 2009 6:07 PM

If you win the bid, you win all the money, but you have to pay all the money yourself too. So whoever wins $XXX has to pay it to himself, it doesn't really makes sense.

But you could set up a website where everyone can add money through paypall, and as soon as no one puts any money on it for more than 2 days, all the money goes to the last payer. What about that. Could be an awesome concept.

Posted by: shapish at March 6, 2009 6:09 PM

So they'd make exactly 0? c'mon you can do better than that.

Posted by: keaton at March 6, 2009 6:16 PM

Reminded me of a project a bunch of my housemates and I did in college... we called it a prank. We wrote fake love letters to 50 girls, all on the same dorm floor. At a small school like mine, this meant like 1 in 8 girls got a love note. We had fun watching their reactions, and hearing how long it took some of them to figure out that it wasn't real. Here's a link to all 50- http://picasaweb.google.com/jamesnw/LoveLetters#

Posted by: James at March 6, 2009 6:57 PM

I'm glad shapish explained this because I was befuddled. I must have a synapse gap around money going round full circle. (Pause...) HEY: now I understand economics! Criminy!

I was making it all too complicated. What goes around comes around, even if it's nothing.

Posted by: jeano at March 6, 2009 8:03 PM

You can't put a price on connection or gratification. It's fun for fun's sake, don't get uptight about it.

Posted by: Sarah at March 6, 2009 9:09 PM

Love craig long time!!

Posted by: Steph at March 7, 2009 6:00 AM

shapish wrote, "it doesn't really makes sense."

That's why it is 'absurdist,' n'est pas? I love it.

Regarding the posted personals- they remind of Letters From a Nut with a touch of Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook.

http://englishseven.com/businessletter/businessamp.html

http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article02130801.aspx

Posted by: DS Bakker at March 8, 2009 1:55 PM

Was reminded of an exercise my Prof conducted in class last week to illustrate the 'escalation of commitment'. He set up a live auction of $10. The highest bidder would get the $10 (seller would have to pay up) but the catch was that the 2nd highest bidder would also have to pay up (money goes to seller).
Surprisingly the bidding went on well over $10 and ended at about $20. Interesting how people continued to participate in the exercise even though they were making losses. Of course the only effective way to minimize your losses is to not bid at all :P

Posted by: Apurva at March 10, 2009 5:50 AM

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