July 12th, 2006
Categories: Uncategorized

The Great eBay Challenge


I was sitting in the pub a few weeks ago with a good mater of mine. We were talking about stuff – world cup, ladies bits and god knows what else before the conversation inevitably turned to computers. He’s a web marketer, and his business involves search engine optimisation, marketing & PR stuff, plus he sells things on eBay. Conversations with him generally revolve around boasting about what we’ve achieved, and the technologies surrounding them. He began.

“Oh yeah, I sold a rare 1930′s Steiff Fox on eBay today, made a fortune for my client.”

“That’s great mate, but….doesn’t it feel a little impersonal?”

“What? eBay? Nah, just buy and sell, leave feeback, everybody’s happy.”

Should point out at this point I’m very much believer in the social side of the web, such blogging, and he isn’t. He loves the anonymity. Hence why he’s not being named.

“It just seems so impersonal. You’re sending a package to somebody else on the other side of the country. It would be kind of nice to get like a letter or something with it. Even the feedback is A++ this, and A++ that. What about a B-?”

“Tell you what, if you can make eBay more personal, I’ll give you a tenner.”

“Beg your pardon?”

“Well, you said it yourself. If you can get – say – 10 people to leave you feedback which is a bit random, such as ‘The package was nice smelling’, or ‘thanks for the biscuits’, something you wouldn’t expect. I’ll give you a tenner.”



“But what?”

“If I can get 10 before you can get 10, then you give me a tenner.”

So it’s on. The Great eBay Challenge.

My gameplan was quite simple. For every item I buy and sell on eBay, I’d include a letter, saying “this is my bet, if you could help me out with this, I’d be most appreciative.”. Hopefully, good decent people would see my plight and respond to it.

I had sold two items within the last week. One digital camera and one WWF video. I drafted a letter and included it, and crossed my fingers.

I was not disappointed.


RESULT!!! 2 items sold, 2 random comments. Bonus points to Emma (at least, I assume it’s an Emma), who managed to fit in an innuendo and gave me a random comment and complemented me on the size of my “interesting package”. That should be worth 3 right there.

It isn’t, I already checked, but it’s still 2 to me, 0 to my mate.

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