On XBox 360 Madness

People need a sanity check–you can buy an XBox 360 system on eBay for 11 million dollars.

I don’t expect that anyone would match Jack Dell’s “Buy It Now” price–there are better things one can do with 11 million dollars–but I have to wonder at the thought process that leads someone to put up an XBox 360 system with a pie-in-the-sky price.

Let me add a personal aside. I haven’t purchased a 360 system yet–with the quanities on the system being as tight as they are I felt it a better thing to allow another customer on my pre-order list to purchase the system I had pre-ordered back in May. My company takes a very dim view of employees selling merchandise they purchase in the stores on eBay; an employee that sold a 360 on eBay at a profit would put his job at jeopardy. (Someone’s going to ask why, and the reason is that it’s essentially unfair to the customers who come into our stores; we have access to products in a way that our customers do not, and using our employee access to product to turn a profit abuses the customer/employee relationship.)

Here’s an anecdote. I received a phone call at the store a few days ago, Wednesday if memory serves. The man on the other end of the phone wanted to know how scarce 360 systems would be through the holidays. I gave him the best information I had–that Microsoft was planning on shipping them out on a weekly basis to stores, that for many buyers it would be a case of being in the right place at the right time, and that while the situation looked tight now I felt confident that if he wanted to buy a system in the week leading up to Christmas he would probably be able to do so.

He then told me his reason for asking about XBox 360 availability. He bought one, a Core unit, on the 22nd of November, and he put it up for auction on eBay. The closing price on the auction? Over a thousand dollars. However, that thousand dollars didn’t cover his reserve price, so he was trying to decide what to do.

That’s his thought process.

This is my reaction.

Some idiot on eBay was willing to give the guy on the phone a seven hundred dollar profit, and that wasn’t enough for him? What the hell does this guy want?

A sucker is born every minute. A fool and his money are soon parted. I could quote a dozen more, and every day something with the XBox 360 convinces of the inherent truth of these even more.

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