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a quick exposť

I think this is amazing. The "Free Electronics" auction idea has grown into to an annoying epidemic.
 
free flat screen auctions     free pentium 4 auctions    free plasma screen auctions   free xbox auctions   free electronics auctions

This same type of cancer is being used on DVD-R auctions, XP professional auctions, digital camcorder auctions, Rolex auctions, Canon d30, Minolta, etc.

 

Cynthia Wang first asked me to research them back in November. Then Tim Weghorst wrote to me about them on Monday.

I've done a little research, but the whole picture is proving difficult to track down.

There isn't just one culprit, or one scheme. Here are four:

  1. Some auctions reveal a URL that has a few nasty pop-ups and access to a worthless 6 page electronic book download: Directlube (don't bother going there)
  2. Some simply deliver the URL to a wholesale distributor, like global sources and suggest that if you misrepresent yourself as a retailer, you can get them to deliver demo items for free. I don't think this would work.
  3. One reveals the pyramid scheme at EZ Expo, "your computer matrix headquarters" or at laptop ladder, affiliated with learn2compute.net
  4. Some are selling a URL to a site that gives things away for free, but charges a lot of shipping and takes 6 weeks to deliver: irewards.com

None of these methods are going to result in free electronics.

 

Laptop Ladder actually shows a list of people signing up with times and dates.   If you are studying pyramid schemes, this would make a nice case study. These people paid $29 to be on this list. I counted page 5, there appear to be 2,097 people on that page alone.

It sounds like 77 people have to sign up for each laptop that is delivered, so with ~6,000 people in line, it should only take about 450,000 more signups before that last guy gets his laptop.

Oh, and their privacy policy states that "The general public will not have access to this information at any time". So don't tell the general public.

 

I've seen two people trying to put an end to this scourge of disinformation selling by posting warning auctions. I think that is a nice public service.

Super scam auctions is used by one guy, and I spotted this warning from someone else.

 

 

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Last updated January 20th, 2003.

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