Every so often, I do enjoy taking a handful of coins and heading out to explore the weekend garage sales. Or, more accurately, “garbage sales”. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to see what people have stashed in their garage, and to see if any of their random items might, perhaps, look better if they were stored in your garage instead.
In many ways, that’s exactly what Kijiji and Craigslist have become. Essentially, they’re what eBay was back before it got taken over by spammers, scammers, and the internet equivalent of those molester merchants who try and stop you as you walk past: “HEY! Hey Meester! Buy some makeups for your pretty ladies!”
Sometimes, however, I find listings that just make me mad. This listing, advertising a satellite dish for sale, just frosts my cookies. If you sign up for satellite service up here, they’ll supply you with a basic tuner and satellite dish, plus free installation, just for signing up. If you want to upgrade to a high-def receiver, then sure, you need to buy that. But if you do decide to purchase one of those boxes, again, they’ll do the install for free. Essentially, the model is this; if there’s a dish on the house, the occupants are far more likely to sign up with that provider. If you move, they want you to leave the dish behind, in the hopes that the next resident will sign up again.
Essentially, they’re giving these dishes away like they give away business cards. These are items with a nominal value, primarily to allow them to say you’re getting a “$125 value” when they install it. And yet, the person trying to sell a used one is asking $75.
The sad part is that they’ll probably get it, too. They’ll have scammed someone who just doesn’t know any better, and that’s just fine. But somehow it still makes me angry.