Apr 092012

By now you have probably seen one of many super cheap overstock iPad online ads. One reason people doubt such offers is that there are no overstock iPads sold in real stores. They sell very well in brick and mortar shops for tenfold the price, so what’s the story behind the ridiculously low priced online offers?

Nowadays it seems that you can get away with calling anything any name if you’re a business owner, but if you’re a consumer, you’re the endangered species. There are no such things as overstock iPads; not even online. I don’t want my visitors falling for such “unbelievable deals” when in fact the money the house earns for each piece of attractive merchandise sold can be thousands of dollars. When you find an offer to get an iPad for very little money, there’s a possibility you could get it, but there’s most likely a much higher probability you will lose some money without winning it.

How do these “overstock” iPad sites manage to sell these devices so far below their normal price? They are counting on luring many users to participate in their online auctions in which it costs you a seemingly low bit of money to place each bid and so if you don’t win, you don’t worry too much and you focus on the next auction, but in the end the money is gone with the wind.

Having a very attractive “bait” like a $500+ iPad with a chance to be sold on an auction for $50-ish helps attract many people into the bidding game. In the end somebody picks up one iPad for seemingly low price, but with so many individuals wasting seemingly low amounts of money hoping to win it cheap, sellers make huge profits.

Moreover, some auctions with stubborn bidders actually end up costing the winner more than they’d pay for the same item in a normal retail store, and a few stubborn bidders will make the house loads of money. To me this seems like an amazing waste of time and money, particularly for some naive visitors seeing these offers for the first time. This is not illegal and I doubt it can be officially called a scam because it is most likely mentioned in the fine print few people read when they access the sites and agree with terms of use, but I find it questionable because it uses the same scheme as gambling and raffles.

I sincerely doubt that these sites have a gambling or lottery license and benefit schools or other not for profit institutions like lottery does here in the USA, and since online gambling is far from popular among the USA lawmakers, I don’t know whether these businesses should be allowed to operate this way. Whatever the case, I block their ads rather than letting my visitors get lured into this scheme. My name is all over my website, so I put a much higher priority on integrity than a few dollars more in the bank.

So far I was talking about the supposedly legal ways these sites make money, but if you want to consider much darker shades of gray, some computer or person bidders could be working for the house to drive the bids higher and collect more “dead money” from auctions, while tricking the system so when a house bidder wins the unit, it could be reused in the next bid and all the lost bids turn into pure profit. Not that anybody would do this, but they could.

Let’s put it this way, if you get an email from a person from Nigeria (or anywhere else) who needs assistance getting their money out of the country, mathematically speaking, there is still some probability that they are telling the truth, but you should also know that many people worldwide have so far lost their money falling for a similar story. Do you really want to put your money on the table to find out whether it’s a scam or not?

When I consider accepting any incredibly attractive deals and even job offers I always remember the saying “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!” Maybe I’ve missed a “chance of a lifetime” but in the long run this approach has saved me a lot of money, time and nerves.

  One Response to “Overstock iPad Offers”

  1. Awesome
    Not Awesome

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