A classic eBay sale

I’d always heard that you could sell completely non-functional items on eBay. The very first thing sold on the site back in the day was a broken laser pointer, which is what really inspired Pierre to turn his site into a business (or so the story goes…) But I’d never actually given it a try.

However, about a year ago, our original TiVO (yep, series 1, baby!) finally gave up the ghost. Turns out that TiVO had a deal – if you had a lifetime service subscription to your original TiVO, you could transfer it over to your new Series 2 DVR for a very reasonable charge. This was even more exciting because they no longer offered lifetime subscriptions at all to new customers.

Michelle and I got DirecTV (and DirecTivo) when we moved into our house, so we really didn’t need this old unit nor the upgrade to a Series 2. Naturally, I listed it on eBay, and got about $300 for the broken unit – but really the guy only wanted the serial number so he could get the upgrade for a Series 2. He asked me not to ship him the unit – no big deal. I ended up keeping the unit up in the loft for a while (just to be sure the guy’s upgrade went OK and he wouldn’t actually need the device) and after that passed I was going to toss it.

But then I thought – well, I wonder if anyone would want the unit itself? So, once again it went up on eBay – a broken TiVO, for parts only, without any sort of service contract. 7 days later, I had 17 bids and the unit ended up selling for about $50! Who would’ve guessed that an old broken TiVO could net me $350 total!?

Only on eBay…

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~ by Nathan on June 6, 2007.

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