Chicago Public Radio is wrapping up their fiscal year with what is quite possibly the world’s longest pledge drive. Obviously, they are running a tad short this year and so they decided to move up the pledge drive for next year and lengthen it to get a little extra to cover this year.In itself, this is nothing too terribly surprising. But today they rolled out something extra special – they are giving away an iPhone every hour to someone who has pledged today. This is a brilliant idea – not only does it incite people to pledge on the last day of the drive, but it also gets people who have already given to call back and pledge more money in order to get into the drawing (since only people who pledge today are included in the drawings). Of course, this was enough of an incentive for me to give a little extra, even through my membership isn’t due for renewal until the fall.
Note that I’m not really interested in getting an iPhone just yet. This is mostly because of the unwritten rule I have about “Never buy a first generation Apple Product”*. But it’s also due to the fact that the iPhone is currently set up to work only with AT&T’s
At this point, you might be asking yourself "Fine Grrrbear, but why did you pledge again in order to get entered in the drawing if you're not interested in getting an iPhone?" Simple – arbitrage, baby! I figure that since iPhones are selling on eBay for $1000 at a pop it can’t hurt to try and win one that I can then resell right away. But when I was researching that information I saw an even more crazy aspect of the current iPhone-mania: all the twits on eBay trying to sell iPhone-related URLs for absurdly-high prices. For example, check out the following auctions for these URLs on eBay right now:
- www.see-iPhones.com – One of the bargains out there right now at only $995, but (and here I quote the seller) it’s “Worth over 1,000,000.00 in my mind”. Of course, the picture of the Hooters girl is a small bonus…
- iPhone-4u.com – Best of all with this one you also get seven other equally crappy URLs all bundled into one package o’crap for less than $4000! Well, one cent less than $4000 but still!
- iPhone-usa.com – Only $25 thousand dollars for this one
- ticklemeiphone.com – This last one is the absolute worst. Seriously? You expect me to pay $50 grand for a name as stupid as “ticklemeiphone.com”? Are you five years old?
* Because the 2nd generation is usually so much better
** See my rule above.