Seller's Hyperbole



#2

We've all seen how advertisers use hyperbole to get the attention of potential buyers and to outdo their competitors. Words like "super" and "ultra" and "premium". Well, I just saw two competing TAS listings for an HP-31E, in which the first seller refers to it as "rare." So, not to be outdone, the second seller refers to it as "ultra rare." I'm wondering what would happen if there were to be a third listing. Would it then become "super ultra rare" ?


#3

The use such superlatives has always puzzled me. Typically the item is far from rare. I have seen this term used many times to describe a garden-variety 48sx, for crying out loud.

Now if a true collector is reading the description, he or she will know if the item is rare or not.

If the viewer is not knowledgeable about the type of product, would they jump to buy something just because the seller says it's rare? And why would someone be collecting something they know nothing about?

So the use of the term "rare" is worse than useless, it actually makes the seller look shady.


#4

Those descriptions pale in front of erroneous model names, like HP-
12CC and HP84GX. These errors appear in the title and auction text, repeated over and over. Does the seller ever bother to look at the machine and learn the ACTUAL product name???

Namir


#5

How about those items with a starting bid price that is 1.5 to 2 times as high as the HP direct or Amazon price. Or items being sold for 100's of dollars when further down the page they are $20-$30. I always have to wonder if they ever sell anything. Based on some of those prices I could sell off my collection and retire to a mansion somewhere.

M. Joury


#6

I sometimes track this kind of auctions and to no one's surprise they don't sell--especially not in this terrible economy where many folks are watching their wallets.

I guess there are auction sellers who put these HP items (and my guess they know little to nothing about) with a personal hunch or the advice of an uninformed friend that they will be worth a lot. I have seen an A/C charger for vintage HP calculators being offered for something like $150!!! Really???!! Of course there was no takers.

Namir

Edited: 2 Sept 2010, 12:45 a.m.


#7

Quote:
I guess there are auction sellers who put these HP items (and my guess they know little to nothing about) with a personal hunch or the advice of an uninformed friend that they will be worth a lot. I have seen an A/C charger for vintage HP calculators being offered for something like $150!!!

Your guess doesn't match my experience. At least some of them offering repeatedly know their items pretty well.
#8

You mean "no takers" on every auction. The reason there are often no takers, is because the seller DOES know the value of the item. Items put up for auction, in auction style, typically sell at far below actual value.

The best seller model is one where an item is priced at what the top 10% are happy with; not what the other 90% might be happy with. But I guess there are other models.

The ones I can't figure out are the ones who put a $50 actual value item and try to get $500. And when you check their feedback, you see they have never sold one. Never!

Edited: 2 Sept 2010, 1:05 a.m.


#9

Also, I sometimes check to see WHAT ELSE that seller is offering. Often I discover that the expensive calculator (or accessory) is the ONLY piece of electronic offered among a wide selection of clothes, ceramics, and other non-electronic items. In such case, it's easy to conclude that the seller has little or no idea about what they are selling--probably doing it as a favor for a friend.

Edited: 2 Sept 2010, 10:10 a.m.

#10

Those $50 items for $500 are the auctions I was referring to. An HP41 HPIL module for over $300? Something I remember seeing at some time in the past. Isn't that a bit steep?


#11

Take a look here and you'll find many examples. Background: two "free Weekends" recently :-/

#12

That's sales policy :(( We all know some sellers doing this over and over again. They benefit from special days at TAS ("no fee this weekend"), put their stuff in for nothing at starting prices 5 to 10 times exceeding the usual values and wait for stupid buyers. Usually those people won't sell a lot, but one or two may balance their effort which is near zero, since they have their offers prepared for long and recycle them repeatedly. Not that I like that, but it's a free market so we'll have to live with that :-/ After all, they are few and regular visitors of TAS learn about them pretty fast.

#13

Quote:
erroneous model names

Major retailers are guilty of this too, although it is probably the manufacturer's fault (marketing morons). Office Depot is currently selling the "HP-30bii".

#14

Quote:
Those descriptions pale in front of erroneous model names, like HP-
12CC and HP84GX. These errors appear in the title and auction text, repeated over and over. Does the seller ever bother to look at the machine and learn the ACTUAL product name???

Namir


My favorite is the HP 12C Scientific Calculators that are often up for auction.


#15

Quote:
My favorite is the HP 12C Scientific Calculators that are often up for auction.

My favorites are ...

Sorry, just couldn't resist d;->


#16

Quote:

My favorites are ...

Sorry, just couldn't resist d;->


That why I are an engineer and not a english goodly teacher. 8^)
#17

That's what C in 12C stands for .... sCientific. Who says it has to be the first letter all time time! How about giving the SECOND letter a break!


#18

Quote:
That's what C in 12C stands for .... sCientific. Who says it has to be the first letter all time time! How about giving the SECOND letter a break!

(Laughing!)
#19

Quote:
That's what C in 12C stands for .... sCientific.

I like this one. It might make sense in Portuguese and Spanish (The initial 's' in words that began with 'sc' has long been dropped).

#20

When I see that kind of puffery, I will often write (tongue in cheek) and ask, "What is so rare about this? There are 5 others at half the price"


#21

I have been tempted... But all I can see is an email war on the horizon and so I cave. Have you ever gotten an answer to that question?

#22

Regarding hyperbole - my favorite (relevant) joke is of three pizza restaurants on the same block. The first had a large sign claiming it has the best pizza in the country. The second's sign claims the best pizza in the world.

The third's sign claims that it has the best pizza on the block.

One day decades ago, my brother (Joe) and I were stranded in Billings, Montana and, on a lark, tried a local pizza restaurant. The above joke came to mind abundantly when we tried their product.

Sometimes the seller doesn't know what the competition is...

#23

Sound like a Sunoco product to me.


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