eponymousarchon: (Default)
Discussion about my previous small ads post reminded me of this:

Previously, the local small ads paper had a regular customer who was trying to sell an unwanted Palm IIIc (the first colour Palmpilot) for around 300-400 quid if I recall correctly. They obviously felt the need to justify that price as they explained that this was the sale price of this ithem hich was an unwanted prize and had been stored for years - and hadn't been used since bought. I beleive that the Small Ads gave you extra weeks if you couldn't sell the item, so the seller wasn't spending too much on this - as believe me, it really wasn't selling.

What the seller wasn't getting was that the Palm IIIc did cost the figure they quoted, but that was (mumble mumble) years ago!

Since then, you could get a current spec Palm that had
  • 4 times the pixel, count
  • an orders of magnitude or two worth of extra colour depth
  • 32-64 times the internalmemory
  • a 10x (or more) faster processor
  • An external card slot included
  • Bluetooth included as well as IRDA.
  • a Lithium Ion battery (and associated battery life instead of AA or AAA batteries
...for about half of the price that they wanted - brand new - and that was from Argos!

The ad was there for months and month and months. The inability of these sellers to work out what was wrong with their money making scheme was the cause of many exasperated conversations between myself and Kit.

Although it took months and months for them to work out that it wouldn't sell, but eventually one week the ad was conspicuous by its absence -- and the Friday Ads were never quite as annoying again.

I do hope they didn't manage to to sell it to some unfortunate person.
eponymousarchon: (Default)
I often browse through the local Friday Ads small ads magazine. While I don't often buy things this way, I enjoy the range of items for sale. They also have a wonderful run of accidental (and often charming) errors and typos that raise a smile.

In the 90's, sellers had to phone-in their ad content to over-worked and non-technical call handlers.  This caused a continuous stream of 'Omega' computers and 'Epsom' printers advertised for sale. Now that most sellers submit their ads via email or text message, this kind of thing is much rarer (but usually much more mind-bending when it does happen).

Thankfully, there is still an old staple (ahem) of the Ad magazines to fall back on, untouched since the 80's. As a sales feature (and to aid browsing) the first two words of an ad are set in bold type - free of charge! The catch in this is that the typesetters embolden the first two words exactly. Whether you want this to happen to or not and without care of the consequences.

Unfortunately, the sellers don't always take this into account when providing ad copy:

Newborn Baby (huh?) ...cradle and swing with lights and... Oh! I see,

Semi-retired Camper
  ...disposing of a large variety of gear.

Men's Fat ...Face brand clothing

and frequently much worse.

Also: Just to prove me wrong, this week's issue has *two* printer cartridges for Epsom printers for sale. No Omegas though. Sadly.


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eponymousarchon

July 2009

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