Feeds

eBayer slaps $714 price tag on $630 in cash

Will Microsoft pay the difference?

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

In an attempt to game Microsoft's new Live Search Cashback program, an eBayer has put a $714 price tag on $630 in cash.

Here's the listing in all its glory:

eBay Live Search game

Pay cash for cash

That's right, $630 in cash can be yours for $714. But if you access the page through a Live Search ad link that returns 35 per cent of the purchase price, you can make up the difference. And then some. So you make a profit, and so does the seller. At the expense of Microsoft and eBay.

That's the theory, anyway. It's unclear whether this actually works, and neither Microsoft nor eBay has responded to requests for comment.

Last month, in a desperate effort to shrink the Google gap, Microsoft began bribing people to use its third rate search engine. If you use Live Search ads to find and purchase certain items, Microsoft will return a portion of the purchase price. In some cases, this amounts to a 35 per cent savings.

The payments come straight from Microsoft's product-selling advertisers. So, if a partner like eBay posts an advertisement, the ad fee provides that cash back refund.

Well, in recent days, message board mavens at FatWallet.com have noticed a potential loophole in this setup. If an eBay listing offers cash, they say, both the seller and the buyer can make some extra dough. But it must be a "Buy Now" purchase - and payment must be made through PayPal.

At the very least, there's a cap on that extra dough. Microsoft limits cash back rewards to $250. That's why our swashbuckling eBay choose $714 as a purchase price. But some posters are claiming a 35 per cent return is no longer available on eBay listings. The norm now seems to be 10 per cent on eBay buys.

If this does work - the eBayer hasn't responded to us either - we're sure it won't work for long. The bigger question is how long Ballmer can afford cash back refunds on all those other sales. ®

Bootnote

A tip of the hat to Joe Lazarus and Techdirt.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.