Feeds

eBayer slaps $714 price tag on $630 in cash

Will Microsoft pay the difference?

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.