Monday, August 06, 2007

I recently learned of a service called, which will purchase items like computers and iPods. I initially found out about it from a Circuit City e-mail, offering store credit, but in checking out the site, I saw they also offer cash payments through Paypal (and by getting some price quotes, it appears they pay the same whether you receive store credit or cash). I have an old iPod Photo that's been gathering dust for some time, so I got an estimate, and saw that they would pay me $113.60 for my iPod and some accessories. I printed out a pre-paid mailing label and sent in the unit.

They received my unit on Friday morning, and today I got my revised estimate. Instead of $113.60, I'm getting $76.20. They say the earbuds are not in resellable condition, which is probably true, but that would be the case of virtually every set of headphones they receive (if memory serves, including the earbuds added about $6 to the total estimate). But most of the drop comes from dropping the condition from my stated condition of "fair" to "poor," because "unit shows significant signs of use." Yeah, it does, that's why I said "fair." It has some scratches, so I listed it as "fair," defined on the site as "minor scratches but working," which seems a accurate description of what I sent them. So now I'm annoyed, because while a $113 payment made it worth my while not to sell the iPod on eBay, I'm sure I could have done significantly better than $76.20 on my own. Of course, I've had my new iPod about nine months now, and I never bothered selling the old one, so I probably shouldn't complain too much. But I don't think I'll sell anything else to, and I certainly wouldn't recommend them. I'm especially leery after getting a price quote on my Gamecube, and getting an estimate higher than what the units currently go for on eBay. I think overpromising and underdelivering may be their modus operandi.

One other thing troubles me. They say I will be paid in 7 calendar days, and that "if a discrepancy in verified values is found within the next 7 days, another copy of this email will be sent to you with updated values." I have a suspicion they are selling the iPod on eBay now, and if they don't turn a profit, they'll create a profit by cutting my payment. But maybe I'm just being paranoid; time will tell.

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