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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Gmail Auctions Proliferate

When I launched an eBay auction to sell my one remaining invitation to join Gmail last night (see previous blog entry, below), it was the only such auction on eBay. There are now five such auctions open, with bid prices up to $15.50. Two auctions for Gmail invitations were listed with “Buy It Now” prices of $35.00 and $40.00; both have already closed.

Why the frenzy? It’s all about the ability to get a great user name. The general public can’t just go to gmail.google.com and request an account yet, it is by invitation only. The people who are willing to bid at auction for an invitation want to sign up for firstname.lastname@gmail.com, instead of having to settle for spdnugt394@gmail.com.

In the last three hours I have received three requests to close my auction and sell the invitation privately – just name my price, they all say. I tell them the same thing: Sorry, but I appreciate being in the good graces of eBay and would never stop an auction to sell privately.

All of the new auctions are 1-day or 3-day; I listed mine as a 7-day auction. Perhaps that was a foolish thing to do, given the frenzy that seems to be building.

Here are the eBay auctions now in progress (mine is first on the list):







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