Spam Your Neighborhood With Offers To Buy Homes; Get Spam In Return

from the how-fun! dept

Rajesh writes in to point out an article about an online service that wants to charge people $25 to have them send an unsolicited offer on any home you're interested in buying that isn't currently for sale. Rajesh calls it spam, and notes that the system actually encourages you to send out more unsolicited offers, since there are discounts for bulk mailings. However, it is pretty expensive compared to traditional spam -- especially with the relatively high cost per contact (compared to the ability to, you know, drop a note in their mailbox for free). What may be more worrisome (beyond the fact that the glut of homes on the market these days probably makes the service almost entirely unnecessary) is that the company admits its real business model is to hand over its database of info to real estate agents -- who will spam you. They will only do this for users who check off that they're interested, but if that's where the company makes its money, expect many easy opportunities to "opt in." As for the glut in the housing market these days, the company claims that it's not worried since it's building its service "for many years to come." That sounds nice, of course, but for that to happen you actually have to make it through the first few years.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Correct me if I'm wrong,

    And I'm sure someone will, but isn't it illegal to add or remove anything from someone else's mailbox.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 11:24am

    Re: Correct me if I'm wrong,

    That's the impression I am under as well. I even alerted my community association about that two weeks ago. They promised to look up the rules and change their newsletter distribution if necessary.

    I guess I'm still waiting to see what they do, as it will be another two weeks before they send out a newsletter. It's an anal-retentive community association, they weren't just trying to placate me, they really do care about legalities. (Which have nothing to do with right and wrong, but more with protecting the "sacredness" of the USPS spam distribution business...

    Whuda thunk our own government would be progressive enough to be using ad sponsored distribution long before the internet even existed?

     

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  3.  
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    Richard Ahlquist, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 11:38am

    You are correct.

    It is illegal to put anything in anyones mailbox.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    The Truth Beacon, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:13pm

    Re: You are correct.

    Unless, of course, it has been processed (at a fee of $.39+ per letter) by the Undeniably Slow Postal Service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    dorpus, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:18pm

    Herm...

    Well, at least the company is honest about its desire to send you unsoliscited emails from it's service.

    I'm just curious, but how does the service get the email address of the person they want to make an offer on? If it's from the user, then why on earth is there service even necessary, as I could easily email them myself.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Herm...

    moron... they send the offer to the friggin' physical address. hence the "drop a note in the mailbox" comment. i'd hazard a guess to say its for anonymity. the house *isn't* for sale and you want to make an offer to buy it. only if they're interested in selling do they probably get any contact with you. it's to avoid confrontation. at least, thats what i would think. i haven't really read about what the service is really for.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Herm...

    apparently its for appearances only. it looks for legitimate coming from a company than just a handwritten note or something.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    So what if dropping something in a mailbox is illegal. You can also put the note through a mail slot, in a screen door, under the wiper of a car if one is there, or, God forbid, actually talk to them.

    Also, if you put it in the mailbox after the mail has come, but before the person takes it in, nobody will notice.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: You are correct.

    Undeniably slow?
    Would you take someone's letter to the other side of the country within three days if all you were paid was 39 cents?
    I doubt it.
    People are quick to judge the USPS and never really analyze what they do, how quick they do it, and how little they charge.

    I'd say 39 cents is damn cheap for the service you're actually getting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Homeowner, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:54pm

    Wait a minute

    I think what posters are missing is that putting an offer on a house is not a simple case of writing a note that says "I'd sure like to buy yer house!" There is a lot of paperwork and legally binding documents involved. Hence the $25 fee.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Wait a minute

    if you read the article, they point to the example of how one of the company executives providing the service, did just that. just wrote a note saying, "hey, if you're ever interested in selling, we're interested in buying" and a few months later, bam, new house.

    so... actually, it can start off to be that simple.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    the 39 cents it takes to send it across country is the same as if it went next door or next city over, which in that case IS a rip off. USPO is a rip off in some cases

    there is power in bulk!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    39 cents for the next city over is still cheap in my opinion. how much would you pay somebody to bring a letter somewhere a couple miles away so you didn't have to. therefore, it appears *most* instances of mailing is actually cheap and the few rare occurences of sending it next door are just innocent bystanders of flat-rate pricing systems.

     

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  14.  
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    jack hoff, Aug 27th, 2006 @ 6:36am

    send me spam

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Wait a minute

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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