Would You Buy $630 For $715? Thanks To Microsoft, You Can Make Money Doing So

from the loopholes dept

Just last month, Microsoft announced its desperation plan of bribing users to use Microsoft's search. Basically, if you bought certain products via a Microsoft search, Microsoft would pay you cash back. And, of course, as soon as the cash got involved, it didn't take long for people to find loopholes. Various messages boards are highlighting how this works, but the end result is that people are buying $630 in cash for $715 (via Whitney McNamara), knowing that Microsoft will pay them "cash back" that more than makes up the difference -- in some cases up to $250. So, in that case, the seller of the "cash" ends up making $85, and the "buyer" makes $165. Microsoft, of course, is out the $250. Talk about arbitrage.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    some old guy, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 2:19pm

    aw man

    If only I was a bit sleazier, I'd be making myself slightly richer while writhing in glee.

     

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:03pm

    What's the old joke??

    Ohhh yea.

    It's OK. Microsoft is going to make it up in -volume-.

    Buhhh Dump Bump, Chhhhhh.

     

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    Captain Insano, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:03pm

    Sleazy? Hell where I come from that is called business smarts!

     

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      some old guy, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:19pm

      Re:

      Where I come from, that's called a sleazy business. To each their own I guess.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 5:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Where I come from, that's called a sleazy business. To each their own I guess.
        The sleazy ones are the ones that get rich.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:31pm

      Re:

      business smarts... k

      MSFT could always invest the money into making their search and software better, instead of buying silly gimmicks to entice people into using their sub-par services. But hey, they can't all be google.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:23pm

    jsut because you can doesnt mean you should

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:32pm

    I hope this article gets removed from techdirt, it may just be enough to put me out on the streets- this is how I've been paying the rent, Mike Masnick. You're a jerk.

     

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    Jake, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 3:46pm

    On The Other Hand...

    When you consider all the extra traffic this must be generating for Microsoft's search engine, which has been somewhat overshadowed by its competitors of late, you have to wonder if they're actually losing money on this.

     

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    Streaker, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    Reminds Me

    This reminds me of the 'Long Distance Wars' of the 1990s, where the long distance companies would constantly send you checks to switch to their service.

    I knew quite a few people who made a few hundred bucks doing that.

     

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      Mischa, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:11pm

      Re: Reminds Me

      How did they manage to do that? Most of the time the checks were only large enough to cover the switching fee the local phone company charged you.

       

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    Hoeppner, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    That's a small price to pay to get every tech blog or so talking about live search. Microsoft is only going to lose as much money as it was going to in the most likely events.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:36pm

    I knew someone would figure out a way to exploit M$ for this. When you have to pay people to use your product you've already failed.

     

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    Ravi, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    Microsoft logic makes my head spin almost as bad as female logic...

     

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    Microwho?, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 5:24pm

    Only two ways

    Microsoft only knows how to attack problems in two ways:

    1. Throw Widows at the problem, or
    2. Throw money at the problem.

    Evidently they chose the latter route to attack the "our search sucks" problem.

     

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      Net_Lurker, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 2:09am

      Re: Only two ways

      Dang! While I admit that the latter route might have been exploited by some to make good money, the former would have made for much better YouTube moments! Can you imagine Ballmer throwing chairs, only to change his mind and start throwing widows left, right and centre? I wonder where they manage to source so many from? Hmm... maybe once they ran out of a natural source, they started creating their own? Cripes! Be afraid men, be very afraid... :O

       

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    Fubar4Fun, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 6:28pm

    Look at it this way...

    Had Yahoo not been so homophobic and stepped away from the plate, they may've got some of that phat cash too. Then both companies be rich with mega hits and more $$$ and google just drown in their simplistic narcissism.

    Excellent strategy though.

    Beautiful plumage....

     

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      BlatantDisregard, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

      Re: Look at it this way...

      Strange choices of words you have there. Calling Yahoo homophobic for backing down just doesn't make sense, for one, and google's adherence to simplicity doesn't call for the term narcissism, if anything, it's the opposite.

       

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    Amaethon, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 7:14pm

    Yahoo homophobic ???

    How can you call yahoo homophobic for stepping away from the plate? Yahoo isn't exactly a new start-up, and its search is far superior to any MS product. MS has a tendency to ruin and twist things to their alterior motives. I admire Yahoo for taking a stand against the big boy and keeping their independance. If yahoo had a startup page that loaded as fast as googles, their stand would have caused me to switch back to their search engine!

     

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    Abdul koroma, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 10:51am

    MS is a Freak!!!

    I really don't understand how desperate people resort to desperate measures that are always doom to fail from the start.Giving users incentive for using a product that's trailing a disatnce third shows MS has reach a dead end: Microsoft On Yahoo Reboud, Buys Users ( http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=466&doc_id=154593&F_src=flftwo)

     

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    another mike, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    the good news

    At least they're looking into new business models?

     

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