Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Not To Get A Good Deal On Ebay

At the end of October I bought a Roku HD box. This device allowed us to watch streaming movies from Netflix. It worked great, but after connecting it to the television we quickly realized that the effort required to press the various buttons on the various remote controls in order to actually watch streaming movies greatly exceeded the effort we were willing to devote to the endeavor. As a result, we rarely used the Roku box.

In early May, in a moment of great frustration and dissatisfaction with Cablevision, I decided to replace our Cablevision-provided DVR with a Tivo. After accepting a final insult served up by Cablevision (their insistance that I schedule - and pay for - a technician to come over and install the Tivo), we were freed of Cablevision's horrible DVR.

Why would anyone pay more for a used device than he would pay for a new one?

Which left me with an unused Roku box. I decided to sell it on Ebay, my preferred electronics graveyard since 1999. I figured I'd probably get less than $60 for it, and would have been thrilled with $70.

The auction isn't finished yet, and it's already at $90 (with another $10 added to cover shipping). I made it very clear in the listing that I was selling the Roku HD. There are even 2 questions from other users asking if this was the more expensive XR version. I also explained that an HDMI cable is not included.

This is very confusing to me. A new Roku HD box can be bought and shipped (with free shipping) for $99. This is the same price, incidentally, that I paid for my device last year.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An Unprecedented Power Grab By AARP

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, on July 1, 2008 there were approximately 304 million residents in the United States. 94 million of those were at least 50 years old. This is the population AARP lobbies for.

In today's mail I was surprised to find an AARP membership card with my name on it. Are they not powerful enough by representing more than 30% of the population? If they reduce the minimum age for their membership to 35, they will represent 179 million people (or almost 60% of the population).


Is this an epic power grab by AARP? Did they decide that 50 is entirely too high an age to be considered a retired person?

I might enroll so I can get Kelley a discount on the cruise she's planning. If anyone out there wants to get some discounted orthopedic shoes or anything, just let me know.