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Selling ucam by the pound - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Selling ucam by the pound
Checking my email before work is never a good idea from a time point of view; it's even less of a good idea when I find I've got abusive email from somebody as a result of a post on ucam.adverts.forsale. What a nice start to the day.

See, being community-spirited (and big-mouthed to boot), if I see somebody selling a 'new' CD for 4 pounds more than it can be bought new on the web including postage, I tend to point this out. I don't like seeing people getting ripped off, and besides, the guy selling it will presumably stand more chance of selling it if he has an idea of market prices. (Or maybe I'm deluding myself about the latter reason; even a quick glance at eBay makes it abundantly clear that it's possible to sell things for several times their market price if you can attract just two clueless bidders.)

I suppose getting told -- rudely and illiterately of course, but what do you expect from usenet? -- to mind my own business was inevitable. But this is the thing: I genuinely think it's everybody's business to be aware of, and increase the community's awareness of, the range of prices being charged on the wider market. Admittedly, sometimes you may have valid personal reasons not to buy a CD at the lowest price offered (perhaps you haven't yet stopped boycotting Amazon, or perhaps you want to buy direct from the band or artiste's website to show support for them, or perhaps you prefer to support your local indie record shop rather than buying from -- for example -- online indie store OpalMusic, not to mention the big mainstream stores like Play and CDWow. But generally there's no good reason to pay extra for the privilege of subsidising a private trader in a local small-ads group who already makes a tidy profit from reselling duty-free cigarettes on the newsgroup.

Now, obviously (caveat emptor!) the buyer has some responsibility to make themself aware of whether a quoted price is fair or not. If, that is, they care -- I assume some people are rich enough that they honestly don't care if they're paying several times over the odds for something. If they really don't care, though, they shouldn't really mind seeing the cheaper alternatives pointed out, any more than they mind, say, being aware that planes have an "economy class" cabin as well as their own luxurious Platinum Flyer class. But in this context, objections to information being freely provided can only really come from those who want to profit from other people's ignorance; and that's something that I and my big mouth are prepared to shout about.
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bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: July 16th, 2004 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The moment the vendor offers it for sale to you, it is your business, too.

From: angua Date: July 16th, 2004 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: July 16th, 2004 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
burkesworks From: burkesworks Date: July 16th, 2004 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: July 17th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Quake Arena.
julietk From: julietk Date: July 16th, 2004 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Good for you for commenting, I reckon.
claerwen From: claerwen Date: July 16th, 2004 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep, the vendor is being a tosser. I mean, it's a newsgroup - I don't espouse the disconcertingly common opinion that if you post to newsgroups you should expect and accept rude responses, but for goodness' sake, you can't expect to exercise a veto on people responding civilly, even if you find it inconvenient.

Thanks for the book :-)
ewx From: ewx Date: July 16th, 2004 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)

I tend to point this out

Good thing, too.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: July 16th, 2004 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Is ucam.adverts.forsale open, so we can all pile in and roundly chastise the fellow, or closed to camfolk-only?
imc From: imc Date: July 16th, 2004 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
You could probably sneak a post in there by cross-posting it to misc.misc or summat.

However, since the offence took place in private email I doubt there's anything you could sensibly post about it.
From: rmc28 Date: July 16th, 2004 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
ucam.* is only open to machines on the university network.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: July 16th, 2004 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I expect Rachel knows that. And anybody who followed the link in my post should know it too.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: July 16th, 2004 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
A geek to the end!
Come here and let me ritually poke you with a spoon instead.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: July 17th, 2004 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Still can't get the Leatherman open, eh?
k425 From: k425 Date: July 16th, 2004 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
The vendor was an idiot, and what I've done in similar situations is to post my reply to the newsgroup, rather than the individual. I say that if they want to comment on something I've said in the group, it's polite to do so in the group (furrfu, typed gruop both times there!) unless they're not brave enough to post abuse openly. I also tend to add that further email will be responded to in the group and that further abusive email will be posted in full to the group so that other readers can develop their own opinions of the poster.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 16th, 2004 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I posted my original comment about the price in the group, and got the nasty reply by email. I don't post other people's private emails in public, even if they are nasty; also, it's explicitly not a discussion group, even discussion of pricing is strictly speaking off-topic, and I would get heavily sat on by everybody if I tried to conduct a flamewar on-group.

Besides, why say it on-group when I can bitch on LJ? ;)

(I suspect other regular readers have already developed their own opinions of this guy, to be honest; there've been skirmishes with him before about overpriced stuff and illegally-resold ciggies.)
ewx From: ewx Date: July 17th, 2004 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)

private emails in public

You can have whatever policy you like, of course, but I don't think that emails sent to someone you don't know have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Even more true for abusive mail: anyone who objects to their victim retaliating in some way shouldn't be sending abusive email in the first place.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 17th, 2004 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: private emails in public

Well, you can have whatever policy you like, of course, but I don't think "retaliating" in a way that escalates the situation (and drags more people into it) is a terribly useful way to react to something which, at the end of the day, is just a moron being rude. I don't think an "expectation of privacy" is the issue; it's a question of whether something's a sensible reaction, rather than whether it's permissible under whichever RFC covers Geek Social Interaction.
ewx From: ewx Date: July 17th, 2004 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: private emails in public

whichever RFC covers Geek Social Interaction.

Oh, whatever...

lusercop From: lusercop Date: July 16th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
TBPH, good for you for doing it. I'm sorry that the response was abusive from the guy, but this is where my email killfile comes in. I think the world needs more people who are prepared to say what they believe in... (as you know, I'm not normally the first to mince my words)
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