This is so brilliant, and so very wrong. Some poor soul in Baltimore has lost her iPod Touch, offering a $50 reward for its return. And some Bad Samaritan knows a bidding opportunity when he sees one.
Of course, the $148 estimate is just for an 8GB Touch. When you get into 64GB territory, you’re looking at a grand savings of $348! I don’t know exactly where these signs are posted, but that’s probably for the best—it’d take no time at all to whip up my generous offer of $51.01. [The High Definite via The Daily What]
I wouldn’t return it to Mr. $51 because he’s one of those Price is Right asses. Bidding $1 is such a dick move. Be a man and make a real bid! Reply
No economists in the house?
Since an iPod Touch is worth more than $50, clearly someone would only return it for the pleasure of being a good samaritan. (And since they haven’t returned it already, that pleasure must be worth less than about $150.) But that pleasure is lost if the returner thinks they are giving it back to the wrong person. Therefore, they would only give it to the person they thought was the real owner, which in this case, is clearly the lower bidder. But if the scammer realized that, he should offer $49 for it, making himself appear to be the true owner. But knowing that, the true owner would have to offer $48. And so on, until it is clear than no public offer of a reward for lost merchandise is equilibrium stable without proof of prior ownership. Oh well. Reply