Drew of Toothpaste for Dinner has a companion blog called The Worst Things for Sale. Every now and then you will see an item there somewhat along these lines:
Now this doesn’t look so bad, a simple 18″ audio patch cord, useful for connecting a portable MP3 player or phone to a stereo AUX input, perhaps in a car. The thing about this item that landed it on Drew’s blog is the price: $50,000.
Why? Why would someone place this item for sale at that price? Are they trying to hack Amazon’s bizarre pricing algorithms? Is it a bit of online tradecraft among spies, akin to a shade pulled down or a car window visor flipped in the “real” world?
It would be interesting to be able to track if anyone ever actually buys these things — they are sprinkled all over Amazon. Or perhaps they are just decoys, or test entries. But Amazon is not transparent enough to afford us this amusement.
On the other hand, some of them do attract entertaining reviews.