I don’t understand people
I put a link up for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Lance Armstrong and I both ride bikes and wear those little yellow wristbands, and between the two of us we’ve won six Tour de France races. I think it’s a fine cause, and I encourage everyone to check it out.
But less importantly.. on the wristbands. There are these yellow silicone rubber bracelets you can buy (for $1) and wear to support the foundation. The foundation is selling them as part of their drive to raise $5 million dollars. You may have seen a lot of them during the Olympics (I think swimmer Michael Klim had one out of the water, women’s beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh wears one, among many others).
People are buying these things 2 for $15 and up, plus shipping, on eBay. Not for an item — for a pre-order where the seller’s not even certain about when they expect to get any (“These are Pre sale items. I just contacted the foundation and should expect to receive this shipment the week of September 10th.”).
You could, for the same price, buy two from the foundation for $2 and donate $20, tax deductable, get them at the same time and help people survive cancer instead of giving that $20 to some dude who’s going to spend it on uh… supporting murder in the third world. And as the LAF site points out, there are side issues around reselling.
I don’t expect eBay to crack down on this, though… I feel like it’d be nice if they did. But realistically, they sell all kinds of crazy illegal crap and as long as they get their cut they’ve never seemed particularly interested in shutting down auctions unless they’ve been visited by a plague of well-funded lawyers.
But what I don’t understand — do people want these things so badly that they’ll pay more to not get it? Are they just not reading the fine print? Isn’t the whole point of the exercise to do something worthwhile, and doesn’t craving them for fashion items dodge that? If you could counterfeit a receipt from the Humane Society, what kind of a person would do that and go around to people bragging about how generous they are?