things to think about

today i am thinking about: THE ECONOMY OF GOOGLE WAVE
October 5, 2009, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,


2) The best way to make demand is to make something limited. There are 100,000 invites for Google Wave. There are approximately five bazillion Gmail accounts. Demand is high! Very, very high! I went to yesterday to sign up for a request — a 3rd party site — and it was something like 55k responses to ~3400 invitations offered last night, and now 63,489 invites requested — and still about 3400 invitations offered.

3) So of course, people are doing what they do best — selling Google wave invites on eBay.

4) No really! The Wall Street Journal even talks about it! Capitalism always wins, sort of, although it sounds like eBay is still not sure about that.

4.25) Here is a link from Mashable about this. Here is a link from the Christian Science Monitor about the auction that started it all — $5100!!

4.5) People did this on Gmail, too! Back in the day! Here’s a link talking about it from Geek.Com. Here is a link talking about it from Auctions were going for around $60.

5) So how much is a Google Wave invitation worth, you ask? Or rather, I ask. Sure, $5100 for the first one, but now there are many more. I was watching these auctions on eBay and then I started doing math and anyways, I got distracted and decided to do my favorite thing, aka, take some averages.

What I did was I exported all of the completed auctions to Excel and, by virtue of the fact that I spend a lot of time on Excel, was able to turn it into a list of 327 different auctions, price points, and end times. Here is a link to the raw file, including the saved .html versions of the eBay pages I started with.

The highest single item was a $149.99 buy it now for “Google Wave Invite – Active Link, not a nomination” that sold on 10/01 at 17:41pm — not even a day after Google Wave went onto its bigger release. Because eBay is a turd not very friendly to amateur researchers, I can’t seem to view the item page, so that is all I am working with.

There were 50 auctions with more than one bid. Of these, there were an average of 17 bids, and an average sell price of $45.23 (median $43). Auctions started on 10/2/09 at 1810h. The first two auctions were the only two to go for over $100 — 23 bids with a close of $101.00 at 10/2/09 at 1810h, and 31 bids with a close of $102.50 at the exact same time. Auctions on 10/3/09 averaged close at $42.50 (median $43), auctions on 10/4/09 averaged $36.49, and auctions on 10/5/09 to date average about $52.42.

Auctions with less than 10 bids went for an average of $29.99. Auctions with 10-14 went for an average of $32.43. Auctions with 15-19 bids went for an average of $45.75, 20-24 $57.64, and more than that for an average of $71.17. I figure this is probably pretty average for auctions — more bids = more $ — only I am curious about one thing, which I’ll talk about later.

I looked at 62 Buy It Nows! I messed up when cleaning from eBay to workable data and did not track which Buy It Nows! did and did not sell. So, I went back through and checked for all the BIN!s and I did what I could. I do not promise my data are perfect here, which I guess means I will never win a Nobel Prize for this research. (O SHIT.)

Of those 62, the average price was $32.71. 9/30 it was $34.50 (with only 2 for sale); 10/1 it was $37.50 if you throw out the outlier above, or $41.88 with the big sale; 10/2 it was $27.31; 10/3 $22.85; 10/4 $20.70; and 10/5 to date $27.75 (with only 2 selling, again.)

6) OMG MATH IS FUN. I would like to thank the members of my 4th grade class because they made life so hellacious that I just went out into the hall and did math on my own, becoming facile with averages.

7) So on the whole, it looks like people are willing to spend an average of $36.48 (median $30) to jump the line. Or, rather, here’s the thing: they’re willing to spend an average of $36.48 to GET NOMINATED to jump the line. You do not actually get a Google Wave invitation at the close of your auction, as far as I can tell.

7.5) Interestingly (interestingly), gmail invites went for more money it seems. It is hard to know without knowing their sample size, where they got their information, et cetera. My first eyeball of Google Wave auctions also looked like they were going for around $60 — but then I dug a little deeper and it was not borne out.

Google Wave users get invitations to give out, but it seems like invitations are not distributed immediately. Once someone is invited, they go into a queue, and will get invited sooner, but slowly. People are not spending an average of $36.48 to get into Google Wave — they are spending an average of $36.48 to get their name typed into a box.

8 ) What is interesting about this is how little seller responsibility is required. All you need is a screen shot — which I could get in about 15 seconds — and a willingness to be a jackass + some photo-editing software. “HERE I AM TYPING YOUR NAME INTO THE BOX. NOW YOU WAIT.” There’s no way to tell for sure how long the wait will be for what you’ve bought — and I imagine the money doesn’t get held in escrow until you get your invitation.

Notable in the data were blocks of auctions that seemed, from the title/price/timing, to be almost identical — 24 of one kind, 33 of another, and many other less notable multiples. I can’t find any information on how many invites one person gets, but it is likely that one person does not get 24 invites. One person has sold 11 already and has at least 2 more up on eBay. Sure, it’s possible, but I would be suspicious — especially since it’s all that person is selling. They are getting rave reviews, too — “so quick with screenshot! A++” WOAH DUDE. I could be quick with a screenshot too!


Thoughts? Interest in number-crunching? New insight?

5 Comments so far
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Do a map of where people are selling the invites!!!!!

Comment by Lee

with the speed at which the internet gets all sorts of new features, and at which gadgets and apps get big and then become blippy nothings, why are people paying for these invites? or rather, for a CHANCE at these invites?

I need to clickie the link that tells me about the wave, but probably I will feel just the same: wait for it, folks. it is gonna be way cooler when all your friends already have it anyway. right?

Comment by beene

omg, when are you getting a biostatistics degree? demography? epidemiology? straight up statistics?

Comment by mitzi

my (platonic) love for you knows no bounds.
i should come up with google-brooklynbridge and see how many of those i can sell.

Comment by tony


Comment by theo

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