Would You Pay $355 For an E-mail Address?


I can understand the buying and selling of Internet domain names, but the buying and selling of free email addresses? It seems some enterprising individual registered an email with Yahoo for iPhone_Wholesalers @ yahoo.com and is now trying to sell the address on eBay.

The Winning Bid Was $355

First of all, I’m sure the selling of Yahoo email addresses goes against the Yahoo TOS. Once Yahoo finds out about the auction, Yahoo will most likely delete the account and the person who paid $355.00 for it will get nothing. However, if Yahoo deletes the account, someone else can register it and put it up for sale again.

Secondly, I have to ask who would pay $355 for an email address? Maybe the bidder was just stupid and thought he/she was bidding on an iPhone and not an email address. While the text of the ad clearly states the auction is for the [email protected] email address, the big photo of the iPhone may lead some misguided eBayers into thinking they’re bidding on an Apple iPhone.

I wonder if [email protected] is available? That should fetch at least $500.00!

Source: Bob Buskirk

36 thoughts on “Would You Pay $355 For an E-mail Address?”

  1. Seopher says:

    We say the exact same behaviour each time a new “must have” is released. It was the same with the PS2, the Xbox360, PS3…

    I think Apple can take it as a testament to the desirability of their new iPhone. Although it does seem an awfully daft thing to bid on, maybe every domain-owner should offer a fad-email for auction? [email protected] or maybe [email protected]?

    Slightly odd consumer behaviour in my opinion and you’re more than likely to lose the account than anything but hey, it’s not my money.

  2. From the “Similar items on ebay” section:

    TMX ELMO EMAIL ADDRESS:[email protected] US $7.99 Jan-25-07 17:19:45 PST

    [email protected] IPHONE EMAIL ADDRESS GBP 0.50 Jan-25-07 03:15:43 PST

    [email protected] Email Address AU $1.00 Jan-22-07 15:42:59 PST

    [email protected] Email Address AU $1.00 Jan-22-07 15:44:41 PST

  3. Nils says:

    LOL that’s just stupid..
    I’m gonna head over to GoDaddy and snap some of the remaining lousy iPhone domains and resell them for 1000% ROI

  4. Tyler says:

    People sell the oddest things on eBay eh?

    Oh well.

  5. Hawaii SEO says:

    I purchased several iPhone related domain names surrounding potential products like docking stations, etc, that are sure to be released in the near future. Will Apple take them from me?

    1. Mubin says:

      Only if they find out. Your best bet would be to sell em before they got to famous though.

  6. John says:

    You’re correct, selling Yahoo email addresses is against their Terms of Service (this is under section 11).

    There were multiple bidders for this email address, so they must have thought this address is good for their business.

    1. Leftblank says:

      Too bad for the owner, I doubt they’ll be fast enough to delete the account before it’s sold 😉

  7. Marc says:

    It all comes down to ROI. I can’t see myself making back the $355 by a long stretch so I certainly wouldn’t do it. But somebody obviously does think they can make a bit of money with it.

  8. Mubin says:

    “I wonder if [email protected] is available? That should fletch at least $500.00!”


  9. Ryan says:

    In my mind an e-mail address is one of the last things you need to sell something. Someone willing to pay for something that is free (like an email address) is insane. It’s much better to get your own domain and have something like [email protected] (or some other available variant).

    1. Leftblank says:

      Well, a business name is also (almost) free but yet big fights go over it. If you’re the first one to get something rare for free, you still have something with quite some potential 😉

      1. Ryan says:

        True, but there’s always an alternative. I wouldn’t pay jack for an e-mail address, though. 😀

  10. HMTKSteve says:

    Well, I might pay money for something like “[email protected]

  11. Nick Mercer says:

    It’s like all those idiots who bought ps3 email addresses back in november. People don’t read the small print half the time and just see a picture.

    1. Leftblank says:

      Probably the double 😉

  12. Kinda reminds me of the guy that bought a PS2 box..only the box


    1. Kenric says:

      Or the guy who bought a PS3, that was actually 3 PS1’s duct taped together. LOL

  13. How about [email protected] ? I bet that would sell for millions 🙂

    By the way, you’re missing an H in [email protected] and [email protected]

  14. Raghu says:

    Oh God why in the world would some one try to buy a email address !

  15. Michael Kwan says:

    John, you typed “iPone” twice in your post rather than “iPhone.” Back on topic, there are countless auctions like this on eBay for various address @yahoo.com, @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, and so on. If you found that this auction violates Yahoo’s TOS, I’d imagine the same would be true with the others.

  16. Nate W. says:

    I own a bunch of iPhone related domains and eBay kept pulling my lisitngs because of “keyword spamming” which is complete BS. Apparently even though I am selling a domain with the word “iPhone” in it, I cannot use the word “iPhone” unless I am actually selling an iPhone because it might confuse customers. More information on my blog.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Maybe they’re finally cracking down on this kind of thing. You know, to protect stupid people who buy empty Xbox 360 BOXES and such.

      1. HMTKSteve says:

        A better way to protect those people would be to remove their eBay accounts!

  17. GeekyC says:

    The iPhone madness is taking over the Internet over the last week…

    By the way, would someone like to buy [email protected]? 😉

  18. Nomar says:

    that is crazy, it isnt even a good email adress

    1. Andrew says:

      I have to agree with Nomar, there really is not value in this e-mail address. It’s hard to believe someone puchased it! Hopefully Yahoo jumps on this.

  19. Jane says:

    How important is a domain name anyway? Wouldn’t you be able to off set the name by the right type of marketing??

    Well, I guess someone thought it was $355 important.

  20. Yeah it will simply be people buying what they think is an actual iPhone. Just like the PS3 email addresses that got sold etc.

    If running community websites has taught me anything, it’s that a large chunk of the general population doesn’t read anything thats not 10 foot tall and flashing multiple colors.


  21. Paul J. says:

    I find it hard to believe that people are that tech illiterate. Even a 5 year old knows yahoo serves free email to anyone.

  22. Carl says:

    I think with the Yahoo account “iPhone_wholesalers” the owner will be able to open a Yahoo store with an identical name. There is some value in that.

  23. Scott Howard says:

    Then I would say that [email protected] would probably go for eeeehhhhhh $850 🙂

  24. Michael says:

    Considering the winning bidder has only 1 feedback, this is probably for show. A way to generate traffic.

    There are things that I can make 900% margin on that just take a little research and leg work to find. It always amazes me that someone will pay $120 for something that cost me $2.50


    p.s. working on a review of your BLOG tonight.

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