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The Internet The Almighty Buck

Gmail Addresses For Sale 422

challahc writes "For the low, low price of $199, you too can be one of the lucky testers of Googles new Gmail service. Just Ebay It! This CNet News story has the details." Bill Walsh adds "The account for is asking 200 dollars! Is it a good idea to buy anything that's in beta? Couldn't Google just wipe out all of the beta accounts when the service starts up?"
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Gmail Addresses For Sale

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:20PM (#9037133)
    the news is always so fresh
  • CNN? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rufus211 (221883) <rufus-slashdot@h ... minus physicist> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:21PM (#9037134) Homepage
    This CNN [] story?

    We all know the editors don't read the articles, but do they even read the submissions?
  • by cRueLio (679516) <cruelio&msn,com> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:21PM (#9037136) Homepage Journal is now for sale! asking only 400 USD. Goes to highest bidder!
  • Ebay (Score:3, Funny)

    by some1somewhere (642060) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:21PM (#9037138)
    Its not like people buy weird stuff off Ebay anyway... aaaaaaaaaye?
  • by chaos421 (531619) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:23PM (#9037154) Homepage Journal
    there's a sucker born every minute. gmail sounds pretty neat, however i'm willing to wait for the public opening. some people i'd see spending $200 for one of these accounts... yahoo/netscape/microsoft employees associated with their respective free mail... if they get in and see what it looks like, they can get ready to add countering features to their sites faster.
  • It pains me. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by centralizati0n (714381) <> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:23PM (#9037155) Homepage Journal
    It pains me that I have a Google gmail account. And no invitions to sell. (I got it through blogger, who offers the accounts to those who have a certain post rate... if you have an even higher post rate than myself, you get two invitations... which my friend has, but refuses to give to me to sell.)
  • Smart (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AstrumPreliator (708436) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:23PM (#9037158)
    Pay a crap load of money for a beta account for a service that will be free sooner or later anyway. What are you gaining from getting this beta account? Bragging rights? Thats a hefty price for bragging rights.
  • Ebay (Score:5, Informative)

    by jacobhoupt (728382) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:24PM (#9037161)
    there are currently over 190 Gmail invitations for sale on ebay. Link [][]
  • Of course (Score:5, Funny)

    by ryanr (30917) * <> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:25PM (#9037171) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't Google just wipe out all of the beta accounts when the service starts up?"

    Um... yeah.... that's why they are selling it NOW, hello.
  • by tangent3 (449222) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:25PM (#9037172)
    There's like 4 pages [] of this stuffs. [] is already at $200
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:25PM (#9037173) Journal
    How does this beta work? Do beta testers get to register as many addresses as they want, or are they limited to just one or a few?

    I can imagine that there will be a rush of registration when it goes out of beta. Unless the beta testers have already taken all the "cool" addresses, and only the "hotstudabc666" ones are left...

  • This is pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MysticalMatt517 (772389) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:25PM (#9037176) Homepage
    This is pathetic... I like google just as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day it's just e-mail. Before I'd fork over $200 for an e-mail address I'd register my own domain and create a tricked out one of my own.
    • Re:This is pathetic (Score:3, Informative)

      by linzeal (197905)
      Um, I like gmail's web interface enough to say that I have not used another email interface since a week ago except to periodically check for important messages on other accounts that do not allow forwarding, yet..
    • by dalutong (260603)
      I actually like their interface. I hope they GPL it so I can use it on my own site.

      I was very impressed. Simple, clean. happy.
    • Re:This is pathetic (Score:4, Informative)

      by notque (636838) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @11:52PM (#9038108) Homepage Journal
      This is the best webmail account I've ever owned. It has spell check, it's mail function saves each message in full. You recieve and send mail as part of a thread of messages. You can search through those messages easily.

      You can put a special tag on messages that are important.

      It auto completes addresses you've used before. It's spam function I half want to see in use, and half don't. :)
    • Re:This is pathetic (Score:3, Informative)

      by ptudor (22537)
      You could just pay my company $240 annually for email with your own domain and one hundred accounts. That's a better purchase in the two-hundred-dollar range, imho.

      And to be on topic, I guess the article only demonstrates that some impatient people also have money they don't need to spend wisely.

  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MistaE (776169) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:27PM (#9037190) Homepage
    I don't mean to sound troll or anything, but I just think this is getting really ridiculous. I mean, it's an email account to a beta service that hasn't even entered into official use yet. Also, another thing that peeves me are these damn squatters that (apparently) seem to just take accounts with (cool?) names that other folks might want and then sell them off. It's the same damn thing as domain squatting. Its nice that folks are trying to earn a living on the internet, but at least do it with something legit, not just shit like this.

    But then again, if people really do pay that much money for a damn name, then there's not much one can do about it. It just sounds kind of stupid to me.

  • Account wiping (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lorcha (464930) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:28PM (#9037194)
    Couldn't Google just wipe out all of the beta accounts when the service starts up?
    Not likely. Google doesn't tend to do sucky things, and wiping out someone's legitimate email account, even if the thing is in beta, would really suck. How can you test the service without giving out your address, and if their users are actually using the accounts, I don't see how they could feel justified in deleting them.
  • by beckerie (775211) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:28PM (#9037199)
    But the service has also generated criticism before even rolling out to the masses. Gmail is under fire for inserting advertisements into messages based, in part, on contents. That controversy has led to one legislator calling for its ban.

    I have a G-mail account. I know many people who are interested in getting one, so I'll just make sure I'll g-mail them content which contains the words 'e-bay' 'beta' and '$199' and the advertisement on e-bay should come up pronto at the end.

  • Spam (Score:3, Insightful)

    by madenosine (199677) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:32PM (#9037225)
    It's too bad this e-mail address is most likely going to get spammed like crazy...
  • Omg... (Score:5, Funny)

    by xintegerx (557455) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:33PM (#9037230) Homepage
    challahc writes "For the low, low price of $199, you too can be one of the lucky testers of Googles new Gmail service. Just Ebay It! This CNN story has the details." Bill Walsh adds "The account for is asking 200 dollars! Is it a good idea to buy anything that's in beta? Couldn't Google just wipe out all of the beta accounts when the service starts up?"

    Hackers? Bill? eBay? CNN? Cnet? Google? GMail? Beta?? $199 (cost of Linux Walmart PC?) After seeing every one of those keywords appear in their own slashdot story each day, seeing them in ONE story at once just boggles the mind.
  • Simple answers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by carambola5 (456983) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:33PM (#9037231) Homepage
    To answer your questions:


    Please, just because it's on eBay doesn't mean it's worth buying. Some people out there really need to realize this fact.
  • $200 (Score:5, Funny)

    by scifience (674659) * <> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:35PM (#9037244) Homepage It was $200, then a story about it was posted on Slashdot, and it is now $800.
  • by stefanlasiewski (63134) * <slashdot@stefanc o . c om> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:36PM (#9037248) Homepage Journal
    Well, may be "pretty", but as for other Gmail addresses, there are numerous Gmail invites which were never bid on at all [], sold for a pitiful $5, etc.
  • Isn't it time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Malfourmed (633699) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:37PM (#9037254) Homepage
    ... google had its own slashdot section?
  • gmail beta testing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sean Clifford (322444) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:39PM (#9037264) Journal
    I've been beta testing for a while. No, my account isn't for sale. Seems kinda cheesy and just about guaranteed to get shut down. Anyway, about gmail. I've found a lot of stuff to like about gmail and a lot of features missing.

    Like: No spam. Not a single freaking message. Either they have an excellent filter or I haven't spread it around enough. Let's try an experiment: [mailto]. Guess that'll be a good test of their spam filter. Cringe.

    Anyway, the interface is uncluttered - just the gmail logo and a "star" flag for important messages. Everything else is hyperlinks or dropdowns. It's simple and fast.

    But as a web application developer, I'm underwhelmed so far.

    I think a simple icons-w/text-based GUI is easier to work with and not terribly bandwidth intensive. Anyway, there's no way to import my contacts yet, or my address book, or a PST file (or other mail format), or import mail from another service (that's stretching).

    Anyway, while I think it's crass to sell your gmail account (and probably isn't kosher), doubly so for those who buy one. It's free, people - get a blogger account and make your own. Caveat emptor - it ain't worth $199.

    • by jacoplane (78110)
      Opening a blogger account won't get you a gmail account. I've had a blogger account for about 2 years but I hardly used it. After I heard they were giving away gmail accounts to blogger users I immediately checked the site but to no avail, I guess they didnt consider me active enough. I've even been blogging there a bit over the past two weeks to see if maybe I'd get the chance to sign up, but so far I've had no luck :(
    • by NETHED (258016) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:24PM (#9037475) Homepage
      I can't agree that Gmail is fast. I don't particularly like how it "loads" for seemingly ever. I havn't tried it in IE, but its slow on Firebird (or as it is called now Mozilla Spacesquid)

      I do have to say that the little one button keyboard shortcuts are amazing. If only Gmail had the ability to download from another postbox.
  • by hwsquaredcubed (527387) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:46PM (#9037308)
    I see all of the posts about "why would anyone pay for a free email account?", etc. I got mine about 5 minutes after that CNET story first hit on Friday. I immediately went to Ebay and searched for "gmail." After several screen refreshes, a "Buy It Now" listing for $19.99 popped up. I snapped it up immediately. Why? Even though my name is not that common, someone already has it registered on Hotmail and Yahoo. So I have to add numbers, etc., to my name and I have never liked that. It was worth $20 for me to get my own name at The question about couldn't Google wipe out the Gmail accounts when it's out of beta is ridiculous. The first people they gave Gmail accounts to were Google employees and "friends of the company." Why would they piss those people off by canceling the beta accounts and making them then compete for usernames with the rest of the unwashed masses? They could, but they won't. Finally, if you have used Gmail, it is a damn good email service. There are few tweaks they need to make - the contacts management functions lags far behind Yahoo and Hotmail, for example, and, to my knowledge, there is no way to have desktop email alerts such as you get with Yahoo Messenger or Microsoft IM - but there is no question that they will fix these. Flame on, but I think that Gmail will ultimately surpass Yahoo and Hotmail for web-based email.
  • This is pretty lame. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shaitand (626655) * on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:49PM (#9037320) Journal
    I can see why people would want a gmail account. Porn, warez, etc. It's a gig of webspace on google's infinitely fast gigabit backbone linkS.

    Toss in an autoresponder (or a script which has a web interface, logs into gmail, and sends attachment to other email addresses, or even just other gmail addresses) and you have a great warez, porn, or whatever you want distribution system, WITHOUT the kind of clauses that come with buying webspace against certain content. (If they tried making you agree to that, their admitting to reading private email and that would piss alot of people off.)

    I know people who pay alot more than the $50 most of these are paying and who pay it monthly for a gig of storage on a fast server.

    Another possible use, offsite backups, get enough gmail accounts to hold your critical data backups. Have an automated script that encrypts the data then emails it to your gmail account.

    Here is the bad flipside to all this though, whether google wipes these accounts or not it doesn't matter. What do you think google is going to do when it finds out people are paying $50 just for a beta account? What do you think the odds are going to be of us getting free gmail after this?
  • I'd pay for it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by man_ls (248470) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:54PM (#9037354)
    I'd pay for a fully featured gmail account...that'd be the perfect way for me to abstract my email from my ISP and dynamic-hosted-domains by letting me store on a reputable provider.

    I'm going to be leaving for college email address probably won't be coming with me, because I won't be on that ISP any more.
  • by hiworld (743737) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @08:57PM (#9037368) Homepage
    well, atleast they give you free shipping...
  • You do realize (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaLiNKz (557579) * on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:04PM (#9037388) Homepage Journal
    They wont wipe.. I mean how could they? If has used his address for anything confidential and is erased, eric-else comes and register and gets this guys personal information.. Yeah, you shouldn't use something thats for testing for anything important, but no less..
    • Re:You do realize (Score:3, Informative)

      by Murdock037 (469526)
      If has used his address for anything confidential and is erased, eric-else comes and register and gets this guys personal information. ...

      Preface: My name is Eric.

      I was given the opportunity to get a beta test account, so I naturally tried ""

      No go-- the system told me it wouldn't allow any user names less than six letters.

      So I can guarantee your story will never happen exactly as you describe it.
  • Gmail beggers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MilenCent (219397) * <johnwh@gmail.TIGERcom minus cat> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:19PM (#9037442) Homepage
    I've gotten not one but two messages to my Blogger-acquired Gmail account claiming to be astoundingly well-spoken, prodigy, under-15 "kids" who also claim to be starting web businesses. One of them says he's starting a web hosting business, and says he would be "honored" to have a Gmail account.

    I'm not kidding!

    Why the hell is everyone so hyped up to get one? Are these people who honestly want a cool web mail service earlt? Is it a status symbol? Are these people mostly spammers trying to get accounts in order to run experiments on their filters, so as to better be able to defeat them later? Are they spammers trying to get as many accounts as possible so they can automate the process of marking spam as not-junk to try to break Google's distributed Bayesian filter system?
  • by FlameboyC11 (711446) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:25PM (#9037480)
    Seems to be a regular at Slashdot, posting something about e-bay and some *interesting* item being sold. Could this be the way /. is funding itself? I can see it now...

    Editor 1: "We seem to be running low on funds, quick, point at something!"
    Editor 2: *points at old mac in corner*
    Editor 1: "Quick, put it up on e-bay, we'll run a story on vintage macs on e-bay!"
    Editor 2: *Violently laughs, coughing up blood*
    Editor 1: "Oooo, does e-bay have a policy on bodily fluids, I can feel another story coming on..."
  • by fizban (58094) <> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:37PM (#9037526) Homepage Anyone found it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:41PM (#9037544)
    I have been testing Gmail for a while now. There are still quite a few bugs and issues that need to be resolved. But the single most important reason to get gmail account is their spam filters. I use spamassassin+thunderbird junk control for my spam filter. But gmail leaves the combo in dust.

    Btw, this is the response from Google to EBay sales:
    Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 16:25:07 -0700
    From: "Gmail Team" Add to Address Book
    To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: Re: [#9562759] GMAIL on Ebay !

    Hello xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

    Thank you for your interest in Gmail.

    Unfortunately, the popularity of Gmail has led some people to try and profit from selling invites to sign up for a Gmail account. Google is in no way associated with and does not approve of people auctioning or selling Gmail invitations. Consequently, Google cannot validate the authenticity of any Gmail invitations except those distributed via official channels.

    If you purchased a Gmail account invitation through an online auction site, such as eBay, we suggest filing a complaint against the seller with the site's user protection services. We look forward to announcing a wider release of Gmail in the future, and do not encourage those interested
    in Gmail to purchase an account through an online auction.


    The Gmail Team
  • by penguinoid (724646) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:50PM (#9037587) Homepage Journal
    Real hacker snoop the password and take for free.
  • by Spatula Sam (770957) * on Sunday May 02, 2004 @10:02PM (#9037624)
    Sounds like FUD to me.

    Yes, Google could in theory wipe out all the beta accounts to staert with a clean slate. But I can't immagine why they would want to do so in this case. Perhaps you are thinking of the way game companies like Blizzard handle beta programs for their multiplayer games. In that case, there is a competitive advantage to those who have had longer to build up their diablo characters, so beta accounts disappear in the interest of fairness. However, since email is not a game, the only point to wiping the beta users is if they want to seriously piss a bunch of people off, especially those who have been promised that they could save all their email on it until the end of time.

    So, if you want that email address that badly, go ahead and buy it and give us poor folk something to roll our eyes at. On the other hand, this might violate google's gmail EULA, though I doubt anyone's taken the time to read through it all yet...

  • by azuroff (318072) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @10:32PM (#9037740)
    <a random address> - $50 - $200 - priceless

    There are some things money just can't buy... For everything else, there's eBay.
  • by stienman (51024) <adavis&ubasics,com> on Sunday May 02, 2004 @10:44PM (#9037784) Homepage Journal
    I can't remember - is Google good or bad today?

    Slashdot needs one of those weather maps with all the love/hate relationships with companies...

    "Slightly heated discussion will take place today about the Google IPO, SCO still firmly in the outhouse, and there's a 30% chance that IBM will be favored with positive comments..."

  • by mackermacker (250587) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @10:46PM (#9037792) Homepage
    Someone whos brother works for google sent me an invite. I've had a chance to play around with it, and to be honest, I think it will be a big hit. For an online pop account, it's set up in a very nice way. Instead of the default normal inbox (new messages coming in are placed above the older ones, good has only the names of the people you have received messages from, and then all additional messages to and from that same person are put under their own thread, wityh an easy to use feature for archiving threads. It also says if the mail was sent from someone else to you, or sent from you to someone else. Theres a lot of other features, such as staring someone, but havent quite gotten that far yet. And yes, you get 1GB of storage. All in all, affter using the interface, I dont think I will go back to using other free email accounts.
  • by Wes Janson (606363) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @11:08PM (#9037923) Journal
    Step One: Create free, really expensive-to-run public email server. Step Two: Make lots of media hype, and then sell all the "good" account names on eBay to /. nerds for large sums of money. Step Three: Profit!!!
  • by Plasmagrid (322106) on Monday May 03, 2004 @01:04AM (#9038303) Journal
    set up one that is

    should be worth a few million

  • by karmatic (776420) on Monday May 03, 2004 @01:37AM (#9038393)
    While I wouldn't want anything that's really private on this account, I wouldn't want it on hotmail either. I'd either use encryption over existing free services (less tracability) or just use my own mailserver.

    Things like credit card numbers, bank data, passwords etc. will be perfectly safe, even if the data is scanned. Google are smart enough not to have the publicity problems they would get if they revealed any private info, and it's not really as if anyone cares what my email says. They are scanned for advertising purposes, they are not proof read to see if anything interesting is happening in my life. I feel safe because I know Google won't do anything with my financail details because they have PR people who know that would cripple their service uptake and I know they couldn't care less about my personal life.

    Having said that, for me and I'm sure plenty of other slashdotters it's a moot point - I have my own mailserver which I can check on my home machine via thunderbird, my phone via the built in GPRS mail client and from anywhere else with a browser via squirrelmail. 10GB storage, no attachment limits and unlimited addresses I can check from anywhere - it's easily worth what I pay for it.
  • Lawyers... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Monday May 03, 2004 @02:45AM (#9038570)
    I think it would be really awesome if some idiots pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for some cool email addresses, and when Gmail goes live for real, everything is reset and someone else gets that address for free. That would just be so awesome. I'd really like if it did happen just to see all the lawsuits that would arise from it. Well, did I mention I'm a lawyer?

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.