Sunday, October 12, 2008
We all expect there to be a market in "diamonds." But who would expect to find a market in "dimonds"? Alert arbitrageurs search eBay for misspelled and thus misplaced items. So if the lister made a mistake in the item description there will be a few opposing bidders. One searcher bought Hubbell electrical cords for a tenth of their usual cost by searching for "Hubell" and "Hubbel" electrical cords. That same individual bought Compaq computers by looking for "Compacts" instead.
One reporter's hour-long search turned up dozens of items, including "bycicles," "telefones," "mother of perl," "cuttlery," "bedroom suits," and "antiks."
--from Tyler Cowen's delightful Discover Your Inner Economist