April 30, 2004 11:51 AM PDT

Gmail accounts go up for bid

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Google's initial stock offering isn't the only piece of the search engine company that's up for bid.

Beta testers invited by Google to take part in its new free e-mail service also received invitations to give to another person, but many are being auctioned on eBay, so far fetching bids as high as $61.

"Gmail is still in beta testing, so Google is strictly limiting how many people are using the service at this time," wrote one seller, who has five days left on the auction and six interested bidders. "This is an opportunity to get in 'on the ground floor' with this interesting new e-mail service."

Currently, 42 testers have listed their invitations on eBay, with one offering to sell an additional invitation outright--for a mere $199.

Google, which last month announced it was testing a new e-mail system, invited 1,000 people to join the trial. Gmail offers 1 gigabyte of storage and includes a news aggregation page and newsgroup interface, and allows users to search through their e-mail. The service has generated excitement, but not as much as Google's upcoming IPO.

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.

That doesn't seem to be stopping folks from jumping into the bidding process to snatch up a Gmail account during this three-to-six-month beta test, however.

8 comments

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Sad
I want to try out GMail as much as the next person but would anyone really bid on this?!?! Seriously. Wait...what?....2-3 months and just get an account. Is this just nothing more then a status symbol. HEY look at me! I have a Gmail account. I'm one of the first. I'm special...I'm a sad lonely individual!!
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Somethings wrong here
I have tried without success to get beta accounts for myself and my wife for 2 reasons. I like Google and I was hoping to at least be able to get an account before certain government officials (we live in ca.) can protect me from my own rights. I see this and get sick. I hope the powers to be at Google put a stop to that.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stupid, stupid, stupid
Anyone who actually bids on this is pretty darn sad. Every time I log into Blogger it asks me if I would like to create a new GMail account. Haven't tried to create more than one, but maybe I should so I too can rip off foolish people.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ebay Auctions Just Cancled
Ebay has just pulled the plug on this.
Posted by adamrogas (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No they haven't
Just searched on ebay and found 118 auctions for Gmail beta accounts.
Just one example: you can "Buy It Now" for $150 here -- &lt;<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&#38;category=4291&#38;item=3675482750&#38;rd=1" target="_newWindow">http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&#38;category=4291&#38;item=3675482750&#38;rd=1</a>&gt;

Lucky for me, I've already got mine...
Be patient. It's worth waiting for!
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
This does not make sense to me.
Using any modern email client I can search my email. In fact there are spam filters that can get rid of advertisement for me.

Why would I pay for a GMail account that they send more advertisement to me, based on the type of email I receive? The Spam mail I receive would create a false profile on me, and anywhere I would go on Google or associated sites, I would be haunted with ads for Vigra, Breast Enlargement, Manhood Enlargement, Weight Loss, Weight Gain, Blind Dating Services, Sexy Women with Webcams, 419 Scams, Green Card Lawyers, etc.

Not to meantion that the Spam mail will create email searches just as relevant as Google web searches anyway, which is not very relevant at all. Why, you may ask? Because many people and groups flood Google with websites using key words that are not relevant to the content of the page. The same with emails. I consider those type of web pages to be Web Spams, when they are included in the web search and are not relevant to what I am searching. It just wastes my time.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.dmoz.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.dmoz.org/</a> is a much better web page searcher, human editors determine what is relevant and what is not. Less web Spam, and more revelant web searches.
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Theres a reason
The reason you would want this service is because its completely portable for one. Sure other client programs will let you search and sort your emails but how easy is it to transport to your favorite web cafe or library?

And about the "spam" generated by GMail.. what are you talking about? The ads that are displayed are:
1: Not new email messages. They dont add to your mail count.
2: Not saved.
3: Displayed off to the side in a non-graphical format that doesnt interfere with your email reading.

Get your facts straight before going off on a rant please.
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Link Flag
GMAIL IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
gmail is great, i just got my account and i was a little
skeptical im all emails are the same right??? no way. gmail
has some really great unique features that make it a must
have, the spell checker function is so intuitive, you only
spell check the words you want, and it works with pull
down menues, you kind of have to see it but its really cool,
plus the way it organizes the emails as conversations is so
intuiive its amazing it wasnt done sooner, plus since i got
in early i got exactly the screen name i wanted!!! the ads
business is really nt even noticable, there are no picture
ads or pop ups just some discreet advertisements along the
side, i havent even gotten that many of them. anyways
when this goes public people are gonn abe clamoring for
accounts and the chances of getting the address you want
will be zero. The only way you may be able to get a decent
address is through ebay i would totally recommend it. I got
mine from this seller who has a couple more postings,
heres a link

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/" target="_newWindow">http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/</a>
eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&#38;category=4291&#38;item=3675366495
&#38;rd=1
Posted by (1 comment )
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