Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Snowblower That Ate the Internet: SOLD.

When I posted my little ad on Kijiji on Wednesday morning, all I wanted to do was sell my snowblower.  I thought if I was a little creative and  maybe a little funny, I'd be able to set my ad apart from all the other snowblower ads on the site.

Little did I know what I was in for.

Although it was my ad and my snowblower, the phenomenon itself I think belongs to the Internet.  The only thing I can take ownership of are the folks who reached out to me to tell me that I gave them a laugh (to whom I have invariably responded "You owe me $1 for the laugh. Find me on PayPal.").

I'm kind of a data guy in my regular life (i.e. the part of my life that currently allows me the freedom to not live in my parents' basement), so here are some numbers that I just worked out:  As of when I started writing this post, my ad has been viewed 342,465 times on Kijiji.  There are 48,574 people linking to it on Facebook.    It has been up for a total of 103 hours, 8 minutes.  It has therefore been:

  • viewed 55 times a minute
  • linked almost 8 times a minute

I more than tripled the number of followers I have on Twitter, which was an accomplishment since pretty well everyone who was following me to start with were friends and family, and that was as much out of curiosity as pity.  I am @WehMingCho, which is another example of my creative genius at work.

I have received almost 1,400 emails which have included

  • job offers
  • requests for dates
  • requests to teach people to write ads
  • a request from a teacher for permission to use my ad as an example of persuasive writing (my mother is so proud!)
  • marriage proposals
  • people who thought they knew me, but were wrong
  • people who didn't think they knew me, but were also wrong
  • lots of speculation on my career
  • some speculation as to whether I was running some kind of scam
  • more compliments and encouragement than I've received since the day I introduced my future wife to my family
  • and buried deep, deep down, even a few actual offers to buy my snowblower

The offers I got ranged from the laughable ($1.00, but I have to pay to ship it to BC), to the ludicrous (U SHOLD GETS ALL THE MONEI$$$ LOLOMGCATS), and everything in between.  There were a few that I felt like I was a teenager on the phone with my first girlfriend ("Tell me what it's worth to you." "No, you tell me!").  And there were some real, honest to goodness people that wanted to buy my snowblower.

To those proud few, I say thank you.  But only one of you could own the snowblower.

In the end, I accepted the offer from Alec Bruce.

For those of you unfamiliar with him, Alec is a multi-award winning editor, columnist and journalist, based in Moncton.  I was familiar with his work in The Times & Transcript as well as Atlantic Business Magazine (which I read whenever we stay at one of the nicer hotels in Halifax and PEI).  He also has his own online presence at The Bruce Report, which makes my little blog look like something my 5 year old niece made with her little sister in terms of consistency and quality.

Alec's offer had a lot going for it.  First, he used full sentences, with grammar and spelling and everything.  Not that other offers didn't, of course.  But his also included the phrase:

"As a professional writer, I think we writer guys ought to stick together on matters of snow jobs!"

An actual, honest to goodness writer, who's work I've actually read and am familiar with, included me in the same group he was in.  A man who makes a living of putting words to paper called me A WRITER.

I may have done a little victory dance around the room.

We exchanged a few emails, and he was understanding when I told him that I was uneasy about making a final decision while I was sleep deprived (in the last 72 hours, I believe I have had a total of 10 hours of sleep - being Internet Famous is exhausting).

Alec dropped by this afternoon on his way back from Halifax, and it turns out he's actually a nice guy too.  And that cinched it for me.  This guy was going to give my snowblower a good home.

He was also going to pay me, which, I'll be honest, was really the deciding factor.  Everything else is cake.

In conclusion, the deal is done, the pact is sealed and the sacrificial virgins have been saved on account of a scheduling snafu that prevented them from being available this afternoon.  The only thing left to do involves a truck and some heavy lifting, which will probably happen on Tuesday.

To each and every one of you, I extend a humble thank you for your kind words.

And it's not too late to send me $1 via PayPal.

Thanks everyone!

Weh-Ming


24 comments:

  1. Good on you! I was going to send you $1.00 but couldn't find you on PayPal! Please verify your existence.

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  2. Mate, what an effort. Congratulations on selling the thing, after all you can't spend internet hits even though it's nice to receive a bit of fame along the way.
    I really like the $1 suggestion, even if only 10% respond, the $900 for the blower may well end up chump change.

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  3. Love it. I was one of the many who blogged it, liked it and spread the word. I also sent an email to Rick Mercer, suggesting that he interview you.

    *Hats off* to you!

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  4. Woohoo! Congrats!

    Even though the snow blower is gone, I hope that you continue to blog!

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  5. Well played, sir. May 2012 be more peaceful but every bit as rewarding as the past five days!

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  6. Glad that part of it worked out. Maybe there is another good part to it yet to be found? Maybe somewhere, buried in the rest of it, is a brand new opportunity that you might truly wish to pursue, but would have never seen coming? Some of our most amazing opportunities come to us unforeseen.

    In any case, good luck! and all the best for the future.

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  7. where is a copy of the fucking ad?

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  8. I loved your story *ahem* ad. In fact, if I had a extra $900 and a pick-up truck, I would have come up for it myself. Glad it's found a new owner and thank you for giving me a chuckle. BTW, I've got a 2 yr old Grit Hockey Locker bag that I'm trying to sell - think you could help me out with a good story....

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  9. where is the kijiji ad?? I'd rather read the actual ad, than hear about how cool it is...

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  10. Are you seriously asking where the ad is? I guess google is pretty hard to figure out.

    http://moncton.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-tools-equipment-11HP-29-Snowblower-W0QQAdIdZ332915918

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  11. @wpurcell - you should be able to find me at wehming@hotmail.com I'll happily take your dollar! ;)

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  12. To those that can't find the ad, the author has kindly posted the text and photo from the ad on this very website, under the post "Some long overdue Kijiji action" on November 23rd. May I suggest reading down the page and actually checking out his other blog posts? It's well worth the read, to be sure.

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  13. Check your account balance, funny man. I sent the buck. Too bad for you, the exchange rate still makes our money worth $.03 more than yours...It's loony for sure.

    Still, reading the ad was worth the $1.30 (including the $.33 processing fee)

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  14. @Giggly - Just saw the 0.97 addition to my soon to be overflowing coffers. I grant unto you the Unlimited Friends and Family Ad Reading Option. Feel free to re-read the ad over and over!

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  15. Hello from the balmy West Coast of Canada. I had to look up the word "snowblower" in my dictionary, but thanks to your helpful photos here, I can now figure out what this 'machine of snow doom' is all about.

    Congratulations to you on the sale of said machine, but especially congrats on your week of eye-popping fame. Wonderful story!

    I absolutely loved your ad, and blogged about it at "The Ethical Nag: Marketing Ethics for the Easily Swayed': http://ethicalnag.org/2011/11/30/snowblower-ad-kijiji/

    You deserve all the free cupcakes you can get out of this awesome experience!

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  16. @Carolyn - Now that's what I call an article! Well thought out, topical, and helps support my claim that I'm a very handsome and charming man.

    Thanks for the write up Carolyn!

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  17. I have donated the $1 bill to Salavation Army in your name. I could use your snowblower except I live in Burlington.

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  18. But what did the ad say so we can copy it and get all those job offers and marriage proposals too? Thanks...and by the way, I could use a snow blower if you have another one to sell.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Calgary Snow Removal,

      You can find a link over on the right hand side, but here you go.
      http://www.blognostifier.com/2011/11/some-long-overdue-kijiji-action.html
      Thanks for checking it out, hope you have a great winter!

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  19. And you are really funny and make me wish I could make my blog as funny.

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Glad you were finally able to sell your snowblower. It seems your 15 minutes of fame are unfortunately up, are you working on the next viral post?!

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