How Much Would You Pay for a Storied Washing Machine?

Comments (2)

How about $5,160 in New Zealand dollars, which is $3,296.55 in US dollars?

Much is written about storytelling in marketing and selling. It has been a while since I’ve seen such a profound example of how this kind of storytelling works.

“mikew4” in Auckland was selling a washing machine on a New Zealand eBay-like auction site. The bid reserve amount was a mere $1. He wrote an absolutely hilarious ad for the washer. His listing provoked 89 pages of comments when printed out (and I know because I inadvertently printed all 89 pages).

Since the washer sold, and the listing may be removed (and thus above link will be no good), I’ve pasted the text of the ad below. Although only one little piece could be considered a beginning-middle-end story, “mikew4” certainly knew how to make his product so legendary that the machine sold for far more than it would have been worth even new and without all its flaws.

The ad:

Old mid 80’s Fisher and Paykel top loader.

Goes like a rocket!

By ‘goes like a rocket’ I actually mean that literally.

It actually shakes the house.

It’s the loudest most violent sounding washing machine I have ever encountered.

It makes guests scared and children cry. I’ve lived with it like that for almost a year and it still scares me.

Once while washing a load of towells it got a bit out of balance and it got so out of control for a minute that I swear I actually saw a porthole to another dimension open above it just for a second, there were dinosaurs on the otherside and they looked scared too, it almost sucked me in but I held onto for my life to the deepfreeze. It sucked my shoes and pants off though and it got the iron as well which pissed me off because it was quite a good one. Luckily it sucked it’s own power cord out of the wall and stopped before the whole house went in.

I drew a picture of the dinosaurs i saw incase people didn’t believe me, they are partly red because my green felt ran out half way through.

I think it would be good to paint it matt black and put steel spikes all over it and draw demons on the front, however I have added an image of another possible customization option for people who like horses.

On heavy duty spin cycle it sort of sounds a bit like the tortured howls of 1000 undead writhing in the sulphury pits of hell mixed with a train with carriages full of scrap iron sliding down the road with no wheels, on fire, into a bell factory.

Thankfully it’s bite is not as bad as it’s bark. It washes fine, completes cycles, does everything it’s supposed to.

It leaks a bit when it’s running, always has.

Its a bit grubby, could do with a wipe down, I refuse to touch it because I’m still getting over the whole dinosaur scare thing.

If your in a fix and need a cheap washing machine and are either completely deaf or hate your neighbours this baby is for you.

$1 reserve, pick up only, Waterview Auckland.

Selling to pay for my counseling.


That’s a heck of a story!

So well-written I had a flashback to the movie ‘Poltergeist’… you all thought it was the TV, didn’t ya! Do TVs cause all the socks for my left foot to mysteriously vanish after washing, eh? Explain that one!

And just why does no amount of ‘white-than-white’ super powder make any difference to the colour of my undies once retrieved from the wheel of doom?

Sorry, getting carried away here… I see a whole new ‘ghostwriting’ niche opening up for those who walk the holy ground of freelancing.

And I’ve a 1991 Datatronics RS232 modem here on my desk. Took it to Hong Kong during Gulf War 1 and spent 60 minutes transmitting reports as text only email at 2400 baud.

Boy, was I ecstatic that technology could deliver such flexibility in those days - no need to call or fax the boss on a biz trip to report status. Spend an hour trying to email him ;-)

Great post! You’ve inspired me.

Glad you enjoyed it, Mark! Thanks for the comment.

A Storied Career

A Storied Career explores intersections/synthesis among various forms of
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Dr. Kathy Hansen

Kathy Hansen, PhD, is a leading proponent of deploying storytelling for career advancement. She is an author and instructor, in addition to being a career guru. More...


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